Study your customers first
Not all prospects were created equal. When buying is concerned, people in various industries tend to behave differently. They not only have varied spending habits: they’ll also answer better to different selling styles.
Research shows that while everyone likes a competent and smiling salesperson, buyers in the fashion industry will often value charisma over product knowledge. On the contrary, those who work in manufacturing will most likely listen to a product guru, even when said expert isn’t all smiles and handshakes.
Focus on the true buyers
Sometimes you’ll face a single buyer, some others you’ll have to work your way through a full committee. But even when officially talking to fifteen people, there’s probably only one person who will ultimately decide whether to buy or not: the formal boss, the budget owner, or maybe someone who's not actually in charge but is clearly owning the room. Identify that person, understand what they want and win them over.
Close at the beginning
Needs are practical. Wants are deeply emotional, and that’s where the true drive of your buyers lies. Is it security? Is it control?
Understanding the wants of your prospects is key to winning their commitment early in the process. From then on, you’ll be securing a done business, becoming able to build a strong relationship on that.
Use the right approach
An adaptive selling approach will take you everywhere. When talking to engineers, you’ll often happen to be appreciated if you challenge their assumptions and provide innovative solutions - regardless of price, even.
On the other hand, marketing people will strongly opt for someone who listens, makes them feel comfortable and comes with a tailored discount.
Not everything in sales is rationally driven. No process is set in stone. True adaptability - that’s what makes a seller stand out.