There is more than one satisfactory solution to a prospect’s needs.  Many products are equally good and several competitor companies can have stellar reputations.  Guarantees and warrantees can be similar and service is frequently over-stated.  Every salesperson offers the lowest price, the best quality, excellent service and the perfect solution.  With everyone looking the same, the only difference in the sales equation is you.  Let me give you five principles; if you follow them, they will set you apart from your competition.

  1. Listen to your prospect.  Most salespeople tell, believing that telling is selling.  If you will take the time to listen to what your prospects are telling you, you will understand what is important to them.  Once you know what is important, you can tailor your presentation to satisfy their needs.
  1. Understand their situation.  Know precisely what they need to solve their problem.  Ask insightful and probing questions.  Don’t just respond to the first need they present to you.  Discover the whole picture so you will know how to solve each of their needs and how they relate to each other.
  1. Treat your prospect’s company as if it were your own.  What would you do?  What would be the best solution to their problem from your perspective?  Help them assess the relationship between price, quality, and service.  Evaluate all possible solutions and make sure you present the most viable.  If your products are not the best solution, make a recommendation or referral and then move on.  They will respect you for your honesty and probably give you an opportunity to solve future needs.
  1. Through effective questioning, seek to understand the prospects position relating to price and quality.  Very often the prospect becomes so focused on price that they sacrifice value.  Lowest price in most cases is not lowest cost.  Price is what the prospect pays for the product and cost is their total investment using that product.  A salesperson can offer the lowest cost solution to the customer and yet, have the highest initial price.  Don’t sell on price; sell on value or cost.  Make sure you understand what they need and they understand what you are offering.
  1. There is service and then there is real service.  Real service involves you, the salesperson.  It requires your involvement with the customer to insure they are happy and satisfied with their decision to purchase from you.  No one else is responsible for your customer, only you.  The buck stops with you.  Others may be involved, but the happiness and satisfaction of your customer rests solely on your shoulders.  When they know you care, they will be around for a long time.

The difference between you and every other salesperson is not price, quality or service, it is you.  The difference is found in your ability to solve their problems and your sincere concern for their situation.  The customer knows if you care about them and caring makes all the difference in the world.   When all things are equal, it is the salesperson who makes difference.  Apply these five principles and enjoy the difference!