integrity selling

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There isn’t a sales person alive today who doesn’t know that they shouldn’t be selling product, but instead should be selling to help meet the needs of their customers.  The problem is that, despite this, customers are still reporting a very low level of value from time spent with sales people. Why the disconnect?

As customers, we’ve all been on the receiving end of one or more of the common selling strategies. Here are a few you’ve probably seen:

  • A product focus is when salespeople spend most of their time showing and talking about their product or service, its features, advantages and benefits. Objective: Help people understand their product or service so that they’ll want to buy it.
  • A transaction focus is used by salespeople whose main goal is to “get people to the yes”-in other words, to agree to buy whatever they’re selling. Objective: Make the sale, whatever it takes.
  • A customer-needs focus is when salespeople go through a discovery process to determine if customers have needs, wants, problems or objectives they want filled, satisfied or solved. Objective: Establish a need before initiating any selling activity.

Thinking back to your experiences as a customer, how did you feel in these different scenarios? Were you bored? On the defensive? Did you learn something about your needs or discover a pressing challenge that you hadn’t even realized existed before? Or did you just want to get off the phone or run for the nearest exit as fast as you could?

With both product- and transaction-focused selling approaches, the salesperson is essentially trying to convince you that this product or this “deal” is so great that you simply must have it. Their success comes down to how effective they are at persuading you to believe their position.

In fact, many salespeople will say they take a customer-needs-focused approach, but their actions say otherwise. You can tell because they’re still falling back on this idea that they need to sway you or influence you to do something (the implication being that it’s something you don’t really want to do). No wonder customers often feel like they need to push back in these situations. It’s basically a battle of wills, one that’s being fought on a simmering ground of doubt and distrust.

With a true customer-needs approach, on the other hand, the salesperson is focused on helping you get a clearer picture of your own situation so that, together, you can identify what the requirements are and how they can best be satisfied. Their success comes down to how effective they are at bringing your true needs to the surface and the overall value they deliver in filling those needs.

Instead of trying to convince you to buy something, these salespeople spend most of their time finding out if you have needs that they can address. No solutions are even offered until your wants or needs have been admitted.

Here’s the kicker: Our research shows that when people sell this way, they can experience a 15 to 30 percent increase in their sales.

To understand why, we have to look at what we know about the art of persuasion: The more we attempt to persuade people, the more they tend to resist us. But the more we attempt to understand them and create value for them, the more they tend to persuade themselves.

What is your focus?

If you’re in sales, one easy way to identify your own central sales focus is to think about how you spend your time when talking to customers.

Do you spend most of your time in the first half of your contact talking about your product or service? Or do you spend most of your time asking questions that focus on the customer’s needs?

In the interview stage of an effective customer-needs-focused selling process, you should be spending at least 80% of the time listening. And when you do talk, it should be mostly in the form of questions and paraphrasing back to customers what they tell you to make sure you understand them. You explore, ask questions and get feedback, and you make no attempt to sell anything until the customer:

  1. admits needs, wants, problems or objectives they want filled, satisfied or solved.
  2. agrees that not only do they have needs but that they are open to solutions.
  3. agrees to talk to you about a solution.
  4. confirms that they can make purchase decisions.

Generally, if they don’t agree to all four of these steps, you probably don’t have a good prospect. Or they aren’t the real decision makers. Or they don’t have a compelling reason to take action. Or they aren’t favorably disposed to buying from you.

Take a closer look at your own approach to make sure you’re truly focused on creating value for your customers rather than wearing them down to buy from you. One of the most important questions you can start with is this:

In your typical selling situations, who does most of the talking?

If it’s you, chances are, your focus is more product-oriented or transactional, and it’s likely keeping you from reaching your full sales potential.

Re-blogged from Integrity Solutions.

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It seems that every time you turn around there’s some new way to communicate. We’ve gone from snail mail to faxing to e-mail to instant messaging to texting to social media. We even have new ways to photo-bomb!

But the customers have spoken, and it seems that in spite of all these technological advances, 79% of them prefer the telephone as their method for interacting with customer service centers.

While it might seem like a computer-savvy customer would prefer the speed and ease of conducting business online without ever having to speak with anyone, it’s hard to argue with a number like 79%.

So, what is it about the telephone that makes it the communication method of choice? Well, the answer is pretty simple: Customers still want a human touch.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, the latest research shows that the most effective way to maximizecall-center customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers on an emotional level.

In essence, there are two factors shaping call centers today, and they’re interconnected: Customers prefer to have a phone conversation, and customer “value” is defined by the degree to which a customer feels emotionally engaged during that phone conversation.

How well equipped are your call center agents to adapt to these new realities and execute on this directive from customers?

Smart companies have tossed out the old playbooks that instructed call center employees to recite an impersonal script, get the customer’s name and credit card number as quickly as possible, minimize call time, and move on to the next customer.

Instead, leading organizations are now encouraging their call center employees to connect with their customers. They are emboldened to be problem solvers, to think outside of the box and to gain their customer’s trust. Boilerplate scripts and restrictive efficiency metrics are fading away in favor of meaningful connections.

These agents are building relationships. And those relationships are building loyalty.

When you consider that last year in the U.S. alone, the estimated cost of customers switching service providers due to poor customer service was $1.6 trillion, this just makes good business sense.

But here’s the best part. When you equip your employees to connect with customers as advisors rather than order takers, you instill a sense of pride. They recognize that they are an integral part of the solution. This not only makes their jobs more rewarding, it also increases their engagement and motivation. As a result, they are able to deliver a level of customer service that is completely genuine and demonstrates their compassion and concern. And that means everybody wins—the customer, the company and the call center agents themselves.

Enabling your call center agents to do what they need to do to convert more calls to customers and ensure that they retain those customers is the smart way forward. Equip them to be compassionate, to solve problems, to take ownership, to be human. Give them that sense of pride. Your customers will thank you. And you’ll reap the results.

Re- Blogged From:-

Integrity Solution

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In the old days, if you were a valued customer of a company (and you were, because all customers were valued in the old days), you had a specific contact through whom all transactions were processed. If your contact was on vacation, you might be forced to go through the company’s call center, but that was always a last resort because you believed that whoever answered that phone was going to be about three fries short of a Happy Meal.

Call centers didn’t earn a lot of respect from their own companies either. They were viewed strictly as a cost drain. Companies felt required to have them, but they didn’t feel required to support them with much more than the skills and tools they needed to be processors of the most mundane tasks. After all, highly trained sales representatives were there to do the heavy lifting.

But those old days are gone. The Internet came along and changed the way we do business, the way we shop, the way we entertain ourselves, the way we live. Customers began to realize that they could save time and money by conducting business online, and those personal representatives who had been so important before slowly began to fade. The times they were a-changing.

But here’s what didn’t change. Customers still wanted service. They wanted to maintain that feeling of having a business relationship. And that was no easy feat, considering that a high percentage of their transactions were done with two mouse clicks and the enter key. But occasionally, they would still need to have a little human contact, like if the website was down, or the transaction was complicated, or they had carpal tunnel. So companies had a new challenge: Re-purposing their tired call centers into profitable, customer satisfaction centers.

Enter the new and improved call center!

Today, the call center has earned a new respect, because the call center has become a company’s initial shot at true customer service. Smart companies have begun to understand that their call centers are their face, their voice and their smile. The call centers are giving them a chance to stand out against their competition. They are the one opportunity the company has to sell itself. The call centers have made a colossal shift. They’ve gone from zero to hero!

Not only have call centers, in most cases, become the company’s front line, but they’re also doing something else that they’d never done before. They’re making money! They’re no longer just overhead or a necessary evil. Because of the service they provide, in essence, they’ve been able to eliminate long selling cycles.

It’s also critical to note that call centers are not only making money, they’re saving money. With well-trained call center professionals, companies are able to reduce their sales cycle—or even their sales force. These kinds of call centers can handily pick up the slack. And the company profits soar—but not at the risk of customer satisfaction. If anything, customers are more satisfied with their experience when transacting their business through a call center, citing ease and expedience of transactions as the reason to use call centers.

There’s no denying that in the last five years, as the U.S. economy has picked up, so have revenues generated from call centers. The shift is customer driven. Companies who are listening to their customers understand that their call centers need to play a more prominent role in their overall business strategies. According to eConsultancy, a whopping 61% of consumers prefer the phone as their channel for conducting business. That should be a strong impetus for companies to make sure that their call centers are functioning efficiently, able to serve and sell value, and have customer satisfaction as their number one goal.

What are you doing to help your call center helping your business?

 

Re – Blogged From :- Integrity Solutions

 

Source:- http://www.integritysolutions.com/service/helping-call-center-help-business

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Have you ever listened to a renowned professional speaker who has mastered the art of boosting sales like never before? The energy level and the enthusiasm they put in making their presentation a huge success is commendable. These motivational speakers bring freshness to the content by engaging their audience with appropriate content, motivation and direction that will help them to master the expertise over the sales job. They entertain, they make their audience laugh over gags, they make their audience feel uncomfortable by asking them some straight forward questions and most importantly they will challenge their audience with new idea and concept related to practical problems. These extra efforts that they put in make them special and unique.

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Among the sales tips that they share using theoretical examples, five are discussed in this article which will help novice sales executives to learn and master the trade.

Lead generation

Achieving sales target begins with the first step that is lead generation. There are plenty of theoretical tips related to lead generation by using lead magnets and extensive campaigning. But sales experts always suggest practical ways of lead generation and that is reaching out to existing customers and convincing them with solutions that solves their problems sooner. This way they can do a trust building activity and also learn how many customers are interested in trying the new product.

Effective campaigning

There are plenty of campaigning techniques that one can exploit in order to boost their sales. One of the most effective sales techniques is to do extensive campaigning on all the available mediums. Internet marketing, email marketing, Facebook Marketing, Radio and Video are some techniques through which a sales executive can create curiosity about the product and try to lure more customers.

Product launch and extensive promotion

Another way to boost sales and hit the market is with a grand product launch and extensive promotional activities in the form of commercials, road shows, campaigns etc. These techniques create new customer bases who can introduce many more into the loop. Sales executives should constantly think of new idea wherein they can capture the attention of avid buyers.

Customer follow-up

A sales representative should have the capacity to convert potential leads into valuable customers by continuous follow-up meetings. Though there are social networking channels available for them to interact on frequent basis, personal follow-up meetings create a great deal of confidence in the customer’s mind.

Feedback call

A sales professional should always manage to create a warm relation with his customers. His intention should not just be to sell the product for time being, but to make the customer a loyal customer who is ready to subscribe and try all the products launched by the company based on the sales executive’s suggestion. In this process, the sales representative must gather feedback about the product and if possible pass their feedback to the concerned authorities. As per the international professional speakers, this way a trust factor is built between the customer and the executive which will help in future deals

These five sales techniques tips are really important for an aspiring sales professional or a newbie one in this field. These tips not just helps the sales professional to group their audience but also helps them to understand how sales has to be conducted from start till end.

About the Author

Phil-M-Jones_2051675Phil M Jones is one such motivational speaker who is an expert in addressing international audience with his practical yet professional sales tips. One can benefit from home by subscribing to his audio CD’s and training materials. Visit the website philmjones.com for more information on the speakers training schedules and materials.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Phil_M_Jones/2184770