Selling Today… Same Basics, Different Tools

Things are getting very confusing in today’s sales environment. While the fundamentals of connecting with customers and prospects remain the same, the ways of doing so are changing. New skills are needed, but the time to acquire them is limited. The pressure to change is constant, but there is little guidance on how change should take place.

In this issue of Printips, we’d like to offer our take on the situation. While not denying that change is the order of the day, we believe a little common sense about it all will help bring some order to the chaos.

Sales fundamentals

No matter how much things change, the fundamentals remain the same. So let’s review some basics of the sales process.

Fundamental #1: People buy from those they know, like, and trust. The buying decision is based on relationship.

Fundamental #2: To build trust, get to know your customers and prospects. Focus on helping first, selling later.

Fundamental #3: A prospect will trust a referral coming from someone they know. Referrals take the burden of prospecting from the salesperson, so ask your customers for referrals.

Fundamental #4: Show your trustworthiness by providing excellent service and exhibiting ethical behavior in selling and servicing your customers. This is the basis of a long-term relationship with a customer.

Fundamental #5: Prospecting is the first and most important step in the selling process. Prospecting consists of identifying potential customers and qualifying them. A qualified prospect has the authority, desire, and money to make a purchase.

Fundamental #6: Prospecting requires a strategy and the tools and skills to carry it out. Part of the strategy is recognizing that prospects are not all alike, and tailoring the prospecting approach to their preferences.

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