Do you have to be aggressive at sales? If I don’t push the customer, how will I ever close the deal? Why is building a relationship so important? The list goes on… In sales, it all comes down to the age-old question: To be or not to be – aggressive that is.
I find that sales professionals fall into one of two categories. Either they fully embrace the aggressive sales tactics we have been taught. And, they are pretty comfortable pushing the sales process along. Or, the whole idea of being pushy makes them uncomfortable, and they really struggle with being aggressive.
Which approach is right? Both – sort of! Understand that the only way to get business is to ask for business. However, the timing of when you do so is critical. To be effective at sales, you have to understand the value of building the relationship, and the importance of being aggressive.
The value of building the relationship is understanding your customers, being clear on their needs, and most importantly, knowing that investing that time builds trust. The importance of being aggressive is ensuring the customer knows their trust is well placed and that you will do what it takes for that relationship.
Customers want two things: first, to be heard and to know their wants/needs are more important than yours (relationship sales). And second, to believe that you will become a trusted advisor that proactively takes care of their needs (aggressive sales.) So, how do you become more comfortable with being aggressive? How do you build stronger relationships?
Strategies To Open More Doors, Close More Sales & Love Doing It, While Being Aggressive At Sales!
More Than A Transaction
First, understand that customers are so much more than a transaction. The prospect sitting in front of you has more going on than the product or service you are currently discussing with them. More going on that you can potentially help them with, if you understand they are more than a transaction. As sales professionals, your ultimate goal is to become a strategic partner who proactively serves the lifestyle changes of your customers.
Listen To Learn
You need to learn to invest in your customers before asking them to invest in you. You must slow the sales process down, ask open ended questions, and then listen, really listen. When you listen to customers, two things happen. First, they will tell you exactly what they need and exactly how to sell it to them. The second, sends a strong message that says this relationship will always be more about their needs than yours. That builds trust.
Connect The Dots
When you ask questions, your customers start talking. They tell you their challenges, fears, opportunities, what keeps them up and night, and future plans. You must listen in a way that ensures you connect the dots. When customers are talking, you are listening. Your head ought to be going crazy with the products or services you offer that can solve their problems and help them achieve their goals.
When you listen, customers not only tell you their goals and challenges, they tell you the order they are experiencing them. In other words, they tell you their priorities. And, to ensure that customers feel heard and important, you have to solve their urgent need. The issue they discussed that is more important to them than any other issue. When you solve that issue – their urgent need – you build trust.
Proactively Add Value
With trust built, with the customer believing in you, you have to be aggressive. The worst thing that can happen to you in this economy is not that you do not get the sale. It is that your customers or prospects find out about a product or service they need from someone else other than you. If you do not have the courage to ask for the business, the courage to aggressively offer products and services your customers need, then customers know you do not have what it takes care for their relationship.
Let It Go
I think sales people struggle to ask for business because they are too worried about rejection. Let it go. Asking for business, being aggressive, is not about closing the deal. It is about ensuring you do what it takes. You let customers know you want their business and that you will proactively offer products and services that can make their lives better. If they do not want to buy them, fine. But, never asking tells your customer that they made the right decision not doing business with you.
So, let me close this out by saying it is critical to be both a relationship builder and aggressive when it comes to sales. And, you can’t be one without the other in this economy. In today’s global marketplace, our products and services have become a commodity, and the only reason people do business with you is because they know you, they like you and they trust you – in that order. Knowing you and liking you are about building the relationship. Trusting you is about being aggressive.
And before I go, here are three quick tips for being comfortable with getting more aggressive at sales.
Get your head right. Being aggressive is not bad, pushy or wrong. It is the art of saying this is important enough to fight for and be strong enough to win. That I care enough about my customers to speak up.
Focus on your customers problems (not selling product). And then, think about the fact that they have real challenges and real opportunities that your products and services can help solve. Why wouldn’t you share those?
Apply the same definition we have in our personal lives as we do in sales. If you have an idea on how your friend could save money, you would call them in a heartbeat. If your child was headed to the doctor, you would be armed with questions that you would never hesitate to ask. If your significant other was going through challenging times, you would be full of solutions. Why? Because that is the very essence of a relationship.
I would love to know your ideas for integrating your relationship and aggressive sales techniques. Share your comments on this blog!