Forget anything you know about selling.
Selling is not pitching. It's not presenting. It's not convincing. It's not a form of manipulation. The goal of selling is to inspire your prospect to make a decision, not to tell them what to do. Help them to think through their challenges. Don't tell. Ask.
Make sure the way you do it is in alignment with your values and your beliefs.
What does it mean to sell? It means to serve, to ask, to listen, t0 empathise and to summarise. That's it!
It's not about what you get but what you give. How you go about to genuinely help others without expectations. Act in the best interest of others.
Don't give advice. The client arrives with an unclear idea of what the problem is. By asking question you will be able to diagnose the real problem. By asking questions you help the client to think. By asking questions you will open the door to the mind of the client. It helps them feel important and in control and the have the power. By asking questions you gain information. Your goal is to find the right problem to solve. Often the first problem that you hear is not the correct problem.
Start with WHAT - it opens the discussion
HOW - focuses on tactics
WHY - be careful. Don't make it sound as if they don't know why. All you want is additional information. If they don't know the answer to WHY then let it be,
What's on your mind? What will be a big win for you? What's getting in your way of accomplishing this? What is the real challenge for you?
Listen more, talk less. Give little affirmations: nod, (say) yes, (say) right. You don't need more than that. By listening you will gain the competitive advantage. Remember: everything the client says, matters. Take notes. Avoid too much eye contact. They might be wondering what you're paying attention to. Repeat some of the last words they use, for example: "We would love an amazing website.", so you repeat ".....amazing website..." - just the last few words.
This means to understand the client's pain. They need to know YOU know what they're feeling. Help them to relive it (concentrate on the feeling, not the solution). You can even ask direct questions like "how does it make you feel to not knowing how to go about solving this problem?"
Examples: It sounds like...not having a solution is costing your company hundreds of thousands of rands in cancelling projects, not delivering on time or delivering something people won't use.
It sounds like.....cash flow/budget is an issue right now. Is that the problem?
This is the opportunity to demonstrate that you understand and that you have been listening intently. Put everything together and playback the major points. Don't be afraid of playing back what you heard. That is why the previous point of listening more is so important. The asking questions part also remain important, ask questions when you are unsure of something, Then the summary part will be easier. Ask the client "Did I get this right?". Make sure you get confirmation or clarification from the client.
Example: "If I understand you correctly, here's what I gathered: A, B, C, and so on."
Then ask "Is that correct?". The client will confirm you are correct or will give you some additional information. Then, end of with "Is there anything else?" You might just get some more valuable information!
People don't like making decisions. Clients always ask themselves: "Am I paying too much?" "Is this the correct solution?" "Are you the right one to partner with?" Make it easier for them to decide. Give them small decisions to make. One at a time. Let them make small commitments.
Use the conditional method: if...then...
Example: "From what i'm hearing...If a vendor could ensure.....THEN you'd consider.....Is this correct?"
If they do not commit, then get them to make a low commitment. Ask them what else will assist them to reaching a decision.