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Austin Business Journal Articles:
by Roy Chitwood
A reminder on the basic laws of selling
Austin Business Journal
September 11th, 2000
World Class Selling
by Roy E. Chitwood, CSP, CSE
There are many laws of selling that are well nown, but people rarely abide by
them! Improving the use of even one can significantly improve results.
Among the laws are:
1! The more people tal, the more they lie you!
I'm sure you've heard colleagues lament, "e's nice but he !ust tal"s too darn much."
#ut I doubt you've ever heard the opposite: "$arn, she's nice but !ust listens too
%ost people, your prospects included, want to be heard and understood before
understanding. &ffective salespeople are listening '( percent to )( percent of the
time, depending on the complexity of their offering. *hey accomplish this by
becoming highly s"illed at as"ing the right +uestions at the right times. ,iew this
need as a fundamental rule of communication.
2! A professional salesperson maes a sales "all to be of ser#i"e to the "ustomer!
If you're ma"ing a sales call to meet +uota, earn a higher commission, move the
"special of the month" or any other reason not arising from your customers' true
needs, it's time to chec" your integrity.
-ne of the main reasons selling has a negative public perception is too many
salespeople sell for their reasons, not their customers' reasons.
$! A %ualified prospe"t has the need, authority and budget to buy!
&nsure the person you're dealing with meets this criterion. If he or she doesn't, find
out who does, or you're merely presenting, not selling .. which wastes money and
&! 'o one(s born a salesperson!
/imilar to every other profession, highly s"illed sales professionals have studied and
learned their trade. %uch as a doctor, attorney or accountant isn't "born0" neither is a
Abandon this myth and learn your trade. 1esearch reveals that regardless of age,
race, gender or experience, a novice salesman with effective sales training can
become as successful as his veteran counterpart.
)! What will it do for me*
If the definition of selling could be boiled down to a single sentence or +uestion, this
would be it.
2onstantly put yourself in your prospects' shoes by as"ing this +uestion. It will help
you focus on their needs and the appropriate corresponding benefits.
+! ,eople don(t "are how mu"h you now until they now how mu"h you "are!
3our prospect must believe that you will do everything possible that's in his or her
interest. 4ithout this trust, all the facts, figures and discounts don't mean anything.
-nce you gain the prospect's trust, however, you become much more than a supplier
.. you become a trusted counselor and partner not easily replaced, despite your
competitors' lower price, supposed faster delivery and so on.
-! ,eople buy emotionally and .ustify logi"ally!
2ontrary to what many salespeople believe, this reality actually wor"s in your favor
if you've done a thorough !ob of helping your prospect buy.
It's imperative that you reinforce your prospect's decision to buy with sound reasons
for the purchase. If you allow your prospect to buy a new i%ac computer because of
the cool color .. without reinforcing the time savings, increased productivity and
ease of use .. you might as well "eep the shelf space open for the return.
/! Send than0you letters!
$o this really need an explanation5
/end than".you letters to anyone and everyone .. from the receptionist who set the
appointment to each person present for your presentation. /hort notes ta"e a little
time but show a lot of class. *his professional courtesy can open an apparently
closed opportunity.
1! Treat e#ery person lie the C23!
It has been said that the true character of a person is revealed in how he or she treats
someone who can do absolutely nothing for him or her. 6owhere is this truer than in
selling. *his ma"es good sense, because there's the rare possibility the receptionist
will someday become 2&-.
%ore li"ely, you'll encounter many employees who aren't"ers but
+uic"ly can become part of the"ing process. 3ou'd be surprised how
many deals salespeople have lost by being rude or elitist.
10! Always as whether anything has "hanged!
*his simple +uestion is imperative and helps minimi7e surprises. 6ever assume
things are where you left off.
As"ing this offers you protection and the opportunity to help the customer "now
you're wor"ing in his or her interest. 3ou might discover the budget's been revised,
there's a new time frame or, even that your prospect's company has been sold and all
deals are off.
11! Set an ob.e"ti#e for e#ery "all!
An ob!ective is anything that "eeps the sales cycle going .. ma"ing a presentation,
sending additional information or scheduling a demo. -nce the sales cycle halts, it's
unli"ely you'll get it moving again.
12! 4is"uss benefits, not features!
*his law has become clich8 during the past decade, yet most salespeople still don't
apply it.
2onsider this: *here are more than 9 million half.inch drill bits sold annually, but
people don't want half.inch drill bits. *hey want half.inch holes. /how your
prospects the benefits of your product or service.
1$! Sell #alue, not pri"e!
/urveys reveal that price concerns often are as low as sixth in the order of
importance of prospects. owever, it's always one of the first ob!ections raised.
If you're continually loc"ed in price wars, you'll rarely win. 3ou must demonstrate
the value of your product or service.
1&! 2#ery prospe"t maes fi#e buying de"isions in pre"ise psy"hologi"al order!
*he decisions are about:
3ou, the salesperson, including your integrity and !udgment.
3our company.
3our product or service.
3our price.
*he time to buy.
:now these buying decisions, and tailor your presentation accordingly.
1)! 2#ery prospe"t buys for one, or more, of si5 buying moti#es!
:nowing and appealing to the motives will help motivate your prospect emotionally
and logically, moving you closer to a sale. *hey are:
$esire for gain.
;ear of loss.
2omfort and convenience.
/ecurity and protection.
<ride of ownership.
&motional satisfaction.
6oy Chitwood is an author, trainer and consultant in
sales and sales management and is president of
%ax /ac"s International, /eattle.
Seattle Santa Ana Minneapolis South Bend Brazil Canada
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