Stop Sabotaging the Sales Experience
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As business owners, we all want to have a successful sales
experience with our customers. But sometimes we tend to sabotage that effort,
because we try too hard to sell (both on our website and in person). Do you
recognize yourself in the following scenarios?
At a networking meeting, you talk too much about your
When you are meeting with a client or prospective client
you do all the talking.
Rather than listening to what customers have to say, you
are busy thinking about how you're going to sell them something.
Have a Conversation
Selling is all about communication, and in order to communicate we need to take
turns talking and listening. Unfortunately, when some people get in the "sales
mode" they forget about the listening aspect of conversation and they do all the
talking. In their excitement to sell you on their product or service the
conversation becomes a one-way street.
Rather than trying to sell somebody something, take the time
to find out a little bit about them and their business. Ask probing questions
that give you an idea of what kind of problems or concerns they have regarding
their business. Only by asking questions can you discover whether they have a
need for your product or service. And try to use the 30/70 rule when you are
networking; listen for 70% of the time and talk for 30% of the time.
People appreciate the opportunity to talk about their
business and talk about some of the challenges that they might be having in
their business. You may not be able to solve the problems for them, but at least
you are being courteous enough to listen.
Speak to Your Customer
Some of these same ideas about selling and listening can be applied to the
content of a website. It may seem strange to think about a website as a way to
converse with your customer, but it's true. A website is actually your best
salesperson. If you think of your website as a salesperson, then the content you
create for it needs to speak directly to your ideal customer.
Notice that I said "speak" rather than "sell." Don't think of
your website as just a sales tool, think of your website as the starting point
of a conversation between you and your potential customer. You want every
website visitor to feel comfortable navigating throughout your website. Your
headlines should ask questions that gently probe for answers. Let them know that
you understand the problems or challenges that they are experiencing and that
you have a solution to their problems.
Instead of trying to sell something, offer your product or
service as a solution to their problems. After all, most people are looking for
information when they come to a website. Take the time to give them information
that would help them in their buying decision. They may not need your product or
service right now, but they certainly could come back later to make a purchase.
Years ago I was driving a car that had very squeaky brakes. I
was worried that I couldn't afford the cost of new brakes. Nevertheless, I went
to a popular auto repair place, and they put my car up on the hoist and took a
look at the brakes. I was ready for bad news, but instead, the mechanic said my
brakes were fine. Of course I was delighted with his diagnostic abilities, but I
was even more impressed with his honesty. He could have easily had told me that
I needed new brakes and I would have believed him. Yet he chose to let me drive
away without giving him any money.
Today I realize that not only was he an honest man, but he
was also a very smart businessman. I was so impressed that he didn't try to sell
me something I didn't need that I told all my friends about this auto mechanic.
He may not have made a sale with me that day, but he made many future sales with
the people that I sent to him in the months that followed.
Make it your goal to create an honest website that truly
listens to your customers. Don't be too concerned about whether you are making a
sale whenever anyone visits your website for the first time. Instead, focus on
building a relationship with your potential customers and making them feel
comfortable doing business with you. You want repeat visits and you want your
customers to send their friends to your website.
© 2006 Michelle Howe
About the Author
Michelle Howe, MBA, president of Internet Word Magic, specializes in writing
irresistible copy for websites. Transform the way you do business. Visit her
http://www.InternetWordMagic.com for a FR^EE chapter download of her new
book "Turn Browsers into Buyers".
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-01-02 14:31:48 in Marketing Articles