Even if you have the greatest product in the world, it’s not going to sell itself. On the flip side, you might have a useless product but be able to sell it like hotcakes. Of course, that’s not what we advocate for, but it just goes to show that oftentimes, it’s not the product but the salesman that determines success.
As an entrepreneur, you’re a walking, talking sales pitch for your company. Like it or not, you’re going to have to get comfortable selling.
If this bothers you, it’s probably because ‘sales’ conjures up negative images of pushy door-to-door salesmen, or worse, brings back bad memories from your former life in a high-pressure sales job. But selling doesn’t have to be sleazy.
The good news is that the internet has transformed the world of sales and put the buyer in the driver’s seat. A prospective buyer no longer needs a salesman to talk their ear off about the benefits of a product or service; they can find all the information they need with a quick Google search.
Instead of being merely a middleman between the customer and the sale, the modern salesman is able to serve as a resource, illuminating solutions and helping customers find better, more efficient ways to solve problems. Here are four ways you can take advantage of the modern sales landscape to sell your product or service without feeling slimy.
Love What You Sell
You’re an entrepreneur, for crying out loud. If you don’t love what you’re selling, then what the heck are you doing?
When you truly love what you sell, selling comes easy. But it takes more than just gushing about how much you love your business to make a customer want to buy. You have to define a super clear value proposition.
Think about all the reasons you believe your product to be great. Maybe it helps make lives easier or entertains people or takes care of a tedious task. Whatever it is, translate it into terms that convey its direct benefit to the buyer. This is your value proposition.
Here’s Uber’s value proposition:
“Uber is the smartest way to get around. One tap and a car comes directly to you. Your driver knows exactly where to go, and payment is completely cashless.”
Clear, simple and explanatory.
Wordstream has six more excellent value proposition examples in this post.
Treat The Client Like A Human
So often, meeting a prospective client comes with a whole undercurrent of tension. The question is lingering in the back of your mind: am I going to make the sale?
Instead of approaching the relationship with the end game—a sale—in mind, go in treating the prospect like, well, a human! Have a real conversation. Get know what they’re all about and where their needs lie.
When you treat the prospect like a real person and not a sale to be won, the tension melts away.
It’s been proven that who you know matters more than what you know in determining success, in business, sports and even crime! Therefore, when you treat a prospect like a person, even if you don’t make the sale, you’re still effectively building your network with real, strong relationships, which can lead to exponentially greater benefits down the road.
Focus On Building Value
When you learn to do this, it’ll flip your entire perspective on sales on its head. In traditional sales, you’re thinking “buy, buy, buy!” But in modern, non-sleazy selling, you should be thinking “value, value, value!”
This does not mean cutting your prices to rock-bottom numbers or giving your services away for free. Rather, it means centering your efforts on going the extra mile and truly helping the prospect rather than just selling to them.
I’m sure there are some of you who think this approach makes you a pushover, a sucker who’s going to get taken advantage of. Well, there’s a funny psychological element at play in this strategy that might help you warm up to it.
When you do a favor for someone, it’s human nature that they feel obligated to return or “pay back” the favor. So what happens when you go above and beyond for a prospect, even before you’ve made the sale? You guessed it—they feel more compelled to buy from you. It’s psychology 101.
Offer A Guarantee
We’re advocates for setting a minimum price and sticking to it. It helps shape perception of your brand and protects your bottom line. So while we’re not fans of giving discounts to entice a sale, we’re completely on board with offering a money-back guarantee.
You believe in what you sell 110%, right? So there’s no good reason a customer should ever need to take you up on your money-back offer. Rather, it’s a non-sleazy selling tactic that helps ease the customer’s mind before making a commitment to buy (at full price, of course). Plus, it demonstrates good faith on your part that you’re fully committed to delivering on your end of the deal.
Use these strategies to sell without feeling slimy. Ironic as it may be, when you focus on the customer rather than the sale, selling becomes second nature!
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