The one thing that customers want more than anything else from a salesperson is HELP!
If you want to be successful in sales, there is only really one lesson you must truly live by. You need to be prepared to help your customers get the absolute best outcome for them REGARDLESS of whether that means buying from you.
Yep, that's right; I'm saying that if you want to increase sales you should forget about selling and focus on helping.
Because the one thing customers want from salespeople is HELP!
The bigger or more important the decision, the more help we want. The more help we get, the more we trust. The more we trust the better we feel about buying.
One of the biggest barriers to making major purchasing decisions is fear. Fear that we'll get it wrong and end up wasting our money. Or fear that we might get duped by a salesperson who stands to gain a lot from getting a deal.
Your job as a salesperson is to put those fears to bed.
Chances are you have plenty to offer in the help department: Afterall, you sell what you sell everyday (which means you are an expert in your field, and you know the things your customers should think about before deciding to buy).
In many cases, what your customer thinks are the important factors in the decision-making process are only the surface issues . You can help them by teaching them what questions to ask to make sure they end up with the best solution for them (more on that in a future article!).
In short, your customer needs to feel a genuine sense that you want to help them and that you can help them.
So how do you do that; make your customers feel that you want to help them and that you can help them?
Simple: first you tell them, then you show them how you are going to do it.
Introducing the Intention statement - a powerful tool to set yourself up for success when selling.
One of the best ways you can set up a sales conversation is to introduce a simple agenda early in the process. Here's a 4-step script for setting the scene with an intention statement:
1. Ask permission to set the scene
Do you mind if I take a quick moment to explain the best way that I can help you today?
2. Tell them your intention is to help them whether or not they buy
The most important thing we can achieve is to help you understand the best options for you regardless of whether that's my product or service.
3. Tell them how you will go about helping
So, what I would like to do is ask you a whole bunch of questions to help us both understand what is important to you and what the ideal outcome looks like. Then, once I have a good understanding of your needs, I can make some recommendations.
4. Remind them that you'll only sell something to them if it is the right outcome for them
And if we both agree that my recommendations make sense or are the right fit for you, then we can take it from there. Of course, if I don't have a solution for you, I will do my best to point you in the right direction.
Intention statements are powerful because they allow you to achieve the following things:
They tell your customer that it is your intention to help them regardless of whether they end up buying from you. They help to take away their fear of being "sold to" by a pushy salesperson.
They show your customer what process you will go through to understand their needs and provide help. Which makes them more open to giving you important information.
They allow you to be in control of the conversation so that you can help the customer consider the right things.
Believe me; although you might feel uncomfortable at first, using intention statements raise trust levels dramatically which in turn increases your ability to sell. Rest assured you don't have to follow the script above verbatim. The important thing is that you tell your customers that you want to help them and then explain how you'll deliver that help.
What would your intention statement sound like?