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Sales Secrets #1:

This post is about revealing the number one secret in sales. Suprisingly enough, this is a secret that few salespeople have managed to uncover, and even fewer tend to utilise. This is a secret that has been around for thousands of years, yet still hasn’t been fully implemented in sales. The ones that actually utilise it are the ones you see skyrocketing their numbers of sales. This secret came about early in my sales career and after I had a couple of back to back rejections, or in sales terms “Let me think about it” situations where the product was good, the sales pitch was great, and the pricing was excellent, so what was I missing?

The secret that has changed my sales approach, tactic, talk, and elevated me from a sales person to Sales Professional, was just one word: “VALUE”. You see, once you stop talking about “the sale” and you start talking about “the value” immediately the whole landscape changes. Instead of trying to sell the product, try to show to the potential customer how the product adds value to them. What separates amateur sales people from professional salesmen is the ability to showcase not the product, but the value that the product will add to them should they decide to proceed.

Speaking of the actual product or service, a very simple way to communicate and add value, is to stay away from sentences describing the product, and instead use sentences that say what the product will do for the customer, and how it will solve their current problem. Remember that people buy products or services as solutions to certain problems. It is the sales person’s job to find out what that problem is at that given time.

Here is a simple example of an interaction I had that showed me the importance of adding value. In this case, I wasn’t the salesperson, was just the buyer. Few months back, late afternoon, I pulled over at a coffee place so I could grab a quick on the go coffee. I walked up to the tilt and asked the barista to make me a warm coffee (latte) to take out. Surprisingly, he turned over and asked me “Do you know the real difference between these coffee beans and the ones you have just ordered?” I had no clue, so I said no, and this young barista, took the stage for three minutes, and gave me the best sales pitch I had ever heard about how the smell of coffee beans is elevated if you take this flavour, how your senses become heightened with these seeds of coffee, and how the other seeds unleash your energy in the morning! At the end of his pitch he said “Can I make a suggestion for you?”, and out of politeness I replied with a “Yes”. He suggested a specific origin coffee that would captivate my senses and give me the energy needed for the rest of the day. So guess what happened? I took that coffee. From beginning to end, I couldn’t fault it. This young Barista had added so much value to that three Euro coffee that I couldn’t resist. I am having the same coffee ever since, from the same person at the same coffee place! Out of this story there are two valuable lessons to be learned:

  1. It doesn’t matter the cost, any transaction can be elevated by adding value to it. True value will show and will make a once off buyer to a repeating buyer.
  2. People are open to suggestions. Whether they are truly interested or simply don’t want to come off as rude, most people will reply positively to the question “Are you open to suggestions?” This technique gives you the chance to direct the discussion, buy time, generate interest and add value to a seemingly dead end situation.

Where most deals fall short is when the customers don’t see the value in doing business with you. If you do not effectively communicate the value, then all they will see is just another product and price tag amongst thousands in the market place, and as far as you are concerned, you are just another evil salesman. From my experience and the countless interactions I have had with customers, the number one factor that comes into play is effectively communicating to the prospect client the added value in the purchase.

I hope you have found this topic interesting and useful. What do you think about it? All feedback and comments are welcomed.

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