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SELLING SKILLS

DEFENITION : Sales is a process by which you offer a product or service to satisfy the needs of customer for a profit. BASIC RULES Before going in depth about the concept of selling it is essential to remember the following basic rules in sales. Do not dump your products Do not prejudge your customer The easiest way to sell is by proving value and by adding values continuesly. Customers are always interested in the benefits rather than features. PROSPECTING DEFENITION: The process by which you identify the right person to approach to offer your product or service is called prospecting OR You have database of customers and you filter the database to identify the right people to approach to offer your product or service CRITERIA FOR SELECTING A PROSPECT He should have a pressing need for the product or service you offer There should be a clear cost benefit relationship for him in using your product or service He should have the resources to buy your product or service (ie, a customer might be interested in buying your product but if he cant afford it you will be wasting your time running behind him) For example I would love to own a Mercedes Benz but the reality is I cant afford one. If some one from the Merc dealership offers a test drive I will gladly accept it because this is my chance to drive one. After spending substantial time when they ask for sale I will refuse and their productivity is lost.

CATEGORIZATION OF PROSPECT The prospects can be categorized into 3 types based on the expected time frame of their purchase of you product or service HOT PROSPECTS If you expect to sell in the immediate future usually within 30 days are called hot prospects

WARM PROSPECTS If you expect to sell in the near future usually between 30 to 60 days are called warm prospects COLD PROSPECTS If you expect to sell to them but not in the immediate or near future usually between 60 to 90 days are called cold prospects NOTE: THE CATEGORIZATION OF THE PROSPECTS INTO HOT WARM OR COLD WILL VARY FROM PRODUCT TO PRODUCT SALES PROCESS There are different methods & technique's used in sales like, ODPEC & REED AIDA SPIN SIX STEP In Selling Relationship selling SPANCO etc. Almost all the methods are based on ODPEC & REED We will see the most tried & tested method of selling the ODPEC & REED process. ODPEC & REED SELLING PROCESS -Opening -Develop his hidden needs -Presentation (OR) Proposal -Elimination of Doubts -Close BUYING PROCESS -Recognize the need -Evaluate the options -Eliminate your doubts -Decide

EXAMPLE FOR REED & ODPEC


You walk down the road and come across a supermarket say Food World. You enter it and find plenty of products displayed in the display racks. You move from rack to rack looking at those products. Then you come to a rack where soap's are displayed. When you come to the soap rack you will try to recollect weather you have sufficient quantity of soap's in your house or not. You will go to the soap rack only when you realize that you don't have sufficient quantity in your house and you will be needing some more. Now what you are doing here is you are RECOGONIZING THE NEED for the product which is the first step in the buying process of REED.

In the soap rack you find different varieties of soaps displayed there like jasmine fragrance,sandal fragrance,cologne fragrance etc, You prefer a soap with lemon fragrance and you find 2 brands available there. One is Cinthol lime and the other is Lyril. You take cinthol lime one hand and lyril on the other hand. You observe that the cinthol lime is a 75 gm soap costing Rs 20/= while lyril is 50 gm soap costing the same Rs 20/=. Now what you are doing here is you are comparing the products thereby EVALUATING YOUR OPTIONS which is the second stage in the buying process. Once you compare the products you might get a doubt in this case it might be why is the lyril soap so costly? What is so special about it?. Now yo will try to ELIMINATE YOUR DOUBT by throwing an objection at the sales person standing in the counter why is this lyril soap so costly? Which is the third stage in the buying process. Based on the sales persons reply you will decide which is a better suited product for you and you will buy. For example the sales person might say that even though the cinthol is 75 gm soap it will dissolve faster so both the soaps will come for the same number of days and more over if you use the lyril soap the fragrance will be there for an additional hour or so and that is why it is costly. Then you will DECIDE that though the lyril soap looks a little bit costly it is the better suited product for you and you will by it which is the fourth and final stage in the buying process. BUYING PROCESS Always remember people like to buy rather than being sold to. So the buyers perspective is most important. All of us undergo a buying process when we buy a product which is given below.

Recognize the need. Evaluate the options. Eliminate the doubts. Decide.

WHAT IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN SELLING? The key to success in selling is by making the buyer undergo the buying step by step. HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE BUYER UNDERGO THE BUYING PROCESS? If you follow the selling process the customer will undergo the buying process automatically. You can accomplish this by you following the selling process which will make the buyer undergo the buying process. This means the process should match

Opening is common . Then when you develop his hidden needs by probing and then when you summarize it the buyer will recognize the need. When you give a presentation the buyer will automatically evaluate his options. When he gets a doubt he throws it in the form of objection and when you clarify it you will be eliminating his doubts. And finally you close the sale by helping him to take a firm and fast decision to buy your product. SELLING PROCESS Opening Developing his hidden needs Presentation or evaluation Eliminate his doubts Close the sale. OPENING The main objective at this stage is to develop a rapport with the prospect. When we meet someone for the first time we will have some inhibition and will not talk freely Proper opening of the sales call will result in the prospect feeling comfortable in talking to us. Do not proceed further talking about the product unless you are sure that the prospect is comfortable in talking to you To open the call properly just follow the following steps

Wish them and introduce yourself Develop a small conversation (commonly known people,their business, weather etc) Complement them if possible (for ex for meeting you in time to avail some special offer or for his beautiful office etc..) Thank and accept and have coffee, tea or water if offered

DEVELOPING HIS HIDDEN NEEDS How will you identify the customers needs? Customers needs can be identified only by probing (asking questions). There are two types of probes Closed probes or closed ended questions Open probes or open ended questions

CLOSED PROBES Closed probes are particular type of questions where the person answering them will give a definitive reply like Yes or No EXAMPLE: Did you have your lunch? OPEN PROBES Open probes are particular type of questions where the person answering them will have to volunteer more information EXAMPLE: What did you have for your lunch? There is a problem in probing the prospect as no one likes to be questioned . So what could be the best approach to probing? The best approach is to give reasons and take his permission to probe. EXAMPLE: Sir we have a variety of products in our portfolio and they have been designed to meet individual customers needs and requirements. To suggest the right product for you I would like to have some more information. Can I ask you a few questions please? Now we can probe him and he will not resist because we are probing him only after he has given us the permission to do so. Always remember to judiciously mix open and closed probes as continuous open probes might make the prospect feel that he is volunteering too much amount of information. TYPES OF NEEDS Needs are of two types Obvious and Hidden need. OBVIOUS NEEDS: Needs which the prospect himself is aware of is called obvious need HIDDEN NEEDS: Needs which are already existing but the prospect is not aware of or would not have thought about them are called Hidden Needs EXAMPLE: Let us consider that I am a sales person selling fire extinguishers and I am meeting the deciding authority of a new factory and the probing session goes like this Me: May I know how many people are working here and the nature of business conducted in your factory?

Cust: We have 200 employees and we manufacture high precision fasteners for diesel engines? Me: Do you have any fire safety mechanism installed in your premises? Cust: No we have recently opened this unit and we definitely need some Me: Do you use any costly and sensitive equipments in your premises. Cust: Yes we have imported highly sensitive CNC machines and our IT department has costly servers and computers. Now what are all the needs we can identify from this conversation ? That they have no fire safety and that they definitely need fire extinguishers. This is an obvious need as the customer himself says so They need extinguishers to fight all classes of fire but they should not spoil their costly and sensitive equipments. This is a hidden need as it is already existing but the customer would not have thought about it. The most crucial part where even experienced sales people make a mistake is when they fail to summarize the needs post the completion of probing Without summarizing adding values is not possible as the customer would still not have recognized the hidden need. For example the needs for the above mentioned probing session can be summarized as follows Sir, please correct me if I am wrong from what we have discussed so far I understand that you don't have any fire safety so you need extinguishers to fight all classes of fire but at the same time they should not spoil your costly and sensitive equipments. Am I correct sir?

PRESENTATION After summarizing the needs then go for the presentation. While giving a presentation just follow the following rules Have clarity in your mind in terms of the sequence of your presentation Prove value when you come to a particular feature which will satisfy the identified need of the customer and highlight it. Keep adding values by explaining the benefits of the features of your product which might not directly satisfy his needs Always explain the benefits for each and every feature as benefit in terms of money,time and experience and emotional values (REFER THE TOPIC ON BENEFIT SELLING) Always use a paper and pen for noting the key points while giving a presentation Pause at various stages to test the understanding of the customer and clarify his doubts if any before proceeding further BENEFIT SELLING: Always remember that customers are interested only in benefits and not on the features

of the product. There was young man who was doing his B.Tech in mechanical engineering in IIT Madras. He was topper in his college through out his course. He got selected as Graduate Engineering Trainee in Hero Honda Motors through campus recruitment. He went to the factory for in plant training and again he was a topper among the group of GET's selected with him. He was then placed in our local Hero Honda showroom. One day a Doodh wallah wanted to by a splendor bike and visited the show room. Our friend received him and enquired how he could help him?. The customer replied he wanted to by a splendor bike. So the young man took him to the display vehicle and gave a demo. He said This splendor the largest selling motor cycle in the world. It has a 100CC four stroke engine with single overhead camshaft on a aluminum rocker arm. It develops 7.8 BHP at 3800 RPM and 12 Kg NM torque. It has resonance valve with corroborator assembly and it give 80 Kms/L under standard driving conditions. Now what kind of an impact it would have made on the customer. Our friend is brilliant and he has a wonderful product knowledge but it is of no use here. Let us take the last point here for example. He says that the vehicle gives 80 kms/l under standard driving conditions. This is a feature of the product and the advantage is it is very economical to use. The benefit to the customer from this feature is it costs just 60 paise per km to run this vehicle. 80kms/l and 60paise/km are one and the same, but the latter has a better impact on the customer as it tells him the benefit in terms of money in using this product. Hence always remember to explain the benefits to the customer when you state a feature. NEVER ASSUME THAT THE CUSTOMER WILL UNDERSTAND THE BENEFIT IF STATE THE FEATURE. Explain the features in terms of benefits (benefits in terms of money,time and experience or emotional value) ELIMINATION OF DOUBTS OBJECTION HANDLING INTRODUCTION The most crucial part of a sales process is handling the objections raised by the prospects. The way we handle the objections will decide the fate of the deal. As sales consultant would have given a wonderful presentation and at the sign of the first objection raised by the prospect usually there could be two types of reactions. They would be over anxious and interrupt the prospect without allowing him to talk. They would get dejected and leave the prospect. Both the reactions are wrong and it is necessary to remember the following, Objections are nothing but buying signals

It gives us an opportunity to close the sale by using the trial closing method The customer is raising the objection because he is interested in your offer and he has a doubt which manifests itself as an objection. If you clarify the doubt to his satisfaction he will defensibly buy the product or service you offer. It is quite common as most of us would have experienced the following situations. The customer is not listening to your clarification The customer is not accepting your explanation even if what you say is right Often end up in a argument when you clarify his objection resulting in loosing the sale The reasons for those situations can be The customer would have gained an impression that you are not a good listener. You would have interrupted him with your explanation without allowing him to say what he has to say and would have resulted in hurting his ego. You would not have empathized with the customer HANDLING OBJECTIONS Handling objections is a very delicate process and it involves human physcology. Even if your clarification is correct but if you don't express it in the right way the customer will not accept it. Even a slightest error could result in hurting the customers ego and will lead to a argument. Always remember you can never win an argument with any customer in this world. To effectively handle an objection follow the following process RULE 1: Never hurt the prospects ego STEP 1: Allow the prospect to talk do not interrupt him. REASON: If you interrupt him it will hurt his ego. For example when say 4 or 5 of you and your friends are sitting together and when you are giving an opinion and one of your friend interrupts you and gives a counter opinion how will you fell? It will certainly hurt your ego RULE 2: Make the customer realize that you are a good listener. STEP 2: After the customer has finished talking give a small pause and paraphrase (restating the objection in the form of a question) the objection REASONS: When you paraphrase the objection the customer will realize that you are a good listener and you have been listening to him and he will be obliged to listen to you.

RULE 3: Always get a commitment for a sale before clarifying his objection STEP 3 : Use the TRIAL CLOSING technique. ( Asking him if the objection is the only reason which is stopping him from taking a decision to buy your product) REASONS: If the customer says yes then you can get the sale as he is committing himself if you clarify it. If not if he has any other objection he will be forced to state them and it will help you get a better understanding of his thought process and facilitate you to close the sale by clarifying them one by one. RULE 4: Make them realize that you are not an opponent and that you are also on his side STEP 4: Always empathize with the prospect.(i.e, you agree with but not exactly) REASONS: When you empathize it will look to the prospect that you do agree with him but at the same time you also want to highlight that there are a few exceptions to his views. If you don't empathize with the prospect it will definitely lead to an argument RULE 5: Always maintain eye contact when you clarify the objection. STEP 5: Clarify the objection by giving prudent examples.Test their understanding and close the sale. REASONS: By maintaining eye contact the prospect will realize that you are confident in what you say. By giving prudent examples you can be sure that you will not hurt his ego. CLOSING This is the last step in the sales process where you ask for a sale. Closing a sale is not a single step process but it involves a serious of closures. There are different types of closing some of them are given below Alternative close Summarizing closing Assumptive closing Referral closing