How to sell anything to anyone – Sales for Non-Salespeople and Beginners
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After completing this course, you will have the confidence and preparedness to approach prospective customers, build relationships with your clients, and be able to complete the sale and have repeat business.
Everything is sales. No matter what you do in life, more than likely it will be some form of sales. If you are an artist, you are selling your talent. If you are a singer, you are selling your music and merchandise. If you are a writer, you are selling your works. Everything is sales, and everything is marketing.
When I worked as a teenager at a retail store called Chess King, they had a sales plan that they called ANSWER. It was a method that could be used to sell anything, including you. The store chain may have closed, but the plan is still as viable today as it was in the ‘80s.
The ANSWER consisted of these principles:
· Approach the Customer
· Determine the Customer’s Needs
· Show the Merchandise
· Welcome and Overcome Objectives
· Encourage the Closing of the Sale
· Suggest Related Items
Before you can approach your customer, you need to figure out who your potential customer is. In most goals that you set, there will be a customer. Who are your readers if you are writing a book? If you are going to be giving a speech, who is your audience? Who is your goal serving? You have to know who you are trying to reach in order to figure out how to approach them. Once you know who they are, you must make your move.
What are your customers looking for? What do they need? If your audience is looking for a way to manage stress, you need to be able to give that to them. If they need a minivan, but all you have in stock are sports cars, you may not make a sale unless you can convince them that a sports car is what they need. The best way to find out what a customer needs and to find out if YOU can help them, is to ask open-ended questions.
I’ll use a lot of examples that relate to retail sales, but they can be useful in any and all sales practices. If you ask someone if you can help them find something, they are most likely going to say no. Instead, you should ask something like “What are you looking for today?”
Once you have the customer’s attention, you have to show them what you’ve got. You have to be knowledgeable and make them excited about what you have to offer. If they have reservations about what you are offering, you have to overcome those objections. Most objections fall into the categories of:
· Price - Is what you are offering too expensive for them? If the price is the issue, maybe you need to help them justify the cost.
· Quality - Maybe they are unsure of the quality. This is where knowledge of the product comes into play.
· Trust - They may not trust your relationship. Being forthcoming with information is critical in such a situation. This may be where testimonials would be beneficial.
· Complacency and Fear of Change - Fear keeps us from reaching our potential. You have to show them how change will create a positive outcome for them.
· Timeliness – They may say that they will look for what you are offering later on. You need to show them why they need what you have to offer now.
· Authority - The person that you are speaking with may not be the decision maker. In this case, you need to find out who is the person that is capable of signing off.
To overcome objections, you must listen to their issue, acknowledge their concerns, explore solutions, and then respond properly. You can do that by showing the benefits of using your services.
Once they show interest in your wares, get them to make a commitment. That could be having them buy your service or product. If you are a performing artist or a public speaker, get them to book you. Suggest related items. If you selling shoes, suggest socks. If you are selling your book, offer a private coaching session. This will increase the money you will be making by adding on to your initial sale.
“Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
The first rule of selling is to actively listen. You are listening 80% of the time and only talking 20% of the time at most. And when you talk, it is good to ask questions…open-ended questions.
You don’t sell something to someone; you help someone solve a problem. It’s a relationship. Both you and the client have to be on the same team. You have to be working toward the same objective. It isn’t you against them; it’s you working WITH them. Selling must be mutually beneficial.
A salesperson must be genuine and show that they care. Your products/services must create value. Selling is helping. Selling IS customer service.
To find your niche, your purpose, ask yourself a few questions.
What jobs did you keep the longest?: Chess King, HCT
What is you experience?: Retail 8+; Sales 10+; Comedy 16; Hospitality 12
Look at a time when you were successful. What accomplishments have you made, big or small? What do they tell you? (I was Top salesman at Chess King at 17 and became a third key manager, I Increased sales at Journey’s Kidz by 52% in my first year as Manager, and even as a kid in second grade, I Finished schoolwork first). I didn’t really compete with others as much as I competed with myself. Really think about that. You’re only real competition is yourself. You can’t compare your journey with someone else because you are on different paths.
I found my niche by combining my sales background and my performance background. I saw someone start a business with little skill and effort, and thought “if this guy can be successful…”
Being successful involves 5 Ps:
Passion – Purpose – Persistence – Present – Positivity
Passion: Comedy and music; but it is hard to make money just on your passion. Passion doesn’t create success. Your energy meeting someone else’s needs creates success. You want to become passionate about what you are successful at.
Purpose: Helping people; making people’s lives a little bit happier; find someone’s problem and fix it
What are you an expert on? What are your skills and strengths? I knew a lot about Nashville’s history and I knew what bars I liked. I knew what music I liked and I knew how to make people laugh and forget about their problems for a while. I used my energy and skills to address someone else’s problem which led to my passion. The value this creates makes purpose that is fulfilling in your life. It’s not about you; it’s about helping others.
To find m Niche, I had to do some research: There wasn’t a pub crawl. Narrow your expertise.
Persistence – if you want it, you can’t give up
Present - You must stay in the moment. Worrying about the past causes depression, and worrying about the future causes anxiety. Be positive that things will work out if you put in the effort and drive.
Positive - Remember: It’s not the Destination, but the Journey. The end result isn’t what makes you happy. It is the process.
Your Approach sales or whatever your dream is, it’s like a business: what is your Mission Statement? What is your Business Plan? Have you made a Vision Board? Here is an example of my mission statement for my business.
Hick Chick Tours creates a unique tourist experience combining laughter and local sightseeing. The tours are lead by a Nashville native and standup comedian. HCT will also donate a portion of the proceeds to local charities in an effort to contribute to the betterment of Nashville. HCT will also partner with downtown businesses in a cross-promotional effort to offer discounts to area restaurants, bars, and attractions and support other downtown businesses.
When you Create a Business Plan, you’ll need to answer a few questions for yourself. Who, what, when, where, why, and how. Why is probably the most important question to ask yourself.
· Why? – Core reasons
· Who? – Who is your customer?
· What? – Offer + value + competition
· Where? – What is the platform?
· When? – How often? Set dates? Consistency and Repetition are key.
· How? – Content delivery
Vision Board – if you see it, you can do it or be it. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can be a cork board with post-it notes on it or a Word document with a picture collage of what you want. Put it somewhere that you will see it every day. If you see it, you can be it.
Sales is not just retail sales. You can sell in a variety of ways.
How to make money:
· Selling a product (physical or digital)
· Workshops, webinars, online classes
· Affiliate Marketing
· Speaking engagements
How have I made money?
· I have sold my books on Amazon.
· I have gotten money from Affiliate Marketing on Amazon.
· I have made some money from Podcasts.
· I have made money from writing articles and blogs.
Think outside the box. Your money can and should come from multiple sources. It’s like the old saying of not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Now, Launch and Promote your Program, Video, Podcast, Blog, Whatever! You can’t sell anything if people don’t know it exists, so promotion is very important. Whether it’s ads or word of mouth, you need to get the word out there.
Make a customer, not a sale. You are building a relationship.
· Consistency and Repetition are Key
o Who are you marketing to?
o Where are they?
o What messages speak to them?
o How do they want it?
o How can they get it?
· Social Media
· Affiliate Marketing
· Email Marketing
· Webinars/Workshops/Live Events
· Paid Advertising
Keys to Success
· A solid business plan
· A high-value program or product