If you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, it’s not enough to have brilliant ideas, great products, and unlimited motivation. There are many different skills you will need to have as you start your business.
One of the most important skills that you must have is the ability to move others to action. You must be able to influence others. This is where sales comes into play.
Learning how to sell is more than just knowing how to get people to buy your product. It’s being able to sell your ideas in a way that gets people to adopt them.
It’s selling the vision that you have for your organization. This post will cover some of the basic techniques you will use when trying to make a sale. (Guest post)
Discussing Features and Benefits
When convincing a prospect to buy your product, you have to give your explanation in a way that helps the prospect understand why they should buy it. It means you need to have a full understanding of the features and benefits of the product.
The features describe what the product or service is. They are the components of the product. They are the things that make it function.
Benefits describe what the product does. It is the outcome of using the product. The benefits are the ways in which the product or service help the person using it.
Here’s an example. You’re an intellectual property attorney who works with small businesses.
If you were going to describe the features of your services, you might discuss things like trademark filings, legal advice, and legal agreements. These are some of the things you will do for your clients.
When you discuss the benefits, you will be talking about what these services do for your client. You might talk about how these services prevent other companies from using your client’s branding for their own profit. You would discuss the ways in which your services keep your client’s intellectual property from being infringed upon.
Provide The Evidence
It’s not enough to tell your prospects about the features and benefits. You have to prove the claims you’re making. If you don’t, your pitch won’t be strong enough to move them to action.
Do you have facts and figures that support the claims you’re making? You should. Statistics, studies, and charts are all important tools you need to make sure that your pitch believable.
It’s not just facts and figures that make good evidence, however. “Social proof” can be just as powerful. Have you done business with someone that your prospect knows? Were you able to get good results? Mention it!
Facts and figures are great, but the opinion of someone your prospect knows can be far more powerful. After all, if your product or service helped your prospect’s friend, why shouldn’t it help them?
Call Them to Action
Every good sales pitch should end with an effective call to action. Explaining features and benefits and providing proof will not mean anything if you don’t ask for what you want.
Before you ask for what you want, however, you should make sure they don’t have any objections or questions about what you’ve discussed. It’s best to make sure that you have addressed as many potential issues your prospect may have before calling them to action.
When you’re confident that you have addressed as much as possible, go ahead and ask for the desired action. If the prospect doesn’t agree, then you can decide whether or not to continue to persuade them.
Perhaps you need to show further proof? Maybe there’s some other obstacle you don’t know about. Either way, you need to figure out whether or not the sales call is worth pursuing.
The bottom line is this: being a better entrepreneur means being a better influencer. Learning these basic techniques will get you started on becoming a world-class salesperson!
About the author: Jeff Charles is the founder of Artisan Owl Media, an Austin-based content marketing agency that specializes in helping professional service firms increase their influence and earn more clients. You can reach him on Twitter: @ArtisanOwl