The skills behind effective sales, influencing and leadership

In our last blog we examined how in many sales processes the focus is on the seller rather than upon the purchaser, and how the latter make buying decisions.

Now we thought we’d turn the attention to how a salesperson (or anyone seeking to influence) ought to behave to ensure they put their customer at the heart of the process. In other words behaving as a consultant and assisting a consumer make the right decision for themselves.

At Motivated And Competent we put the following principles in place when we work with our clients on their sales processes and the focus of those who advise their own customers.

It’s important to point out that these principles apply in many business and personal situations. For example: influencing, leading, negotiation, selling concepts or ideas, managers persuading people, public speaking, etc.

1. People act when they are motivated to do so (for more information click here) – either to gain a perceived benefit or to avoid discomfort with their current position. It follows then that selling and influencing require motivation of the other party.

2. A salesperson or someone seeking to influence should seek to establish what the other party wants. Do some fact finding, or, clarification. (A key question: how can you help somebody achieve what they want to if you don’t know what it is that they want?)

3. To do this requires some key skills:

  • Firstly; the ability to frame a relevant, well worded, flexible sequence of questions designed to uncover the other persons’ wants and needs. And their motivation for changing things.
  • Secondly; effective listening skills to really understand what people are saying. Being able to demonstrate you’ve listened to and understood them is key.
  • Thirdly; summarising skills to confirm that you’ve focused on understanding another person. This builds a bridge of trust and confidence.

4. Appreciating what the other party wants allows us to match their wants to our idea, service or product. It makes sense only to discuss the elements of our idea, service or product which match their wants, needs, or concerns. Let’s not over complicate things. People often buy into a concept for one reason. Focus on benefits to the other party (what’s in it for them?) to motivate and build desire as they realise your suggestions are appropriate to them. Don’t talk features or advantages. Talk benefits.

5. Now it’s time to agree the best way forward. It’s about finding mutual advantage in a course of action. Don’t force the issue to a conclusion before the other is psychologically ready to agree, before they are clear what’s in it for them and are motivated to take action.

6. Dealing with questions and doubts – as the other party wants more information, to reflect on something or to rationalise their thoughts. Here you are consulting with the other party and facilitating their conclusions without undue prevarication. It’s a normal part of the purchasing cycle yet some people fear questions and objections. A few simple actions can transform the success of the influencer at this point.

Simple, straight forward, successful, proven and repeatable processes with strong skill sets help people and organisations achieve their goals collaboratively. Shared success!

If you want to ask us more about any of the themes we’ve discussed such as selling consultatively, leading, influencing, questioning, listening effectively, summarising, building trust, handling doubts, closing techniques, etc. please contact us right now:

->; Call us on 07767 302899 or 01227 763670

->; Email us

->; Follow us on Twitter: @motiv_competent –!/motiv_competent