Friday, November 29, 2013

Online Education: Sales Training Class - Can you close every sale?

Besides conducting sales training classes, as a professional sales organization, our team is often engaged by companies who need closers. Inevitably, the question of why you did not close the buyer will come up.
 
While not wanting to appear defensive or offering excuses, we have always responded that our role as salespersons is to match the need of the buyer with the product/ service the company offers.  Sometimes this also involves helping the buyer realize needs that he may not know he has and which the company can solve.  Ultimately, whether we can close will depend on (a) whether the company's product/ services meets the buyer's needs; and/ or (b) whether the buyer's objections are conditions or excuses.

If it is a condition, nothing we say or do will change it.  For example if the buyer does not have enough money, even if we were to offer a 50% discount, the buyer still cannot buy. If however it is an objection (which usually means he needs more information or wants a better price), then it comes down to whether we can identify his need and convince him that the company's product/ service will meet his needs.

In short, yes we can close every case if the buyer is genuine.
 
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To learn how you can identify if it is a condition or an excuse, join us for our sales coaching programmme.  Being able to identify the difference will increase your income by allowing you to spend your time with genuine buyers.

SG Sales Guru: What is the most important skill in selling?

In our sales training programmes, I always start by asking the trainees what they think is the most important skill in selling.

Invariably, the gift of the gab will always come up. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth and it is a myth perpetuated by movie and TV characters who are portrayed as being able to sell ice to Eskimos.

The truth is that the new generation of buyers are no longer naive and the proliferation of the Internet and increased educational levels make today's buyers savvy to silver-tongued salespersons.  It is thus practically impossible to sell them something they do not need.

As such, in our sales training programme, we emphasize the need to listen and understand the buyers' needs. It is only with this understanding that the salesperson will be able to offer the company's solution to meet that need.

In short, sales today is all about identifying the buyer's needs. If you are talking and not listening, chances are you will not know what the buyer needs. And this means a lost sale.

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For more in-depth information on how to build rapport.  Click here.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

SG Sales Guru: How to Improve Your Selling Performance

As part of our sales training programmes, we teach our students the Action Learning Process or ALP.

Developed by the Singapore military, the ALP is a powerful tool that enhances performance by making every experience (or sales encounter) a learning process.

The ALP comprises 3 steps ...

Step 1: Before Action Review: In this step, the salespersons reflects on his previous sales encounter and then sets a specific selling skill he/ she wants to improve on at the next sales encounter. With a clearly defined objective and an area of improvement, the salesperson is now in a better position to build on their strengths.

Step 2: During Action Review: This step takes place during the actual sales process. Here, the salespersons continuously assesses whether what he/she is doing is going according to plan. If it is not, the salespersons must adjust. The biggest mistake any salesperson can make is to follow a scripted plan that is not working.

Step 3: After Action Review: In this third step, whether the sales encounter has been successful or not, the salesperson pauses and reflects on what happened.  Two questions they should ask themselves, (a) what went well and thus I should continue doing; and (b) what did not go so well and I should either strengthen or change. The areas identified for improvement or change will then form part of the first step where the salespersons decides on what to work on in Step 1.

Like any profession, being good means learning from every encounter. Failure to learn dooms you to mediocre performance. The ALP is a proven method for enhancing performance and we strongly advocate that our students (and you) adopt it.

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Do you think you can close every sale? Click here to find out the answer.

SG Sales Guru: Effective Selling Tips: Why you need to qualify your prospects

While I am the first to discourage qualifying buyers based on appearance,  in today's high labour cost scenario, not qualifying is no longer an option.

Allow me to explain what I mean ...

My team and I are currently engaged by a company to assist in closing sales. The company has on average about 30 prospective buyers at their weekly seminars. If cost was not an issue, the company would engage 30 salespersons to close every participant. However, as good salespersons are not cheap, my client had a budget to engage a team of only 5.

Thus to ensure that the 5 achieve the highest closure rates, we introduced qualifying techniques to prioritise the participants as they arrived. Via this system, the salespersons will then focus their efforts on the high probability buyers, seek to engage the low probability buyers and ignore the shoppers (or time wasters).  The use of this simple system allowed us to maximise returns on our client's labour costs.

In short, qualify to prioritise.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why this blog on Sales

Being a serial entrepreneur and currently a business consultant to several Singapore SMEs, I find that the main contributing factor to failed businesses is the inability to sell.  Sure, there are natural-born salespersons, but more often than not, most Singaporeans simply cannot sell.

Even supposedly great salespersons like property agents and financial consultants are merely doing customer service.  All they do is deliver a canned presentation and then hope for the best.  This is not selling!  Selling, as I have come to know it, is identifying the buyer's needs, packaging your company's product and service to meet that need and then closing the sale.  

Fortunately, great selling skills can be taught and that is the purpose of this blog.  Over the years, I have developed and refined a truly powerful selling system that can be taught to any one.  I will use this blog to help my clients as well as any Singaporean who is keen to master the art of sales.  I will share valuable information on the sales process and tips on proven sales techniques.  I will however not share everything as I have to earn a living.

Thus, if you find the snippet of information I share on this blog powerful, I hope you will engage me (and my team of sales professionals) to teach you the art of selling.  Our sales training programme comprises a half-day workshop followed by 3 one-on-one coaching sessions.  Our fees are extremely reasonable and you assure you that you will earn it back many times over in the course of your sales career.

So if you are keen to being one of the superstars of selling in Singapore, drop us an email at justin{a}cwfongandassociates.com

Online Education: Sales Training Class - The Importance of the Meet and Greet

In a recent consultation with a Singapore company interested in boosting their preview sales, our consultants did an audit of their sales process.  One key finding was that little or no effort was made in the initial stages of the sales process to establish rapport with the buyer.

As we had mentioned in one of our previous blog posting, research has shown that up to 83% of all sales are made simply because the buyer liked the salesperson.  More importantly, in buying decisions that involve sums in the hundreds or the thousands, the absence of rapport will doom the selling process.

Our recommendation to the client is to create a new "standard operating procedure"  to enable the rapport building phase of the sales process where the buyer (1) signs a registration form; (2) is then greeted by an assigned salesperson; and (3) led to the refreshment area.  This process will then enable the salesperson an opportunity to talk with the buyer to establish rapport and to determine the buyers' needs.
 
While the meet and greet stage of the sales process is taught in all selling programme, this stage is often ignored.  Most sales training programmes focus on overcoming objections.  We however firmly believe that overcoming objections can only occur if there is rapport.  Hence, the meet and greet is to us an integral part of selling process.

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For more in-depth information about building rapport click here.
 
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To learn how to sell more effectively in today's world, contact our consultants at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com.  Sales is the lifeblood of any company and you cannot leave it to chance.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Singapore SMEs: Preview Sales Training

Many organizations in Singapore, are beginning to recognize the power of preview selling.  Used typically by real estate and FOREX companies, preview selling involves offering free information about a subject of interest to whet the buyers appetite and then up selling them the full training programme or service.

While not a new method, many of these organizations fail as they simply do not have the "correct" type of sale staff to close the deal.  Doing sales at these previews is what selling is all about.  The prospective buyer is there.  You match your your company's product/ service to the buyer's needs and then you close.  If the buyer says "no", you ask why.  You then address their objections and you close the sale.  Such selling does not come naturally and takes training.

At SG Sales Guru, we have trained hundreds of people on how to sell at previews.  If you are doing preview selling and you are not getting the results you want, give us a call.  On average, our trainees close about 75% of their prospects.

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For more information about our sales training programme, or if you need a professional sales team for your exhibition, email us at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sales Training for Singapore SMEs

One of the biggest challenge small business owners face is doing sales. Somehow many first time business owners find it difficult to place a price on their service and end up shy to ask for the sale.

This need not be the case. In all my sales training, I teach salespersons to see their job as a match-maker. And just like a match-maker, their job is to identify the client's need and match it to the company's product or service.

What this implies is that you are not there to sell something the client does not need. In fact, if you have identified the need for the client and your company's product or service helps satisfy that need, not asking him to buy is injustice to him.

So there you have it. All it takes is a simple shift in mind-set. If you, or your salespersons are not asking for the sale, get them to see themselves as match-makers. You'll be amazed by the results.

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For professional sales training or coaching, contact us at justin(a)cwfongandassociates.com. Sales is the lifeblood of all businesses and we are here to help.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Secret Technique to Successful Selling in Singapore

Research has shown that approximately 83% of all sales are made simply because the customer liked the salesperson. The ability to quickly build and establish rapport is therefore the key to becoming an effective salesperson. Abraham Lincoln summed it up perfectly when he said “if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”

Rapport

Webster’s dictionary defines rapport as a state of harmony between two people. People in this state think and feel the same way, and have often described the state as a feeling of being completely in sync with one another. Essentially, creating a state of rapport with someone means making him, or her, feel that they are understood and that you share a strong common bond.

Building Rapport

So how do you build rapport? Building rapport can be done either verbally or non-verbally, with the later being the more powerful. Premised upon the belief that people like people who are similar to them, the key objective in building rapport is to make the other person like you. To do this, you simply have to make yourself as “similar” to the other person as possible.
The following three techniques of mirroring, physical touch and ‘speaking the other person’s language’ are effective basic tools in building rapport.

Mirroring

The first technique is mirroring. In mirroring, the idea is to match the other person’s posture and body language. To do this, you simply mimic the person’s behavior much like a mirror. The trick to doing this effectively is to subtly follow the other person’s lead. Whenever he changes posture, pause for 3 to 4 seconds before following him. Initially, you may feel uncomfortable doing this, however rest assured that the other person will not be aware of your actions. They will not know why, but on the sub-conscious level, they will feel a strong bond with you.

Physical Touch

The second technique is physical touch. It is important in the process of building rapport that you initiate physical contact with the other person in the early stages of your encounter. Studies have revealed that physical contact with a person, even as slight as a touch, makes you seem a warmer and nicer person. In fact, 90% of those touched do not even remember being touched.

To do this well and, more importantly, not to offend the other person, the touch must be as natural as a pat on the back. Ideally, the touch should be made to a neutral part of the body i.e. the area between the shoulder blades, or the part of the arm between the shoulder and the elbow.

Speaking his Language

The third technique to building rapport is to ‘speak the other person’s language.’ Once again, psychological studies have shown that different people process information differently i.e. visually, auditory and kinesthetically. This is known as their preferred representational system. By paying careful attention to the type of words the other person uses, you will gain a fairly accurate assessment of the way they process information. Once you have identified their preferred system, you simply choose to use similar words in your conversation with them.

Summary

The use of the above three techniques will enable you to build almost instant rapport with anyone. Initially you may feel overwhelmed by having to think about building rapport in your daily encounters with people. However, like any skill, with constant practice it will only be a matter of time before you start doing it unconsciously.

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For in-house training programmes, contact our training consultants at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com