Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Demonstration- The most important element in the Sales Process

You have worked your way to the Customer’s heart by properly following the MEET & GREET stage. Thereafter, during the QUALIFICATION process you asked him the relevant questions and listened to him effectively and made all the notes required for you to understand what the prospective customer wants from his new car/ product.
Now you need to effectively convince the client that your product meets all his requirements and hence you must now demonstrate the product to him/ her. If you have understood all his needs/ wants, then during DEMONSTRATION, you should only focus and demonstrate those features of the product which will satisfy his needs/ wants. This means that you should show the benefits that a particular feature provides. E.g.; if the client wants his family to be safe at all times in the new car, then you must show him how SAFE your car is from his perspective. So, in this case you will show him how good the seat belt system is e.g. a three point seat belt, or how long and wide is the beam of the headlights is which are great in the night while driving, additional safety is ensured by 4 Airbags, etc, etc.

However you have to be properly prepared before any demonstration appointment.

1) You must be completely knowledgeable about the product, as the client can ask any technical/ non-technical queries at the time of the demo. If your product/ service has any WOW factors (USP) which your competitor may not have then you must highlight it, e.g. pedestrian safety feature where the bumpers of your vehicle are designed in such a way that, in an unfortunate event of an accident the pedestrian does not go under the vehicle, but rolls over the bonnet. In this case you do not accidently harm the person fatally.
2) You must be extremely enthusiastic and excited about your product/ service and it should be seen through in the way you demonstrate the product.
3) Always build a story around your demonstration, so that the demo sticks in the mind of the prospect.
4) Create an image in the mind of the prospect that he is already owning the product and enjoying its use.
5) Stress only on the benefits with respect to the needs expressed by the prospect during the QUALIFICATION stage.

Above all, make the demonstration and interesting exercise and not a boring one, where both, the prospect and you enjoy the entire process. This will be the biggest differentiator between a Good demonstration and a Brilliant demonstration

Happy Selling!

If you want more information on how to sell effectively, and more so if you want your team to succeed in the ever increasing competitive world, then, visit my website at www.prashantwelling.com or better still arrange for a training program for you sales team. All details are available on the website.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Qualification- Why it is the most important part in the Selling Process

Let me first introduce you to the various steps in the selling process:

1)         Meet & Greet- Here you introduce yourself and get to know the prospects name and     other initial details. (In some cases, you might be lucky to get hold of his Visiting card straightaway)
2)         Qualification- Understand the prospective customer’s needs and wants
3)         Presentation- Present the product/ service
4)         Overcome Objections- Effectively clarifies/ answers/ satisfies queries and questions of the prospect.
5)         Negotiation- Negotiate the deal (Price, terms and conditions, etc)
6)         Close- gets the contract signed and seals the deal

If you have noticed, Qualification comes immediately after the meeting and greeting stage. Have you ever wondered why?

It is one the most important steps in the selling process. It helps in saving a huge amount of time and gets you to close the deal effectively and smoothly.

If Qualification of the prospect is done in a proper way then you will not have to deal with a lot of objections regarding the product/ service at a later stage and also the price negotiation will not be a long and tedious process. Most salesmen try to cut short the qualification process and then spend huge amounts of time and energy in overcoming objections and clarifications about the product/ service, thus putting pressure on themselves and end up delaying the process or even losing the deal and also converting a perfect good prospective customer into a dis-satisfied customer who will damage the reputation of your brand.

For example, look at this scenario;
A prospect comes into a car showroom looking to purchase a car which has good safety standards and features. He has a family with children whose safety is his concern.
The salesman at the dealership does not qualify his requirements/ needs properly and shows him a vehicle, which is known for speed e.g.; this car, goes from 0-100 Kph in just 8 seconds.

Now the customer who is looking for safety, will immediately reject this vehicle in his mind, as he is looking for safety and not speed, will raise objections at a later stage of the sales process, which will either delay the deal or even reject the proposition totally leading to a loss of sale to the dealership and the brand too.

Now consider this: If the salesman informs the prospective customer that this vehicle has Airbags, ABS Braking system, bigger headlamps which will illuminate the road ahead and on the sides for a longer area while driving and additionally it also has child locking system on the doors which will not allow the doors to open accidentally while driving. These and other safety features of the same vehicle if presented properly (after understanding the prospects requirements) will lead to lesser objections and also help in closing the deal for the salesman and end up getting a happy and a satisfied customer for life.

As you can see from this small example it is extremely important to qualify the needs and wants and the overall requirements of the prospect before suggesting a product in your portfolio. Your product/ service has many features which will benefit the prospect’s various needs and wants, but the salesman must be aware of all these and must present them selectively to the prospect, in order to convince him/her that this is the right choice of brand for his/ her requirement.

The qualification process is effectively managed with the help of these six open ended questions;
What, When, Where, How and Why

If the salesman uses these effectively to ask the relevant questions then you can be sure you will be on the road to successful selling.

So, practice these questions and use them as much as you can till you have understood the prospects requirements and then move ahead on the sales process as mentioned above.

All The Best!

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If you need your sales team to be more effective, then invite me for a consultancy and/ training program tailored to your needs and create more sales and business for your organisation.
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Active Listening- An effective Tool in Salesperson's Armoury

Active Listening
Often, most Coaches and Trainers spend a lot of time of the topic of Listening. Why? Have you ever wondered? What is so great about a simple task like listening? We listen all the time. It does not require much effort.
Yes! I agree with you that Listening or shall we say hearing does not take much effort as we have been doing so, for all our lives. But, there is a huge difference between Hearing and Listening.
There are several misconceptions about listening. The first of these is listening and hearing are the same thing. Hearing is the physiological process of registering sound waves as they hit the eardrum. We have no control over what we hear. The sounds we hear have no meaning until we give them their meaning in context. Listening on the other hand is an active process that constructs meaning from both verbal and nonverbal messages.
When we hear, we let the sound waves fall on our ears and we respond to it depending our mood and focus on that stimulus at the time.
But Active Listening, means we are completely focussed on what is being said to us either by a person or a medium (audio-machine of some kind e.g. ipod, radio, tape, etc)
Active Listening is very important especially for those in professions like, Sales, Legal, Doctors, CAs, etc where the success of your profession is overly dependent on what your clients are saying verbally. Most of the inter-personal problems in life also can be avoided, if effective listening is done by all parties involved (e.g. Boss- Subordinate, Husband-Wife, Siblings, Father-Son, Friends, etc.). When you do not listen with your entire focus on the person talking to you, you may miss out on certain important clues (words or statements), which might be useful to you to effectively do your job and make a success out of that particular deal.
An active listener is able to listen to the speaker, analyse, interpret and internalise the information and then suggest a proper and relevant solution/ outcome for the set objective e.g. sales of your product etc. An active listener is able to overcome objections effectively and help the speaker in making a proper and effective decision towards completing the transaction. The proper use of active listening results in getting people to open up, avoiding misunderstandings, resolving conflict, and building trust. In a medical context, benefits may include increased patient satisfaction, improved cross-cultural communication, improved outcomes, or decreased litigation, etc.

Barriers to active listening
All elements of communication, including listening, may be affected by barriers that can impede the flow of conversation e.g. distractions, trigger words, vocabulary, and limited attention span.
Listening barriers may be psychological (e.g. emotions) or physical (e.g. noise and visual distraction). Cultural differences including speakers' accents, vocabulary, and misunderstandings due to cultural assumptions often obstruct the listening process.
Frequently, the listener's personal interpretations, attitudes, biases, and prejudices lead to ineffective communication.

Overcoming listening barriers
To use this listening technique to improve interpersonal communication, one puts personal emotions aside during the conversation, asks questions and repeats back to the speaker to clarify and understand, and also tries to overcome all types of environment distractions. Judging or arguing prematurely is a result of holding onto a strict personal opinion. This hinders the ability to be able to listen closely to what is being said. Furthermore, the listener considers the speaker's background, both cultural and personal, to benefit as much as possible from the communication process. 
Eye contact and appropriate body languages are seen as important components to active listening. Effective listening involves focusing on what the speaker is saying; at times the listener might come across certain key words which may help them understand the speaker. The stress and intonation may also keep them active and away from distractions. Taking notes on the message can aid in retention.

Do Contact us if you want your Sales Team to be more effective in achieving their goals.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Non- Verbal Communication

Non- Verbal Communication

It is widely known and many coaches, trainers and writers have time and again told us the importance of effective communication. If the communication is not effective the desired objective is not met with, which results in wastage of time, energy and money.

Let us first understand what is communication? : Communication is the transfer of stimuli or the information from the transmitter (a person who has the information) to the receiver (a person who the information is directed at).

There are essentially 3 types of communication: Verbal, Written and Non- Verbal. The impact each one of these types have on the receiver is 7% written, 38% verbal and a whopping 55% is due to Non-Verbal communication.
The first two forms are pretty well known and extremely well used and understood to a large extent. Non- Verbal communication is the most underutilised and not honed properly.

All kinds of communication, which is neither spoken nor written is termed as Non-verbal Communication.
It is not a substitute for verbal communication. It actually enhances the verbal communication if used properly and in line with the context of the meeting.

Personal Appearance, Facial Expression, Posture, Gesture, Eye Contact and Touch are all part of Non Verbal communication. Along with these the personal appearance, the Attire, use of deodorants, perfumes used and tangible accessories like chains, bangles, bracelets, cuff links, ties etc also become an integral part of this very important process. The type of accessory to be used or awareness of body odour is as important as what you speak or write to the client (receiver). This will either make or break the deal.
In any form of communication, Eye Contact is extremely important along with the Body Posture. This is so because it complements what you wish to convey. Eyes and posture convey whether you are honest, interested, bored or cut-off from the conversation (communication process).

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Friday, May 18, 2012

What Makes an Ideal Salesman!

A salesman has always been labelled and generalised as Con Man, and dishonest. This is because of a few dishonest men in this very noble profession who have tarnished it. It is one of the noblest professions in the world because a salesman helps you taking the right decision for yourself. He is actually your friend in need! He helps you in going through your needs and wants and then helps you to choose the product or service which will suit your requirements and budget.
A salesman job is the most difficult. He has to go out there and sell the company’s products and /or services and get revenue for his organisation. Sales the department which actually, physically converts all the effort of an organisation which has conceived, produced, packaged and marketed the product.
Hence, the salesperson becomes a very important person in the entire chain of the organisation.
He has to have a following traits/ qualities in order to become a successful salesperson.
1-         Self Confident
A sales person must be a confident of himself. This means that he must know his product/ service thoroughly. He must be knowledgeable of his competition and the strengths and weaknesses of his own product/ service as well as his competitors’. He must know his target audience or his customer profile. If he is not aware of who, his prospective customers are, he will never be able to sell effectively. For example, If the prospect, he has approached does not have need for the product/ service or if the product /service is as per his needs or wants, but he does not have the required wherewithal (disposable income) to pay, the efforts will be in vain and the sale will not happen.
2-         Empathy
A sales person must always be empathetic towards the clients’ moods and emotion. He must try to think from the clients’ perspective and react.
Suppose during a sales call, a client gets news that some calamity has occurred in his office or premises, it would be help if the sales person understands the situation and asks the customer whether it would be better to stop the discussion there and then if the situation warrants it or does he want to continue. If the customer says that it will be handled by his staff (HR/ Admin dept) and that they can continue, only then he should go further. It will help in strengthening his customer relationship and help him later to close the deal effectively.

3-         Problem Solver
Every salesperson must be a solution provider to the prospective client. He must help the client in visualising how his product or service will help increase the productivity of his firm by saving, time, energy, money, manpower or all of them in some form or the other. 
4-         ‘Never say Die!’ Attitude
An effective and successful sales person has a ‘Never say Die!’ attitude at all times. He is eternally optimistic in nature.
He must be able to take a 99 “No’s” and finally get that 100th yes and clinch the deal. Every sales call is different because every prospect is different and therefore the next call will also be different than the previous one. Even if the earlier calls have not been converted successfully, he should say to himself, one more call, and I will close this one. Try and try until you succeed.
Try different ways and means, think laterally, and tread the path which others haven’t tried before. There is always a better way, a different way to close the deal.
Be Successful, Be different, Keep Trying! That’s the Mantra!

If you have any queries or would like to communicate with me then you may write in to me at welling1161@gmail.com.
Visit my website www.prashantwelling.com

Friday, April 20, 2012

Build Customer Loyalty!

In today’s tough times, it is extremely critical for any business/ Brand to have a loyal customer base, which helps it to secure its market share.
So, how do you build and maintain customer loyalty?
Firstly you have to know your own product/service thoroughly. The customer depends upon you to take the decision on whether she/ he will want to purchase your product/ service. If you give the prospective customer an impeccable service from the very moment you meet with him, then you are well on your way to gaining customer loyalty.
But, remember this is only the beginning. You must maintain the same quality and level of service right through the entire sales process which will cement your brand in the mind of the customer. The order, when placed based on the pre-sales process you had undergone must be followed up with the execution as per the commitment made when you secured the order.
The level of service must be maintained consistently during the execution of the order. Special care must be taken after sales as this is the crucial time when most business falter and end up undoing all the good work done earlier.
The after sales follow-up will finally determine whether you will have the customer’s loyalty for life or it will be another casualty. Impeccable after sales service is the corner stone of securing ultimate customer loyalty. Take utmost care to ensure that all existing customers’ queries, complaints are attended to immediately and respond to them each and every time they contact you.
I would like to add here that you will score highly in the mind of the customer if you put in place a customer loyalty program, where you gather all the customers’ details like, birth dates, anniversary dates, etc and send them a greeting on the occasion without fail. A planned periodic visit to the customer’s premises will ensure cementing the loyalty as well as the TRUST factor and also help you in not only getting repeat business but also get you a good amount of referral business from this loyal customer base.
Wishing you a loyal Customer database!
If you have any queries or would like to communicate with me then you may write in to me at welling1161@gmail.com.
Visit my website www.prashantwelling.com

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Market Scenario in Indian Retail Automobile Market

Today's Automobile Market Situation

At the rate at which the Retail Sector and especially the Automobile sector is growing year after year, it is required to have well trained Sales & Service personnel ready to serve today’s discerning customer. Today’s Customer, who is mainly in the 25 – 55 years age group, presents a huge challenge to the Automobile sector in particular. He/ she, is extremely well informed, socially aware, media savvy, up-to date with the latest trends in the world, in India especially, and upwardly mobile with a huge amount of disposable income. He is ready to spend this money on the best things, Life can offer. If we have to take advantage of this and grab a good percentage of this income then we must be ready for the customer. And, this process begins and ends with excellent and well trained and well groomed, sales personnel that is ready to meet and convert maximum sales for the dealership and the Brand.

What is required to achieve the above?
An excellent and well trained person who has the following attributes which are inevitable and is a pre-requisite in today’s day and age.
1) Proper Product knowledge
2) Competitors’ information
3) Excellent Selling Skills
4) Proper Selling Etiquette and Attitude
5) Aware and well read
While Product Knowledge and Competitors’ information is imparted by the Principal the other skills have to be managed by the dealership itself.
It has been noticed, in general, the sales staff is woefully inadequate in some or all these aspects. 

This results in less-than-effective performances and therefore not so encouraging sales performances leading to frustration and finally attrition. Further it is becoming increasingly difficult to hire sales personnel that are trained in all aspects of the sales process.

Do call me if you want your sales force to be well-oiled and ready to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

Please visit my website www.prashantwelling.com for more details.