Leading sales conversations

26 Jul 2022

7 Guidelines for the successful sales conversation

The sales conversation is not something that is natural to many. There is inherent insecurity in meeting new people and also with a low attention span, clients regularly want to give very short time for meetings.

Hence, many get carried away and prefer to talk about what feels good to them and also what clients ask that is about product or service details.

But this defeats the purpose of the sales conversation.  Before you went to a sales call, you must ask the question

What is the reason this person meeting with me?

This isn’t your reason; it’s your customer’s reason for agreeing to see you. It may sound obvious yet most sellers don’t ask this simple question.

Instead of giving their customers sound business reasons for spending time with them, sellers focus on their own comfort areas, the product pitch, or some other talk that are not relevant to the business. Thus, the sales process falters or stalls. A good feeling to a seller is not necessarily a good feeling to the prospect.   

So what is important is to understand the “Business reason” why the client is meeting. If this question is answered it gives it serves 2 purposes,

1) It gives the potential client information he needs in order to understand exactly who you are and why you want to meet.

2) It establishes a common foundation so that when you do meet you can concentrate on understanding the customer’s goals, pains, and results looking for.

7 Guidelines for Successful Sales Conversation

  1. Belief & Share Your Authentic Passion

    Sales happen only when clients convince themselves of the need for your product. So, sharing your passion for your product or service is NOT about convincing your prospect that they need what you’re selling, but rather creating a genuine connection and helping them convince themselves about you, your product, and your service. Sharing your authentic passion will naturally build the “know, like, and trust” factor. 

  2. Be Curious

    Is this client a good fit for me? What do they really want? What would help them get it? What are their biggest challenges? This kind of qualification helps you serve clients better. The better qualified the clients, then you are more interested to work with them. If the client is not qualified you can always help them otherways but spending sales conversations with clients who may not be the right fit, is the #1 biggest time waster in sales.

  3. Ask Question

    If you want to persuade in sales, do not talk but ask questions. The questions you ask will help the client know your expertise as well as your preparedness. Instead of “selling”, invite the prospect to talk themselves into doing business with you. Ask questions like, “What is the outcome you are looking at?” and, “Who apart from you will be interested?”  

  4. Listen to Your Potential Client’s Strengths, Desires, and Vision

    Always acknowledge clients. Understanding their perspectives and their current mental model is critical. Only speak about what you see in them. This builds rapport and shows the potential client that you “get them”. This is a critical step in building trust. 

  5. Say What You Think – Be Honest

    Buying is ultimately making a decision. Not buying is also a decision. To buy vs not buy the difference comes from the clarity they gain in a sales conversation. To bring clarity, be bold and authentic.  For some reason, people tend to hold back on what they really think during a sales conversation. Don’t assume, that if something is obvious to you, need not be obvious to them. Say what you’re thinking but be curious and use proper tonality. It will create more of a connection, will serve the potential client, and will lead to clarity about whether or not you are a fit. 

  6. Be clear on the Client’s Needs and Desires

    Gather all the client’s challenges and desires, and needs. And see if your product or service meets the needs of clients and helps them overcome their challenges and realizes their desires. If so, tell them. If not, be honest about that and provide them with other options. 

  7. Focus on the Benefits Versus the Features:

    You must focus your presentation on the benefits of your service and not on the features of your service. Many people confuse the two.  I cannot overemphasize this point. The benefits are the “results” while the features are all the details about how your product or service works. In most cases, the client only cares about the “results” and whether or not you can deliver them. “How” you will help them is only an afterthought

The above 7 guidelines are not everything but give a good starting point. As you practice these, there are further improvements one can find to improve own sales conversation to serve clients better and faster