5 Sales Approaches that Will Help You Close the Deal
Find out what kind of sales tactics you need to employ to get the best closure rate.
In the analytical world of sales training and optimization, sales approaches or tactics are delineated into many different types. Two factors normally govern which emerges on the shop floor – a salesperson’s innate predisposition and the company’s products and objectives. It’s widely accepted that there is no one, best sales technique. It’s important to be diverse in your sales approach, switching your standard tactics from time to time to test different approaches for maximum returns.
Even if your business employs methodologies that give them great results, a willingness to experiment with other approaches can only enhance engagement, presentation, and other needed skills. Sales is almost synonymous with stepping out of one’s comfort zone and stepping into the customer’s shoes to truly hear and address client issues. In the era of inbound sales, where the customer’s journey is paramount, a certain amount of flexibility in sales tactics is mandatory. That said, there are descriptions of different types of sales approaches.
The buddy approach is an almost natural exuberance for those with an innately gregarious nature. Those who enjoy chatting on the train or in the supermarket line, those who are generally warm and open, often find themselves trading very nicely on the fact that people do business with people they like. A genuine, emotional connection is key to this approach.
This approach is not something that can be faked. If the interest shown is perceived as lacking genuine concern, the flip-side to this approach can be a severe alienation with the loss of a sale. People usually spot fake friendliness from miles away and will sour on the approach if it seems pasted-on. Trust is a given when this approach is genuine but dies the moment a prospect glimpses any engineering of the connection in a coercive manner.
This approach is detailed and multifaceted, encompassing aspects of the guru, the friend, and solutions selling. Particularly effective when applied to technical sales, this approach is also not a quick deal. A consultant-type salesperson needs to invest time in building up a relationship with the client through genuine facilitation and interaction.
Credibility also comes from solid experience with the product or service, expert understanding, and the ability to truly hear a customer’s needs. This approach takes all the above, plus an emotional connection with the customer. Multifaceted as it is, this tactic is typically slower and demands that a salesperson asks the right questions of a customer. It can prove to be the most valuable of all approaches when a salesperson is comfortable in its application.
For particularly left-brained salespeople, those who prize the logic inherent in a service or product offering, adopting the stance of guru can be highly rewarding. People do respond to learning something new, especially when a salesperson can provide answers briefly and succinctly and enjoy the presence of those who appear to be knowledgeable in their field.
This kind of rational approach works very well with like-minded prospects, those who aren’t swayed by emotions nor particularly open to making an emotional connection with the salesperson. Another difficult tactic to bluff, expert knowledge is recognizable when it comes out of someone’s mouth, and any salesperson employing the guru approach needs to make sure that they really know their product – and its application – inside and out. The guru is a problem solver, a leader, and a credible expert on the matters at hand.
Becoming the go-to resource for people for advice and counsel can pay handsome dividends. It takes a heavy investment of time, both in initial learning as well as the need to constantly keep accumulated knowledge fresh and current, but referrals and sales are optimized when it’s applied correctly.
Solutions selling approaches customers by becoming familiar with the challenges a customer faces in choosing the best service or product to meet their needs. Solutions selling is warm, friendly, and accompanying, as the salesperson will journey in conversation with a customer to identify their thought process, concerns, and desires. This mutual journey is also essential to determine whether a client has a specific issue that needs addressing, one that a skilled salesperson can often solve once identified.
Asking the right questions, practicing listening skills, and a persistent interest are keys to the successful implementation of the solutions selling tactic.
This sales approach places the customer’s personality at the forefront of the sales process. Personality selling enables a salesperson to employ any sales approach that meets the customer’s personality type. Having determined the personality type, a salesperson then tailors strategies to best match the person before them. A more stand-offish and wary customer might respond better to touches of the guru approach, whereas a friendlier, warmer prospect might sail along nicely, but need greater convincing and camaraderie when it comes time for making a decision.
No matter the personality facing a salesperson, responding to the customer in a way they can relate to is paramount when employing this tactic.
Sales is a dynamic arena, and every salesperson can employ these tested approaches in different ways, under different circumstances. Remember, it’s all about adapting to the customer, not vice versa, and a willingness to experiment not only grows the salesperson’s personal abilities but their list of prospects as well.
At AHA! Business Consulting, we have the tools you need to help you and your team understand human behavior, allowing you to determine which sales approach would best suit a potential customer. Contact us to find out how we can help you build your team to effectively promote customer interaction and drive sales.