Working in product sales is a tricky job. One of the toughest parts is trying to avoid becoming a caricature of your profession.
Salespeople have a bad reputation. Movies and TV shows depict sales workers as using gimmicks and hyped-up language to sell questionable products.
While that’s an oversimplification, your own preconceived notions of your job might lead you into bad habits that make you sound “salesy.”
Ironically, being too salesy often prevents you from making any sales. So how can you avoid being a walking, talking stereotype? Here’s how to boost your product sales while not sounding like a salesperson.
Know It’s Not About You
One of the big mistakes marketers make is having too much inward focus.
Everyone is the protagonist in their own story. And while you’re the hero in your story, you most certainly aren’t the star in other people’s.
Never make the selling process about you. The people you’re selling to don’t care about you. Everybody has their own individual self-interest, and the key to nailing down a sale is to focus on them, not you.
Don’t spend too much time talking about yourself. And while you should come off as confident, you should never come across as arrogant.
Take a Personalized Approach
Nothing sounds more salesy than reciting a generic scripted message that pays no attention to the person you’re pitching to.
The copy-and-paste method is not effective marketing. It shows a lack of effort, and people aren’t likely to buy a product from somebody they perceive as lazy.
It’s time to do your homework.
86% of people say that personalization impacts their purchase decisions. A bit of extra effort can make the difference between a sale and a deleted email.
Personalizing your sales messaging makes it sound much more authentic. It shows that you care not just about making money, but also about improving the life of the person you’re talking to.
Take some time to find out more about the potential customer. Just a few minutes is enough time to make a stronger connection with them.
Focus on the Need, Not the Product
You could be selling the best product in the world. It has rave reviews, top performance testing results, and is a great value.
But if somebody doesn’t think they have a need for it, they aren’t going to buy it.
Let’s say you’re selling workout equipment, like a treadmill. The person you’re selling to may not specifically have a need for a treadmill. Pitching the treadmill just as a treadmill isn’t effective and sounds like an infomercial.
Rather, you should portray the product as the fulfillment of an actual need. The need, in this case, would be to lose weight and be healthy. By focusing on the need and providing evidence for why a treadmill is a great solution, you’ll be much more likely to make a sale.
Everyone has problems in their life. Your responsibility is to show how the product you’re selling can help fix them. Make the customer value your product.
Talk With People, Not At Them
One thing that characterizes almost every pitch that sounds salesy is that they use one-way communication.
Take the classic TV advertisement. The voice on the TV tells the viewer about a product and insists they buy it. The viewer sits on their couch and can’t provide any feedback or ask questions.
If you’re the only one talking during a pitch, you’re going to have problems making sales.
With advancements in technology, product sales have so much more potential for two-way communication. Whether it’s talking on the phone, exchanging emails, or responding to comments on social media, selling a product should be more of a conversation.
Ask questions. Take time to pause and listen. The more the potential buyer feels engaged in the process, the more likely they will be to make a commitment.
Don’t Overdo the Exciting Language
It’s hard to sound more salesy than when you’re using lots of over-the-top superfluous words to describe your product.
It’s important to sound enthusiastic and confident in your product. The right balance of this can do wonders at reassuring the customer of the product’s quality.
But if you’re trying too hard to hype up the product with a ton of adjectives and exclamation points, it will sound inauthentic. It will come across as a distraction to cover up deficiencies.
In many ways, the product should speak for itself. Your duty is more about displaying why this already-impressive product should be a part of the customer’s life.
By balancing enthusiasm with an even keel approach, you’ll instill more confidence in your product.
Perfect the Money Talk
Many product sales pitches go well until the very end. That’s, of course, when the issue of money comes up.
A potential customer may love your product and have a genuine interest in making a purchase. But when the price tag comes up, they balk. They want your product, but they want their money more.
When you’ve gotten this far, you can’t afford to let a sale slip through your fingers. But you also can’t get pushy or forceful.
Find out why the price point is a sticking issue. If there’s a special situation, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan or a discount.
Also, remind them of the true value of the product: It’s the solution to a problem. The reason why they work to earn money is to make purchases like this when they’re needed.
Completing a transaction will frequently involve some negotiation. Any transaction should be mutually beneficial, so be willing to listen and work out a positive end result for both sides.
Product Sales Takes Practice
Working in product sales is a tough job. Much like the game of baseball, even the best salesmen often fail more than they succeed.
But as you get more experience and try new techniques, you’ll see yourself getting more and more hits.
Practice your pitches in front of a mirror or record yourself. Do mock pitches for friends and relatives. Continue to practice and improve and you’ll soon start nailing down more sales while not sounding so much like a salesman.
Learn More About Making Sales
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