“I don’t want to be too salesy”
“I don’t want to be too salesy,” I have heard this statement so many times from people in small businesses, I’ve even said it myself. On the same note, we complain about not having enough business or making enough money. It is true, no one likes a pushy salesperson but no one likes a person who has no faith in their product or service either. And I think, all too often we use the “I don’t want to be too salesy” as an excuse to not sell at all.
The hard truth is, if you’re in business you have to sell
There is a happy medium, though, you don’t have to be salesy but I do think you need to embrace the fact that if you want to run your own business and if you want to make money from it, you need to sell it, like it or not.
I would like to put to you, instead of the idea of “being too salesy,” view selling as a way of building up your customer/client relationship.
When you change your mindset from selling to customer/client relationships and when you believe in what you do and that it can truly help them, then selling it isn’t as hard as we have been led to believe.
Here are 11 tips to embrace your inner salesperson
The first 120 seconds count so start with a smile. A smile makes you approachable, and friendly. Smile even when you’re on the phone because people can hear it. Your smile is a reflection of you and your company and helps your clients/customers form a great first impression. When you don’t meet in person, make your words smile with a positive (Thank you for reaching out, I appreciate the time you have taken) – here is a great article to help you with this https://customers.ai/blog/smile-captions-for-instagram
2. Give a good compliment
Give a compliment, we all love a good compliment but it also needs to be genuine. Why a compliment – because it breaks the ice and makes a person feel good. And whether they buy from us or not, we should always have a customer’s best interest at heart. This is a little tricky when most of us are online these days but even a simple validation like, ‘I have read your recent post and it really resonated with me’, is enough.
Here is a great resource for complimentary words https://www.callcentrehelper.com/complimentary-words-customer-service-160513.htm
3. Find something in common
Along the lines of #2 – another great ice breaker is to find something you have in common – be observant and see if you can make a connection – same cardigan, your both parents. Just something simple, something you can talk about to make a connection and get the ball rolling.
If so far your only contact has been via email, then do some research. Check out their social media pages or website. Find out what they are about and find that one thing you have in common. It’s about making a connection.
4. Ask Questions
Ask questions, discover why they are there or why they contacted you, and discover their problems. Start with “What brings you here today?” “How can I help”. This article may be of benefit https://www.alignable.com/forum/what-do-you-ask-customers-when-they-walk-in-the-door
Remember this is all about them – your new potential customer/client and how you can help them.
Listen – this is probably the most important thing to do and the hardest. Listen to your clients/customers. Really listen. You want to provide a solution to their problems but if you don’t listen you might give them a blue dress instead of a red dress, so to speak which does not make a great start to the relationship.
6. Give a relatable story
Now you are going to start introducing your products/services as the solution to their problem by providing a true and relatable story to their problem, eg the customer/client has come to see you because they have bad eczema and have tried everything – For example, ‘I started using this product because my son was struggling with eczema on his face, he now uses it every day and his eczema has cleared up. It’s really gentle and has all-natural ingredients, would you like to try a sample?’
A relatable story ignites curiosity and leaves a person wanting to know more and to ask more questions. This gives you more of an opportunity to talk more about your product or service.
7. Know your service or product
If you want a competitive edge over your competition then be the expert in your field.
In order to sell a product or service, really know it inside out, know why you love it, and how it benefits your customers/clients.
As an example, If you sell dresses, know what colour works well with different skin tones, know the different materials and what style works well for different body shapes. Study it, really know why you’re selling it.
If I walked into a shop and a sales assistant told me this top would look great on you, I would definitely try it on. And if they are an expert in their field, the top would look great on me and they would have their sale.
It’s an easy sale, all because the sale assistant is an expert in their field and knows their product/service.
When you know your product or service inside out. You will naturally speak with enthusiasm and You can show enthusiasm for what you sell (“a little personality, if you please”). You’re allowed to love what you do and be passionate about it. You can let that shine and don’t be afraid to speak with your hands (if in person). It makes you all the more genuine. Enthusiasm is contagious. When you’re excited or passionate about something, if makes others want it too.
9. Speak with Confidence
Speak with absolute confidence, no “um’s” or “probably’s” and definitely “never apologise” (I know it’s incredibly hard to break the um and sorry habit but really work on it, it will make a massive difference). If you truly believe in what you offer is of value to your customer/client then give yourself permission to own it and speak about it confidently.
People connect with confident people
We trust in so many other people every day (Drs, firefighters, hairdressers, farmers that grow our food etc). They are fantastic humans, there is no doubt but still human at the end of the day so why not trust yourself?
If you have done the hard work be confident that what you have to offer is valuable and that you’re valuable too.
Note: my daughter read this paragraph and said ‘You need to take your own advice, mum’ – Guilty, very guilty but I am working on it:}
10. Always Carry Business Cards
I know, I am not the only one to be caught out. You finally make a connection with a potential new client and then they ask you for your business and well low and behold you don’t have any. Yes, you could give them your number or connect on social media but at that moment it’s not quite the same as handing over your business card and the moment can be lost. It’s a safety net, just always carry them and while you’re at it, try to get their business cards as well so you can follow up.
Most importantly have fun. Fun people are attractive people so find that inner joy for selling and have fun with it.
Engage your customer/client – this is about gathering their contact details or emails so you can follow up. The relationship shouldn’t end at the first contact or the first transaction. Follow up and reach out to them, offering tips and advice. They say that it can take 7 points of contact (or more) for a customer/client to engage so don’t give up.
csEmbrace your inner salesperson. Remember being Salesy is not about being pushy or just about selling your product/service. It’s about building an honest, genuine, relationship with your customer/client, providing a solution to their problems and being confident in what you offer.