These phrases might surprise you because they are not what you ordinarily think of when you think about expert aggressive sales people. In fact, initially you may think these don’t sound like good sales lines at all. In practice, however, many of the best sales people get things done when they develop stellar reputations with their customers by earning their trust and delivering great products at a good value.
If you want to get better sales results, or improve the performance of your team, you might want to consider the use of the following unusual sales phrases.
1. “I really don’t know the answer to that question.”
Sales people often pride themselves on knowing all the answers. Many will often bluff their way through a presentation to make themselves look like authorities. They want to solve a client’s problem and make the customer believe that they have all the solutions to their problems. There are several difficulties with this approach. The first problem is, if your sales people are too quick to provide “the answer,” they could be missing opportunities to dive deeper into the prospect’s problem where they could actually identify the root cause of the prospect’s pain. There are often bigger sales to be made through a longer-term consultative approach that really adds value rather than simply giving “the quick solution” up front.
In the most lucrative B2B sales opportunities, there is usually not a single ideal solution. Instead of claiming to always have the answer, better sales people know how to say “I don’t know…let’s talk some more about this.” That is often where you can build deeper sales relationships and uncover bigger sales opportunities.
2. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have exactly what you need.”
Many sales people driven by commission structures and the desire to win sometimes sell the customer on a solution or product that really doesn’t fit t the customer’s needs. Many sales people feel that they always have to come across as agreeable and want to say yes to all their customers’ requests, even when they doubt that they can completely deliver.
The best sales people will say no if they can’t deliver what the customer needs-whether it’s a certain package of solutions, a certain price or a certain delivery date. By making expectations clear up front, the sales person has the ability to deliver an experience for the customer that matches or exceeds expectations and builds trust.
Great sales people will always under promise and over deliver.
3. “Please help me understand more about our needs.”
Most sales people are afraid to ask too many questions or drag out the fact finding/needs assessment process. Often, they want to move right to closing the deal. This can be a huge mistake.
Great sales people invest time upfront asking questions, getting details and digging into the underlying problems. The more they know about a customer’s needs and more informed they are about the client’s problem, the better position they’re in to make recommendations and offer solutions. Often, this leads larger, more extensive offerings and sales, and more satisfied customers.
Don’t be afraid to hire people who are not your typical hard-charging, back-slapping, aggressive sales people. There are many ways to make a sale. Sales people who listen, think and develop relationships often are much more productive in the long run.
The best sales people aren’t afraid to say no, ask questions and give up short-term revenue in exchange for a longer-term relationship. Don’t get taken in by sales people who seem to have the stereotypical traits of a “good sales person.” Instead, hire (and promote) sales people who might surprise you but actually get consistent results over the long run.
4. “I’m not going to sell you that. You don’t need it.”
The biggest fear of most B2B buyers is that they’ll get sold on some solution/system or service that they don’t really need. Buyers can’t expect to know all the details of what you’re selling-that’s why they’re in the market for the product or service that you sell. The challenge is, some sales people try to up sell or cross-sell a client, even when it’s not appropriate. Instead of taking a long-term approach that accounts for the client’s needs, these sales people try to maximize their immediate commission by selling a bigger package of solutions today.
The best sales people are willing to help their customers save money, even if it means making a smaller sale. Great sales people focus on building long-term business relationships, not short-term transactions.
Because product forms and brands come and go (and companies do, too), a sales person’s best selling tool is his or her reputation and credibility. Long after products have been replaced or after companies are bought or changed, a sales person can still have great relationships. If a sales person admits he or she doesn’t know it all and is humble in saying so, and builds trust by not pushing hard for an unnecessary add-on sale or making false promises, that person is well on the road to establishing credibility. If sales people show sincerity by asking questions and digging deep to identify the customer’s requirements, then customers will be more likely to believe that the sales person is really looking out for their best interests and will be more likely to give them the deal, even if their price might be slightly more than the other guy’s.
If your customers really trust you because you have earned their respect, they will reward you with loyal business relationships that are worth much more a single quick sale.
About the author: Scott Francis is the president of Topline Development marketing consulting and co-founder of SnapLab Media™, the marketer of SnapTRAC™ software as a service for advertising agencies and larger enterprises that rapidly builds mobile websites, generates QR codes and provides analytics without the need for programmers. Visit SnapLabmedia.com, email Scott at Scott@SnapLabMedia.com or call (920) 722-1317.