Such a great question. I will throw in a couple of things, not in order of importance that come to mind from past experiences. I will come back to this listing and see and think about what others hopefully have written.
1) Ask the customer immediately some form of the question, what are you trying to do and accomplish?
That causes the customer to talk about themselves and their need, and how the are thinking to go about taking action for what they need to do. - Then you will know a lot about their basic thoughts - You can use this info later in the conversation to help them.
2) Next ask basically, are you going to benefit / generate a lot of revenue by doing this? Of course they will, either directly or indirectly for their organization, or they wouldn't be thinking about doing it. They will either benefit their organization indirectly by growing it or enhancing it in some fashion, or monetarily, directly. Many businesses know that a certain business model or venture will ultimately result in increased sales. The customer will definitely not only answer this Question, but will love to talk about it, and if they are going to increase revenues, they will tell you so immediately & with a great deal of enthusiasm.
3) If you are proposing one of your product or services to them, you are in a great positon to possibly help them, not to mention yourself while doing so. You have been listening to them as if you are the one who will be doing it yourself. Now you know if your products or services will help them. If youcannot help them, give the customer some advice and a referral to someone who you think can help them.
4) If you know your product or service can help the customer, tell them how and why based on their need and how it will benefit them. Customers sometimes may focus on details and not always want to see the big picture. If you are selling a car lift and engine analyzer for $25K and the customer has to finance it for a total of $35K over 5 years, the customer may say, " I can't afford that" *If in the beginning of the conversation the customer told you he will be generating more $50,00 per year in additional revenue by servicing cars in an extra bay, for which he needs the equipment, then remind the customer the additional revenues will far exceed the cost of the product.
5) Follow up - did I mention Follow up? Unless you are a world class salesman, there will be people who just wont buy in that instant you talk to them. Some percentage cannot that day, are just getting started , you were the first one and they always check with 3 companies no matter what, etc. If this could be a good customer and you think they really are buyers, not just window shoppers, simple follow up often gets the sale.
Great answer Will
Salesmanship is like crafting a piece of art or writing.
As you create, you get closer to what you *want* to create.
You often see a new object take shape as you work.
Naturally, each salesman has a different personality and brand message,
Similarly, when you plan a new program or business, your brand and personality
will evolve as your business grows and you work with more clients.
What qualities would you say make a great salesman? After the decline in the economy, salesman have had to work harder to get those sales. Do you or your salesman have a great sales pitch that just can't be ignored? What do you do in your business to increase sales?
Can't wait to hear your answers.