Maybe you’ve heard people talk about the Summer Slowdown: that period of time when the number of sales decreases to a sluggish, heat-induced crawl. Perhaps you thought your best mode of action would be to wait out the decline in sales until cooler weather returned, right?
Neglecting to recharge your sales approach during the summer months just because of the weather not only sounds like bad astrological advice, but also means losing out on valuable sales opportunities. Quit blaming the weather. Your prospects aren’t tired, your sales approach is. Refresh your sales approach with the 5 tips below to get in front of your customers no matter the season!
1.) Shake it Up with a Joke
Humor is always a great way to break the ice during a sales pitch. Try telling a joke or using a short anecdote and relate it to your product. The key to successfully breaking the ice with your prospect is to use humor that is tasteful and allows you to maintain your professional persona.
2.) Don’t Hold Onto Old Tactics Too Tightly
One of the most outdated selling techniques is overcoming the prospect’s objections. In this tactic, the sales representative combats prospects’ objections to his or her product until the prospect relents and agrees to the product. Not only does this tactic make you seem incredibly pushy, but also it can completely disinterest your more introverted prospects. The solution is to aim for a meaningful and intelligent conversation with clients. Address both the pros and cons of your product. Your sales conversations should reflect the conversations you have in real life: allow room for give and take.
3.) Be the Expert
Not only should you know the qualities of your product like the back of your hand, but you should also know the specifics on how your product solves your prospects’ issues. Your prospects have heard it all before: “Our product gets you more business,” “makes you more money,” etc. Ask yourself what your product can specifically do to eradicate the common problems that your prospects face.
4.) Do your Research
In addition to knowing the ins and outs of your product, you should be knowledgeable of your company’s unique niche and market. In his article, The Ultimate Sales Approach, Chet Holmes stresses the importance of researching your market to draw in prospects with facts. An example he gives about shoe sales shows just how successful his fact tactic is:
“If I sold shoes, I’d know everything about feet and fashion. Fact: There are 214,000 nerve endings in your feet that connect to every organ in your body. This makes your shoes a lot more important than you ever thought. I helped a shoe store chain double in size by getting all their salespeople to be experts far beyond their competitors.”
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5.) Be Astute
Many sales experts will agree that today’s top sellers are better listeners than talkers. Successful salespeople are attuned to their prospect’s needs, can gauge the give and take in a sales conversation, and are perceptive enough to notice what in their pitch catches the prospect’s interest.
There have been many studies done that show that mirroring another’s body language or speaking style can help create a bond and build mutual understanding. An exercise you can do to improve your ability to assess a situation is to notice a prospect’s communication style and adapt accordingly. The Asch Elevator Experiment shows just how important our desire to relate to our fellow man really is: