We know that to be successful in sales we need to take action, even when it feels difficult or awkward. In baseball, players with a .300 batting average are considered to be very good batters. But that’s only three hits out of 10 at bats. In baseball, as in sales, even low percentages can still mean success.
So how do we get out of our comfort zone when we know that we will hear “no” more than “yes” from customers? A first step is to accept we are going to have rejections. Here are a few key tips to help you get out of your comfort zone and raise that selling batting average:
- Prepare, Practice and Present: Mastering your message is critical. This involves understanding your company’s value to the customer. Knowing your personal value is equally important. Ask yourself what these values are and write it down, then practice it so it becomes natural. It should be genuine, so it does not sound scripted.
- Be Authentic: Another way of saying this is be yourself. You do not have to be someone you are not; remember, people do business with someone they like. That is why relationships are so important. So, bring your authentic self to all sales situations and your customer will see it. That is how trust is built.
- Talk Less and Listen More: Sales can be mentally draining because you talk, talk, talk. By doing less talking and more listening you will identify two of the most important things your customer wants: understand their needs and address their concerns. Stay focused on the topic and make sure your solutions are directly meeting their needs. Talking less and listening more is a learned skill, so practice.
- Hearing No Is Critical to Success: How can that be? When a customer rejects a proposal, use it as a learning tool to help you reshape your message to get to a yes. If you ask why they chose to not move forward with your solutions, you will start to have a better understanding of why they are saying no. That allows you to reshape your approach or identify what “value proposition” you are missing. Only then can you fine tune your message.
- Change Your Thinking on Selling: Remember you’re not taking something from your customer, you are providing a valuable service or product. They are receiving something of value, and you are not forcing or tricking them in any way. Consider that you are a problem solver; for example, ask questions to uncover any maintenance issues or their desire for improvements. Then you can develop a proposal that makes it clear your services will benefit them. Keep in mind that you are making their life easier.
- Be Curious: Being genuinely interested in other people can lead you to success. By learning more about the person you are selling to, you will develop a working relationship and a stronger bond. Getting to know a potential customer by having a genuine interest in them builds a connection.
Lastly, it comes down to believing in what you are selling. Otherwise why do it? If you truly believe in what you are doing, then it is almost as if you are doing customers a favor by offering your services and products. Always begin with listening to their needs and providing a solution that demonstrates your value. Ask yourself, “how comfortable do I feel”? If you are feeling too comfortable, then maybe now is the time to get out of your comfort zone. Soon you will raise your batting average and be on your way to reaching your goals.