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How to sell products and get customers to buy!

November 1, 2012


These are the same steps I used to rank in the top 5 in regional sales goals for my previous employer, within 4 weeks. They’ve assisted me in achieving several customer service awards in various markets. Others I have taught have made these guidelines work to their success.

Treating customers right, that’s the secret! When asked how I manage to sell so many products and beat the guys who’ve been doing this for years?  Jokingly, I’d always tell them, “It’s because I’m a girl.” It was likely true in part, but; it wasn’t the entire reason.

I’ve been in the customer service field for over 13 years of service, management and public relations. I love helping people get what they need and want. I hope this lengthy, yet thorough guide will help you achieve your goals, as they have mine.

How to sell Products to customers using Ethical Persuasion.

I’m going to provide you step by step instructions to get a customer to buy your product if they’re going to and many times  when they don’t plan to buy anything.

How I do sell products to customers?

I Create Ethical and Credible Professional Relationships

Being prepared is key to success in sales!

I’ve profiled my keys to success! Find examples of some tough customer situations and possible solutions. While this is predominantly for face to face sales; this guideline can be applied, in most areas of business.

1: Know your customers.

Get to know your customers professionally a little better each time you see them. Provide what your customers need and want. (you are my customer; what do you want to see next? Let me guess, shorter articles?)

  • Who are my customers? (family items don’t sell as well to single people; people with poor finances will likely buy quantity over quality; college students don’t have much space, etc.)
  • What item sold best yesterday? (In a new area, telling people about the top-selling item brings attention.)
  • Are there comparable items? (Increase your sales with items in the same class as the customers previous interest.)
  • What is in my inventory? (Losing a sell due to lack of inventory, is a big deal and worse if the order is already made!)
  • Are there any major holidays or times, children are not in school between visits?
  • What are the current conditions?” (Christmas trees don’t sell well in July; Ice cream is easier in the summer.)
  • What is my favorite item? (Being able to give an honest, raving review for your item gets attention.)

2: Know the products you sell.

  • Get to know the products and accessories you sell. Be able to tell 3 things about them with confidence. (12 oz, 6 per pkg, buy one get one free, warranty,etc.)
  • Know what items compare to or go with the customers interests.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about: intended use, size, costs including shipping, age requirements, etc.
  • Be ready to demonstrate with a sample, video, pictures, etc.
  • Consider negative responses and be ready to respond. (“Why does it cost more than..?”; “Our product has more features…!”
  • Find what you like and dislike about the item and create responses accordingly for customers with the same likes/dislikes.

3: Introducing yourself to the customer; good first impressions are vital. Talk at a normal speed and tone.

Remember: neighbors usually talk to one another and website viewers read comments.

  • Introduce yourself, “Hi, I’m Mike! I deliver (your product) for (your company). How are you today?”
  • If you dont’ know their name, now is the time to ask! You’ll need to call them by name a couple times throughout the transaction to create a solid relationship.
  • Hint: Have a pen, jot it down quickly. You never want to forget a customers’ name. Personally, I dislike a salesperson calling me ma’am for the duration of the sales pitch.

4: When asking, “How are you today?” Listen to the response and reply accordingly!

(Why would they listen to you, if you won’t listen to them?) If you’re running a website; this is as simple as replying to your customers in a timely, respectful manner. If you’re doing any other selling platform. Here is an unexpected response, and a way to work around it that leaves you another opportunity.

  • Customer responses may take you by surprise: Be ready for anything!
  • “I’m leaving in 5 minutes to get my child from school.”
  • Don’t try to compete with statements like these because you’re going to lose!
  • Create a new time. Most importantly; give them your contact information on something that tells them about the product and you. (flier, booklet, business card, email address and /or website address; etc.)
  • “I don’t want to make you late. I’ll be back in your area on Wednesday; is there a time I could show you my products then?”
  • Regardless of the answer, give them your business card; thank them and leave. You don’t want them remembering you, for making them late!

4: Honestly talk to your customers while making a connection.

Use quick observation to find something to create a common interest. Comment briefly to show your customer, you pay attention and are interested in them. Let them speak for a minute or two about the topic if possible. When a customer shares something with you; you are making them comfortable. As a general rule, people prefer to talk about themselves, more than hearing about you.

  • “I noticed you have children; this item is great for families.”
  • – notice I didn’t say I like/dislike children but I show awareness of the customers situation. If you like children; tell them! If not, this approach is safe.
  • “I love dogs!”, “I don’t like dogs!”
  • -either you do or you don’t! Telling one customer you like something, only to turn around and tell their neighbor, you don’t – is risky. I suggest avoiding it altogether. You can make the relationship in another way.
  • “What is your dogs name? He’s a furry little guy!”
  • -no admission to like or dislike; if asked you can simply tell them, you never found the time for a pet. If you’re in a call center environment, you may be able to get by with the like them/don’t like them routine, but in a career where you may come in contact or people read your responses, it’s a setup for losing your credibility. You don’t have to make up things to get the point across.

5: Tell them your purpose! Short sweet and to the point.

  • A website should tell it’s purpose in the title!
  • Get your point across in 1 minute or less! This should be relaxed; not rehearsed.
  • “I’d like to take a minute to tell you about the services we provide. We offer (your product or service.) (your product) helps you, (save time, make money, be healthier, etc.) I have a (sample, demonstration, booklet, flier, video) for you to look at.”
  • Let them review the product information.

6: Let your customers ask questions about products you sell and your company.

  • 5 straight minutes of pitches, irritate customers and they forget the questions they wanted to ask. While they’re asking questions; they’re still interested.
  • Be prepared to answer several questions; honestly! If you don’t have the answer, write it down and tell them you’ll find out. Follow up!
  • Watch your customer as they react to particular items
  • Be thinking about other products that might work well with their interests. This will help you increase your sales by suggesting other items.

7: Let them know how to get products you sell or services! …. and how to get more!

  • If they’re going to buy your product; you should know it by this point.
  • Tell them if you have the items with you, or the methods of delivery.
  • If someone else will be delivering the product, tell them at this time. Setup the appointment.
  • If they decline or tell you they need time to think about it or ask their significant other, give them the information and set up a return time or phone call. Follow up!
  • If this is a service you continually provide, such as weekly delivery of  medical supplies, set up future appointments right now.
  • At the end of every visit, make certain the customer has access to your product and contact information.

8: Thank your customer! Regardless of the results; thank your customer!

  • Even if they’ve stopped you during the process, and told you they’re simply not interested ,or can’t invest in your product right now. Thank them!
  • Attempt to give them the flier, brochure, etc. even if no purchase is made.
  • I personally signed, provided my number and wrote thank you on every sample booklet to hand my customers, before I left the shop for my route.
  • Be polite and thank your customers that don’t make purchases. You never know when they may change their mind.

9: Follow up!

This quite possibly is your most important step in learning how to sell products to customers and keep them coming back.

  • Following up with customers, who made a purchase, to see how they feel about your product is just good business.
  • Perhaps they’ve had an issue with the product, due to lack of knowledge. You can quickly provide them with the assistance and stop bad word of mouth.
  • Maybe the product is malfunctioning, and you know this isn’t the norm. By quickly replacing the product with a working product, you save the customers opinion of you. Some customers won’t complain to you about a glitch in a cheaper product; but they’ll certainly tell all their friends.
  • Follow ups come in many forms:
  • Phone calls – this is my preferred method. Solve issues immediately!
  • Mail – Less personal, but reminds them to call you if they have issues, or want more products.
  • Combining phone calls with mail fliers is a good way to make sure they have access to buy more products and give the personal touch.
  • Email – This is perfect for online business!
  • Always include your company phone number for issues and complaints. The faster you realize there is a problem; the faster you can fix the problem and stop word of mouth.

Remember no method is going to tell you how to sell products to your customers that will be 100% effective. These are simply guidelines that helped me achieve success.

Thank you for reading! Don’t forget to smile!

Do you think this article has helped you learn how to sell products to customers? Do you have other tips for salespersons in need?

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