I would like to share something I learned on a sales course I attended quite some time back hosted by a world renowned Tech Company, Hewlett Packard.
Although the course is mainly targeted at retail sales, we are able to relate some pointers back to corporate B2B sales.
The course is known as Sales STRIKE. Given the name of the course, in short, it shares a simple sales process that we can adopt.
“S” – Sell with Knowledge = Positioning / Key Selling Messages / Upsell
(U.S. Defense Department graphic illustration by Jessica L. Tozer/Released)
Selling with knowledge is the first step to be taken by all sales personnel. It is a step of preparation for the sales personnel to know the products, solutions & market position.
Most importantly, selling without knowledge usually leave your customers a negative impression which will eventually increase the chances of losing the deal and this is definitely not the kind of impression i want to give to the customer. All Phoenix Contact sales representatives are trained with the relevant product knowledge within the first few months, and this includes me, which puts me at ease to sell a PxC product with confidence.
“T” – Tailor to Customers’ Needs = Ask the Right Questions.
photo by: Uberprutser
This part of the STRIKE process is closely linked with the first step “S”. It means to understand your customers’ needs by engaging them with the right questions at the right time. Only then will you really know what they want. Customers these days are not only looking at your products; they are also expecting good service; someone who will understand them correctly. Customers are more likely to make a purchase when they feel that their needs are all being addressed by your solution offered.
Hence, identifying customers’ needs is all about asking the right questions @ the right time.
“R” – Recommend a relevant Solution = Good / Better / Best.
Photo by: Nick Youngson (http://nyphotographic.com/)
Now that you have uncovered their needs, the next step is to provide a solution that fits their needs. Always go with an angle of benefits, not just features. And you will have opportunities to Up-sell at this point by providing a ‘Good’, ‘Better’ or ‘Best’ solution as sometimes, the solution that your clients choose initially may not answer their needs fully.
But many would ask, “How do you up-sell?” You can do so by following the basics below,
- Understanding of the products
- Always relate the up-sell to the customers’ needs you uncovered in the previous step.
Doing so, you will be able to raise your services to the level of ‘Solution Provider’, not just a product sales.
Remember, it’s the Benefits – Not the features!
“I” – Initiate a Demonstration = The “WOW Factor.
Photo by Zexsen_Xie (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Knight_Singapore_1_(12537881585).jpg)
It will come to a point where the right solution is proposed, but some customers will still be dancing Cha-Cha; being indecisive. That is most probably due to the missing “WOW” factor to give them the push they need to commit to the purchase.
Now, Initiating a demonstration to show them the solution you have proposed; to show them physically how it will address each need they are looking at, will help in creating a “WOW” factor for your customers.
“K” – Know how to close in any situation = How to handle Objections
Photo by: Deveion acker (https://www.flickr.com/photos/draphotography/14750262951)
This portion of the process will be on how to handle objections which, on some occasions, may arise from opinions injected by a third party with no need for the solution or even from someone who does not even understand what you and your customer are working on. In most cases, these objections come from your customer’s own apprehension on some features or functions which they might not be sure whether it is critical to their work.
In such cases, what’s the best way to convince them again?
Lead them to answer their own questions. Provide relevant scenarios and pose those questions back to them for them to answer themselves. To which I will then say – “There you have it. You have answered your first questions yourself! Come let conclude this deal then….”
Now, this is a beneficial soft skill to gain by practicing and through experience. You can even try it out on your fellow colleague while convincing them to purchase a Watch / Phone / TV / Computer and you will realize it is actually quite a fun learning this process.
“E” – Explain the Need for Accessories
This final step in Strike is to cross-sell your services / add-on products that complement the solution you have already sold.
It can be a maintenance contract / accessories bundle that adds value to the solution even more.
These are just some simple lessons I have learnt that is helpful to me in my course of duties.
And I hope it does benefit everyone in some way or another that are reading this.
Happy Selling Everyone!
Let’s STRIKE !!!
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