5 Steps to Selling Anything Technical
One of the most difficult things we deal with as tech companies is trying to sell our services or products to prospective clients, would you agree? A major problem we face is conveying why our future clients need our services using terminology they will understand and pay attention to. One of the sales secrets I am going to let you in on, is that you can make sales without the client even knowing the name of your product or service or ever saying a word like: Search Engine Optimization, gigabyte, meta tags or even computer.
The minute anyone finds out that you're not only a sales person, but a sales person looking to sell them a product, they scream and run for the hills, don't they?
How many of you have opened a phone call to a prospective with something like "Hello, I was just wondering if you would like to have your website optimized for the search engines?" If you have, you probably got a very quick "No thank you", CLICK. Opening a conversation is tough I admit, it's like sitting at a bar and making eye contact with that really cute someone over there and not knowing what to say to them to get them interested in you. Being too upfront may cost you and you could get the answer everyone seems to fear, "No." Let's look at how to get past this.
Step 1: Never ask a yes or no question.
So long as someone knows you're a sales person and you're out to take their hard earned money, 90% of the time an automatic "No." will be the response to any yes or no question. If you ask a question where the prospect can not say just a simple yes or no to then it opens a conversation in a positive light, an example of this would be "Hello, My name is Greg and I am calling from Abalone Designs, I was just looking over your web site and was just curious as to what the main purpose of your web site is?"
Alright you're in! You didn't get a quick "No Goodbye!" Instead you got an "Uhhh well I use it to promote our bed and breakfast to potential clients" Perfect, you already know your service is going to be able to help increase their potential for finding more clients. There is now no excuse to why you shouldn't be able to help your new future client find a service that your company offers.
Step 2: $ervice.
Believe it or not people can see when you are being insincere or just trying to make sale deadlines. The exceptional sales people, the ones we all should strive to be, are the sales people that take pride in not only their company but also their clients and future clients. Offering an exceptional service is the way to become a champion at sales. If you want to take one thing away from this article it's that service is what separates the haves with the have-nots. At Abalone Designs, we pride ourselves in a sales force that finds delight in serving other peoples needs. I recommend you make it a policy for yourself that all your clients and potential clients come first.
First things first, Do what your mother says and treat others how you would like to be treated. Don't be a pushy sales person. Find out the clients needs and wants and find out how you can best give them exactly what they want. Clients don't care that you have sales quotas and that your boss is riding your back. In fact if you're potential client feels that something like that could be a factor or that you say something that reminds them that you are a sales person, unfortunately your time is up and you can kiss the sale good bye. This brings us to our 3rd tip,
Step 3: What not to say.
There are plenty of words and phrases that can cost you a sale. If you remind someone that you are a sales person and not someone trying to give them the best service that you can then once again, kiss that sale good bye. Although there are more sales killing words that I can shake a stick at, I am only going to go over some of the majors.
Cost or price: When people hear cost or price, they automatically think of money coming out from their pocket and into yours. Instead use: investment or total amount. When they hear the word investment they automatically think that their money is going into something that is worth while and will give them a return. The same goes to a monthly payment, use monthly investment or monthly amount.
Buy: No one wants to buy anything in this world; everyone just wants to own it. With the word buy the client thinks of a price and then automatically knows you once again are the evil sales man after their gold. So use the word own. "If you choose to own this product it will change your life" The client will envision your service or product as if they had already bought it.
Problems and objections: If you think that something is or could be a problem you are already scaring yourself out of buying a product or service. Reassure that this is not a problem but a Challenge. When a client has an objection, let them know that you understand their area of concern and that you assure them that it won't be a problem.
Finally only birds go Cheap: Never refer to your product or service as cheaper than something as that is exactly what your client will think, that this product or service is cheap and nobody wants to be sold something cheap. Instead let them know that it is more economical
Step 4: Tickle their Emotions.
I said at the start of the article that you can sell anyone anything without them knowing anything about the product or service, which I swear to you, is the truth. People never seem to buy on just facts alone, they need to be to be enticed.
Find out what the clients emotional attachments are and then use them to find the best service or product based on their wants and needs. A perfect example is Search Engine Optimization for a Bed and Breakfast web site. Most likely they have a web site to find more potential clients for themselves. If this is the case ask them what they would do if they had 150 more people wanting to stay at their B&B. They would start thinking how wonderful it would be to have their rooms booked for the next year. "I would love that!" they would say. Already they are excited and their emotions are telling them and I quote "Buy! Buy! BUY!" You have not said one word of what your service is and they are already getting ready to own your service. Find out what the client wants and needs and help them dream up a fantasy around those, and then help them achieve that fantasy by using your services. If you can get them dreaming of how their life will be better with your service you have them sold, if not the worst they can say is "No!"
Step 5: Learn to Love "No!"
Trust me on this one. Not everyone is going to say yes, in fact most people will say no. The beautiful thing about this is that I am going to show you a way to love the word no.
How many clients do you speak with before usually getting a sale? On average at Abalone it's around 1 in every 20 people we speak with. Let's just assume that every sale we make we make $200 from the fee of our services.
Now this may blow your mind and get you excited for calling more clients even if they say "NO!"
There is a formula we can use here and it goes a little something like this: If 1 sale = $200.20 contacts = 1 sale. Therefore, 1 contact = $10
There you have it, it is that easy. For every one contact you have called you have gotten 1 contact closer to making that sale, therefore you have just made yourself $10. Now don't get me wrong you still have to qualify and actually try to close the sale on every contact, but if they say no, well hey you just made yourself 10 bucks. If you look at it this way we will be able to psyche ourselves up for making the calls needed to make that 20th call and get the sale.
There you have it folks, the 5 basic steps to selling anything technical. Step 1, never ask a yes or no question as you will always get no. Try asking a question that allows them to give you more information about themselves without having the chance to say no. Step 2, $ervice. Service is the way the pros make the money when it comes to sales. Find the clients wants and needs, and find the best way to accommodate them. Do not worry about your wants or needs as believe me the client does not care! Step 3, what not to say. Refrain from using those sale killing words as that's exactly what they will do, kill your sales. Study and imbed those comfort words into your head use them over and over until the words come naturally and you will notice a giant difference. Step 4, tickle their emotions. If you make them dream it, you can sell it. Last but not least, step 5, learn to love no. You're going to hear it more than you hear yes, learn to love it and know that it is just a stepping stone to the big pay off you want.
If you follow these steps and make them yours you will have no problem becoming a champion at not only sales but life in general! Now that you have read this, you remember that special someone you made eye contact with at the bar? Why not go say hello.