Two years on- 12 ways to get the buyer’s ear and become a first-class seller

Today’s article is the 101st and marks this column’s 2nd anniversary; as with any milestone, reflection is advisable. Only editorial space limits the depth to which we can reflect and so we’ll look at twelve ways in which we can connect with the buyer; which is the underlying theme of Sales Pitch.

1. “Third World is a state of the mind and until we change our attitude as Africans, if there is a fourth, fifth and even sixth world, we will be in it.” (PLO Lumumba ).
The seller’s attitude can spiral him into the sixth world of disconnection or raise him to the first where connection with the buyer is almost tangible.

2. Quit hearing and start listening.
Actively listening acts as the rudder that steers you to the buyer’s soul. Research into live buyer interactions of 800 sellers proves this.

3. Believing in your product produces emotional contagion, infecting the prospect and making him less adversarial and open to new possibilities.

4. Love what you hate about selling.
Instead of hating it, inviting the walk-in client who just wants a quote to a tour of the shop floor may just tilt the balance in your favour when he is making a decision on which quote to go with.

5. Be prepared. Always.
The 5Rs help:

  • Representation (how you present yourself),
  • Repertoire (your sales kit),
  • Research (your prospect),
  • Rehearsal (practice) and
  • Repetition (of the first four always, for one can never be too prepared).

6. How do you sell to someone whose budget at his local pub is the half a million shillings you can only access as a loan?
First, get out of your way. Get rid of the smugness of self-righteousness.

7. Connecting the dots happens when the seller paints a picture of how his product solves the buyer’s problem.
The existence and contents of this column were unknown to the author two years ago, yet here we are 100 dots later. To connect one must connect the dots.

8. Educating the customer as a way to sell produces a powerful connection.
Educating is genuinely seeking to create understanding about the client’s situation or your product.

9. Framing a sale in terms of experiential satisfaction as opposed to material possession is more likely to get the sale and repeat purchases.
Experience sells because we derive much more pleasure buying experiences than we do buying goods though it is the latter that attracts.

10. Brochures (like Power Pont slides) don’t connect with the buyer, salespeople do.
Prospects (and that includes you) hardly read marketing material or act on it little more than they get moved by the inanimate slide.

11. Fend off technical jargon when selling.
“Explain it to me like I’m a two year old” should not be seen as a condescending term for the salesperson. It should be the Holy Grail.

12. Let that moment of tension (when closing is imminent) galvanize you to ask for the cheque.
Many times the buyer wants you to. Don’t cave into the tension. Close. The razzmatazz of football is a delight to watch, but did you score?

The second birthday is commonly referred to as terrible twos. It needn’t be. These “connectors” will see you aiming for the terrific twelve. Progressively build on one a month as we head for the 3rd birthday. Why? Because the internet gives the buyer access to the same information as the seller making them almost equal. A seismic shift in selling is thus necessary, for the snowballing tsunami of ‘seller beware’ is about to hit shore.

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