Want to learn how to sell products and services?
Whether you are an owner, employee, or student, your career will require a robust sales approach. Last month we discussed marketing in 4 easy steps, but what do you do to grow your business revenue outside of marketing?
There are five steps to learn how to sell products and services successfully. Implementing a plan to support each of these steps consistently efficiently will increase your success, reduce stress, and prepare you to train other team members on how to implement your brand standard operating procedures for profitable sales efficiently.
5 Steps – How To Sell Products + Services
Step 1: Lead Generation
Generating “leads,” or people who may be interested in investing in your products and services, is done by marketing and advertising. You can generate leads using the marketing methods discussed in last month’s article found here
Pro tip: Make it a priority to collect the below list from every person you introduce your business to. I often say The Fortune is In The Follow-Up, but you are dead in the water from the start without a way to follow up.
- Phone Number
- Email Address
Contribution by Richard Merrill
Step 2: Prospecting
While lead generation drives people to your business and raises brand awareness, prospecting focuses on reaching out to potential clients to pull them into your business. As Spa Professionals, we have some unique tools we can use for creating a solid introductory call to action:
- Consultations. In-house, virtual, and phone consultations can speed up the time needed to get the client to commit to taking action. Evaluate your consultation process to determine how you may streamline the process without adding to the clients’ to-do list.
- Email. Send targeted emails to prospects with special offers to drive interest.
- Networking. Social media can be used for prospecting, but in-person networking is still a key prospecting tactic.
- Direct mail. Mailers following up on leads with more information or targeted offers can work.
- Local boutique events/festivals. Prospect for clients by attending or exhibiting at community events. Referrals. Reach out to referrals from existing clients.
- Event marketing. Host opportunities to interact with your business in unique, out-of-the-box ways.
- Cause marketing. Partnering with organizations that have deep, meaningful ties to you as an individual will create new conversations and broaden your reach.
In prospecting, you are looking to qualify leads—that is, to determine if these people genuinely have the interest, availability, and can afford to buy your product or service. Look for quality, not quantity. A few well-qualified leads are more valuable than hundreds of leads that don’t fit your needs.
Step 3: Nurture
Your ongoing contact with prospects not yet invested in your products and service is to qualify them (if you haven’t already done so). Ask critical questions to determine if they fit your target client.
* Can they make a purchasing decision at their appointment?
* Do they need the benefits your product or service offers?
* Is the product or service needed at this time?
* Is your product and services within their desired budget?
* Do you have a solution for those who have budget constraints?
Although your initial contact will probably be by phone, email, or direct message on social media, the goal is to set up an appointment for an in-person or virtual consultation, which may be informational in nature, to find out more about the prospect’s wants. Consultations are a great selling point and can be done in person or over the phone using technology.
Step 4: Negotiating
Negotiating the sale may take minutes or months, depending on the size of the sale and the type of client. Negotiations should not lead to discounting or devaluing your service; instead, they should provide knowledge and evidence that you will deliver on your brand promise while easing the client’s concerns. In any negotiation, you must always:
- Know your goals. What is your ultimate objective? What would be “nice to have,” and what is essential?
- Determine client needs. What excites this prospect? What are their biggest concerns or worries?
- Be prepared. These days, it’s easy to research the client’s or prospect’s needs and get an idea of what you can expect. You may even be able to get information from current or past product suppliers.
- Determine deal-breakers. Know in advance what’s negotiable and what’s not. Have some benefits you are prepared to offer the prospect to help reach a compromise.
- Aim for a win-win. Strive to create a win-win negotiation in which each party compromises a bit, so everyone feels they have gained.
- Build a relationship. The ultimate goal of a good negotiation is to build a lasting client relationship. Compromise is an essential step.
- Create a list of 15 products that support each of your services on your menu.
- Divide this list into three appointments.
- Present the complete list of 15 products but explain the value of the core five products to get the client started to build their trust.
- Add the other products over time.
Step 5: Closing
Closing the sale (persuading the prospect to take action and purchase) is the most crucial step of all. Here are some common problems you may encounter in closing the sale and ways to deal with them.
- Handling Objections. Every sales process involves objections on the prospect’s part. A good salesperson uses objections to understand what the client wants from the product or service. Ask more questions about the objection to uncover the real reason behind it. Create a response to common objections in the form of a Frequently Asked Questions guide on your website.
- Price. Cost is a common stumbling point. Try pointing out the quality of the product or service, identifying and emphasizing how it solves a problem or fills a need for this client, offering an opportunity to earn services through referrals and marketing efforts (negotiating), or adjusting some other aspect of the deal.
- Not a Decision-Maker. Sometimes you get to the closing point in the sales process only to find that the prospect does not have decision-making power. Avoid this by qualifying the prospect earlier in the conversation. A great way to determine if someone is the decision-maker is to ask, “Will you need to consult anyone else before committing to your customized treatment plan?” (Frequently, clients will need to consult a spouse before investing; respect that needs and have a plan of action in place to support them in getting to a yes).
- Product/Service Not Needed. Often a prospect will decide the product or service is not needed after all. This is typically due to inertia or hesitancy about the cost or effort of your solution. Explore why the product or service is necessary. Alternatively, build your confidence in knowing when a client is not a good fit for your products and services. Be prepared to confidently say, “I appreciate your time and commitment today; I believe that the best course of action for you would be to commit to a retail regimen or seek guidance from a medical professional.”
- Fear. Common fears include spending too much, buying a product or service that doesn’t solve problems, or looking bad in front of a spouse or boss. Empathize with the prospect to uncover these fears and address them. Consider a guarantee connected to your treatment plan. Be compassionate, honest, and authentic in this approach.
- Timing. Budget cuts, staff changes, or other unexpected changes may be an issue for clients. If the timing is genuinely wrong, don’t try to close, but do follow up to see if you can work with the prospect in the future. A great segue in this conversation is, “I understand right now might not be an ideal time to commit to your treatment plan. Do I have your permission to follow up in thirty days to see if you’re prepared to discuss options at that time further?”
Now that you have the roadmap to increase your sales without compromising your passion. Take a moment to apply each of these steps to your favorite client. What are the solutions in each stage for that client, and are you consistent with making the offer?