The first thing to understand about selling is why people buy a particular product or service and what it is that they really buy. You may be surprised to learn that people buy only two things:
- Good feelings
- Solutions to problems
That means: People do not buy your golf lessons. They buy a vision of how good they will feel when they have successfully completed those lessons!
In other words, people always buy to satisfy their own needs and desires. This important basic premise is overlooked all too often. An instructor will try to sign up a new student based on his own playing ability, his style of teaching etc.; all things he thinks are important to the customer. Don’t make this mistake. You must see your service as it is perceived through the eyes of your customer.
The prospective student will gladly sign on the dotted line when he senses that your teaching will bring him enjoyment and/or provide a solution to any perceived problem he is currently experiencing. When you make helping the customer your first consideration, you will find the stress of having to sell becomes a thing of the past, and in its place you will enjoy the satisfaction of having helped another person. Therefore, if you are to make a successful sales presentation, you must first find out the problems your prospective student needs you to solve, and what feelings he hopes to obtain from your golf lessons.
Some of the more common buying motives are:
- The need to feel secure.
- The need to feel appreciated, (a most important need).
- The need to eliminate or lessen fear, (real or perceived).
- The need to have good feelings, (happiness, fun, pleasure).
- The need to enhance self-image.
- The need to improve, grow and enjoy new experiences.
How buying motives are expressed
Your prospect is not about to come right out and tell you what his motives are. You have to deduce this information through a series of carefully worded questions. In interviewing a prospective student, you will often hear these needs and desires expressed as:
- I want to be more confident in my ability, (eliminate fear of failure).
- I want to have fun, (enjoyment).I want to improve my self-image, (security, improvement).
- I want to solve a particular problem, (growth, improvement).
- I need to feel important, (security).
- I want to be respected, (security).
- I want to be successful, (improvement)
- I want to experience something new, (enjoyment).
- I want to be liked by others, (appreciation).
- I want to make new friends, (appreciation).
- I want encouragement, (appreciation).
By listening intently to discover your prospect’s true motives, you can then structure your sales presentation to reinforce these motives and provide answers that meet his objectives. When a prospect can clearly see that he has something to gain by enrolling in your teaching program, he will gladly sign up.
Many people think of selling as a distasteful, stressful and manipulative activity. True, most of us resent having a product or service forced upon us and would not want to do the same to others. Nearly everyone, however, enjoys the satisfaction experienced from helping others. Selling doesn’t have to be manipulative.
Instead, focus on what the customer really wants and try to match those needs to what you have to offer. If necessary, see if you can modify your current program to accommodate this customer.
Finally, if you genuinely can’t fulfill his needs, refer him to someone who can, and let him know you would like to be of service to him in the future. It may seem as if we’re telling you to deliberately lose a sale by sending a potential customer to your competitors. However, the referrals you will get back and the reputation you will earn as an honest, sincere business person will more than compensate. Often the customer will come back to you anyway, just because he likes your attitude and frankness.
Everyone likes to buy, but no one likes to be ‘sold.’
Think about it. When you make a sound purchase and get complemented on your decision, you are more than happy to take responsibility for the purchase. But buy something that you later regret, perhaps because you were sold something not in your best interest, and you will feel, “I got a bad deal at that place.”
The point? Keep your customer’s best interests in mind when making your sales presentation. Reinforce the benefits you offer that are appropriate to his needs. Make your customer feel good about himself and his decision to enroll in your program.
“I think you’ll be really happy with the results we can achieve for you, John. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday morning.”
Adopt the above attitude toward selling, and combine this with the sales skills presented I’ll share with you next month and you will find selling to be a very rewarding and stress free activity. You will enjoy what you are doing more and your customers will definitely appreciate you for it.
Six qualities of a sales conscious person
- A sales-oriented person must be a ‘people person’, accepting everyone at face value without prejudices or limitations.
- Be open and friendly in the words you choose, your tone of voice and your body language.
- Be patient, and listen attentively to your customer’s wants and needs.
- Show genuine interest and respect. Make your customer feel important.
- Show appreciation for your customer, and continue to be appreciative even after he has enrolled.
- Remember a potential customer’s name and use it to create a bond.