Reach your targets sales tips for start-ups

Meet your customers’ needs and see those sales rocket…

I am sure that you want to achieve and even exceed your sales targets this year. The way to make this possible for you, all starts with you choosing to no longer sell products or services anymore. I am sure that sounds crazy, how can you achieve your sales targets, if you stop selling the very things you need to sell to achieve your desired sales targets in the first place? Well, what I am proposing is that you move your focus from products and services and instead focus on people and their needs instead.

Success is about product knowledge, or is it?

There are so many sales courses out there that push sales people to improve their product knowledge and increase their understanding around the benefits their products offer. These are both important factors, but neither of these is going to ever help you to close a sale. The only way to improve sales and to consistently close them is to sell people on your product and service and never to try to sell products or services to people.

Know both people and your products

Yes, of course sales people must have an intimate knowledge of their products and services, but it is their knowledge of people which will ultimately help them to close sales. I have encountered sales people who have impeccable product knowledge, with an intimate understanding of all the features and benefits their products or services they sell offer, but lack an understanding of people. This has limited their ability to close as many sales as they should. The most important thing any sales professional needs is an intimate understanding of people. You can never ever tell someone about all the features and benefits your product or service offers, if you do not understand people and their needs first.

People buy from people they know, like and trust

Remember that people make buying decisions using their emotions, i.e. sales is 80% about people or about having an intimate understanding of people’s emotions, needs and wants and 20% about the product or service you sell. Remember that the products and services you sell do not think, but the people you are trying to sell them to, most certainly do. They are looking at your product and service and asking: “Does this offer me a way to make some of my pain go away or is it going to satisfy one of my needs”? Products and services do not think or offer any benefits on their own, it is the person making the purchase decision, who thinks, feels and reacts to the product and sees how they will serve them. When you make this distinction and understand people and their needs, your sales will go through the roof.

Do you really care?

I am sure that you have heard the saying which says, ‘People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. When you realise that you are in the people business and that your products are secondary, only then will you turn the corner towards incredible sales success. See yourself in the business of helping people and no longer see yourself as being in the business of selling products and services. This subtle, but crucial shift will empower you to move away from feeling like someone who is trying to close a sale every time you are in front of a customer and instead change you into someone who helps people make the right decisions, which will help them to improve their experience.

Know and understand the individual

Become interested in the individual, the human being, who has a need or is facing a challenge, which your product or service can help eliminate and you will close far more sales. Both you and the buyer of your value proposition will receive a mutual benefit, fair exchange will have occurred and both parties will feel that they have won. This is a sure-fire way of ensuring that you develop long-term mutually beneficial relationships with your customers.

Lose the sales pitch

Sales success is never about launching into your planned sales pitch and listing all the benefits your products or services offer. It is about getting to know what the customer needs and how you can help them satisfy this need as painlessly as possible.

The other day I went to a computer store to purchase a new computer. The sales person went into a long sales pitch, showing his great product knowledge about the speed of the computer etc. I was not interested in the speed or any of the other great features or benefits the computer offered. All I wanted to know was whether it would help me in my business, to better manage my customer relations, not how fast it was or whether it offered a fast graphics card. He did not pause long enough during his sales pitch to listen to me or my needs and so, before he had finished his well-versed speech, I thanked him for his time and left. He stood staring after me, with a startled look on his face, unaware that he had just lost a sale.

I went down the street to his competitor, who welcomed me into their shop, offering me a free bottle of water to drink, while she uncovered my needs. Using clever questioning, she very quickly got a clear understanding of my needs. She showed me a number of different options, all the time asking for my input, checking to see if what she was proposing was in fact what I needed.

She soon discovered that what I really needed to achieve the outcome I wanted was not only a desktop computer, but a laptop as well. Before leaving I had purchased two computers, a laptop bag and some additional software. Her solution was perfect and has since saved me buckets of time and assisted me to improve my customer relations management exponentially. As you can imagine, whenever I need any computer related stuff or if anyone mentions anything related to computers or software, I don’t hesitate to refer them to Sandy.

Really understand your customers’ needs

One of the things which really stood out for me with Sandy was her ability to ask the right questions, until she had unlocked my needs and completely understood them. During our discussions I had pointed to a really sophisticated looking computer, with all the bells and whistles. It was the most expensive computer in the shop. Sandy immediately advised me that it was a gaming computer with a really high end graphics card and as such was not what I needed. This immediately allowed me to feel more relaxed and trusting towards her, as I realised that she was going to sell me what I needed, not try to get me to buy the most expensive computer in the store, so that she could earn the highest commission.

You must determine:

  • What does the customer want to achieve?
  • What is important to them?
  • What are their needs?
  • What is it that makes them feel good?
  • What do they really, really, really want?

The secret to closing almost every sale is about showing an interest in your client and never showing an interest in trying to sell your product or services to them. When someone is in need of a product or service, they do not care about how much product knowledge you have, they only care about themselves and their needs. They are concerned about their time and money and ensuring that they get the best possible deal for themselves. You and your product or service is way down on the buyer’s list of concerns.

Closing sales

Closing sales is never about your sales process, your products and services or your commission; it is all about the customer and their needs and concerns. Once you realise this and focus on the person and never on the individual sales transaction, you will increase your closing rate exponentially and easily achieve and exceed your sales targets this year.

Andrew Horton

Andrew Horton

andrew horton



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