Building Sales ... Creatively


How do you define a happy customer? It’s usually someone who feels they haven’t been ‘sold to’ at all. They feel like they’ve received good value for money, as if they now have something they really want and that the purchasing decision was theirs alone.

Of course your customers should always feel that way when they have bought something from you, but how do you instill this ‘unsold to’ feeling when you know you have to do exactly that - sell your product or service? It’s all about selling creatively, about being a little different from your competitors and having the confidence and conviction to carry the sale through.

Reinforce your status as a specialist

People who are perceived as experts in their field are often granted automatic credibility and trust. If you have been selling your product or service for a period of time you may find that your customers will begin to recognise you as a specialist in your field. If you and your sales team are well established as specialists then make sure that your customers know it. You should emphasise it in your marketing materials and advertising. For example, you could add a tagline to your logo, (Jones Trailers – Keeping people on the move for over 40 years), and mention it as a unique selling point when talking to customers.

Follow up individual sales with another offer

Recent satisfied customers will still have you top-of-mind and may be particularly open to another purchase at this time. So while your customers are still in a positive state of mind about your business it’s a great idea to offer them a deal on a complementary product or service.

Be creative with customer objections

You have probably experienced a customer responding to your sales efforts by saying they don’t have enough money, don’t need it right now, or will call again later. You may have tried hard to change their decision and overcome these objections to still make the sale. But often it is already too late at this stage - objections need to be dealt with before you ask for the sale, not after the customer has made up their mind. The way to do this convincingly and creatively is to think about likely objections beforehand and work the answers in as part of the sales presentation.

Start by writing down a list of objections that apply to your product or service. This list could include the following:

      -  “Your price is too high”
      -  “I can't get budget approval”
      -  “Someone else makes the decision”
      -  “We always take the lowest bid” 
      -  “We can get it cheaper from someone else”

Then put yourself in your customer’s shoes and write down what they want, such as:

      -  Added value to their business 
      -  No wasted follow up time sorting out problems 
      -  Answers to their major business issues

Now you must merge these real customer needs into your product or service offering, which you can do by starting your sales presentation by tackling customer objections and not by simply promoting your product. You can create a dialogue with your customer that will demonstrate to them that buying from you, at your price, is what’s best for them in the long run.

Just remember that customers will never object to saving money and avoiding post sales hassles.

Remember the basics

The basics of sales - such as knowing your product and your customer - may seem commonsense, but many business owners forget to give them the attention they deserve. Make sure you know the ins and outs of the product or service that you’re selling so you can answer any questions without hesitation. Also write down personal details your customer may tell you, such as their family situation or hobbies. They’ll be delighted when you remember later on.

Be creative and win

Being creative with your selling doesn’t mean coming up with crazy promotions. It means dealing with everyday issues with flair, listening intently to your customers’ needs and applying appropriate solutions. It means thinking on your feet, relating well to the people you deal with and being passionate about your own business. Only then will your customers be sold on your business, without feeling ‘sold to’.

Until next week,
Mike Reddy