Picture this familiar scenario: You’re sitting in front of your prospective client/customer, ready to make the sale. The information is swimming around in your head. You grasp for all the glib quotes and advice on selling, but they all fail you at the critical moment. You don’t know what to say next…
In those few seconds of deafening silence and doubt, you know you’ve lost him. You’ve failed to convert the prospect into a customer. You’ve let another golden opportunity to win business slip through your hands.
For many, selling is daunting. It’s one thing getting in front of a prospective customer, and another thing converting them into a buyer. Yet selling needn’t be so difficult. Once you have mastered the secrets, you realise that selling is simple. And from then on, making the all-important conversion will become second nature.
Step 1: Understand who you’re selling to
While there are various ways to increase conversion rates, one of the most instantly helpful approaches is to understand who you‘re selling to. We’re not suggesting you study psychology, but have a basic understanding of people’s different behavioural styles and traits.
This makes the process easier, as you learn to guide and assist prospective customers into making suitable purchasing decisions. You also ease your own nerves as you‘re better equipped to move through the process without the familiar glitches.
One system that ActionCOACH finds useful is the DISC Personality Profile. This system was designed in the 1920s, and places people into one of four personality types or categories, namely:
D – Dominant
I – Influential
S – Steady
C – Compliant
While this system is widely used and recommended, it‘s useful to keep in mind that people seldom have just one ‘personality’ – and more often than not, display a combination of the four characteristics.
It‘s therefore best to adopt the DISC Personality Profile as a guide for communicating with potential customers and clients more effectively.
So let’s illustrate how the system can effectively navigate you through those crucial moments in a sale.
A moving target
One of the key aspects to grasp is that people can change their nature in different circumstances, such as being placed under pressure. For example, a high ‘I’ can become a high ‘S’ when under pressure. This would result in the person slowing down and thinking more – in essence, becoming more conservative and reserved.
On the other hand, a high ‘I’ can become a high ‘D’, which means instead of being open and friendly to everyone, he starts to become bossy and insensitive. A high ‘D’ can easily become a high ‘C’ under pressure. This person will now consider details more carefully, and think through decisions. He will be more empathetic and cognisant of the people around him.
Sometimes, however, a person stays the same under pressure – or when circumstances change. Your job is to watch and observe, always taking into account whom you are dealing with and their probable tendencies.
Step 2: Sell with a purpose
Once you have grasped and basically recognised who you’re dealing with, pair your laser sharp awareness with a strong sense of purpose. Ultimately, successful sales people always have a clearly defined and motivating purpose.
This enables them to ‘sell on purpose’ – and not by accident – rather, according to well thought out principles and crystal clear goals. One purpose could be, for example, helping people to simply feel positive and good about themselves. This shifts the attention away from what you want to what your potential customers want.
By focusing both on your prospect and your purpose, you will almost always be able to make that conversion seamlessly and with style.