How do you sell a photocopier?
By Douglas Vermeeren, http://www.TheSalesTrainer.com
How do you sell a photocopier? That was the question I was faced with this morning as I met with Gary one of my new clients. He works as a salesperson for Konica Minolta one of the world’s leading photocopy manufactures. As we sat across from each other this morning over coffee and orange juice he unfolded to me the highly competitive and lucrative world of photocopies. It was amazing to consider that one sale for him could often mean as many as 300 machines. That could easily be half a million dollar deal in his world. But that world is highly competitive with companies like Ricoh, Xerox, Cannon and others all fighting for the business.
To most people and unfortunately to many of his customers a copier is just a copier. A lot of the features that you’d think might wow someone from a technological point of view often are really not that important. All of trouble sales people in this world encounter come right down to fighting for the best pricing… that is unless you understand How to sell a photocopier.
In our conversation today we talked a lot about how prospects decide to buy when it comes down to a battle of pricing in a marketplace where products look the same to the customer. Here are a few of those thoughts:
1) Build strong personal relationships. Prospect buy and stay loyal to those they connect with on a personal level. If all other factors are generality he same prospects will always buy from the person they like the best. So focus on connecting with your prospect beyond the photocopier. What is it you have in common and how can you deepen those connections.
2) Shift the value from the product to the service and support. Although a product may be similar in the eyes of the prospect the level of support and service will not be. If the prospect feels supported, understood and cared for they will gravitate to that security.
3) Add additional value. Even if the pricing on the copier is similar between competitors what else can be added to give greater value. Can you bonus paper or products to highly valuable orders? Can you gift service calls? There are a number of things that you can do.
When products are competing on price the best thing you can do is change the rules of the competition. The thing that wins the most business in this circumstance is creativity. What can you do that your competitors are not yet doing.
Met with Gary this morning to help with some selling strategies for Konica Minolta one of the world’s leading manufacturers of Photo copies. Have you ever thought how it might be to sell photocopiers? (Most people think one is just like another.) So how do you stand out and become successful? You might find some of the strategies I gave Gary to be very helpful for your business – check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jczHoa7MvX8&feature=youtu.be
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Closing the sale and asking for the money is generally the hardest thing for most entrepreneurs, insurance agents, financial planners, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and well, just about anyone has to do. But unless you learn how to effectively ask for the money or the deal all of your preparation, prospecting and presenting will be a waste of your time. At the end of the day the only thing that gets you a pay check and keeps you in business is your ability to ask for the sale. So why is this so hard for some people? Why has this moment in the sales process become the most feared and dreaded? Why is it that most sellers become nervous and perplexed and call this the #1 challenge they have with sales?
Simple. Because they don’t know how to transition. That’s the biggest mistake.
1) Not knowing how to transition
What is a transition? Let me explain in a simple way. Most people know that customers buy emotionally and back it up logically. The transition is that point in the sale where you shift from the emotional to the transactional or logical. Most people have a really easy time with the emotional because generally speaking we love the products and services we sell. We find it easy to be enthusiastic and valuable at this stage of the sale. But we also know that we need to eventually ask for the deal and most of the time nobody likes talking about money.
In most peoples minds talking about money is very different than talking about our business. We love our business. We are attached to our business. We have our feelings and ego invested in our business. We do not feel the same way about money. When we approach money it represents acceptance or rejection to us. Because it is indeed an “ask” it becomes a test to see if we have done a good job in demonstrating value. If the customer says NO then we feel we may have failed to some degree.
Much of this failure to close comes not from a lack of value but from a lack of effective transition. Take a look at your current sales process, do you have a transition? Do you recognize your transition points?
2)Not overcoming objections
Too often sales people try to avoid objections thinking that any objection reflects a flaw in their product or presentation. Quite the opposite is true. An objection is a signal that your prospect is considering a purchase. Think about it: Why would you ask a question if you were not interested.
We’ve all seen sales situations that went this way. The prospect nods their head to every comment or question you make and then ends with “Let me think about it.” They had no objection because they were not really interested. You don’t need polite listeners – you need Customers! Customers are interested enough to ask questions and raise objections.
A great exercise I ask my students to do is take a little time and jot down the top 10 objections that they run into and find good answers. When you have that figured out memorize it and be prepared.
Let’s talk about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!
One of my favourite sports is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. One of the most important things for a BJJ practitioner to learn is how to escape. In fact, when I first started it was important for me to become competent in a variety of escapes from a variety of positions. The more competent I became at my escapes the less I feared being trapped in a new position. In fact, I began to allow myself to be pulled into certain positions because I knew that my escape would open opportunities for me to gain advantages that were not presently available to me. The same can be said of objections when you prepare for them you won’t fear them. Instead you’ll recognize them as doorways to opportunity.
3) Lastly, a big mistake a lot of sellers make is that they do not recognize their buyers PEAK buying state.
There is a point in all effective sales processes when the prospect reaches a buying peak. It is the point at which they are ready to buy. That’s when it’s time to stop and ask for the deal. Too often novice sales people miss these buying signals and they keep talking. What happens often is the prospect fatigues and decides not to buy or new concerns and considerations are raised and the prospect looses their excitement. Time is precious and when a prospect is ready we must allow them to purchase. Be sensitive to their needs and wants. Let them guide the sales process and spend less time presenting.
If you would like to improve these skills come and join us at the next upcoming SELL MORE: Close Mastery session. For more information go to http://www.TheSalesTrainer.com
Here’s what some of our students are saying about the one on one sessions prior to the training:
Faye just handed in her homework for this month with the SELL MORE Program. How’d you’d like to give your clients homework that includes them sharing how they feel about you? It’s been pretty fun. But there is a purpose to it that helps their business dramatically. By the way if you’ve ever wondered if SELL MORE can help Real Estate agents you’ll be interested in Faye’s video.
Closing is not where you get the deal
By Douglas Vermeeren, The Sales Trainer www.TheSalesTrainer.com
Here are a few simple thoughts on better closing. This is not an article. Just some random thoughts I was having as I thought about the subject this morning over breakfast. Yes, I am constantly thinking about sales. I encourage you to do the same. Where we invest our mental energy is where we begin to unlock our brilliance. What we learn affects what we earn. So take some time and think about these things.
By the way one of my hobbies is certainly something that a lot of people would think is weird. Some people collect baseball cards, bottle caps, comic books etc. I actually collect sales closes. That’s right. I said Sales closes. Every time I see one, hear one, read about one I write it down. I currently have just over 2000 sales closes. Now I want to point out that I didn’t say that they are all brilliant. In fact, I have some good, bad and ugly. Some are absolutely hilarious. Some are downright embarrassing and terrible. But many are brilliant. The thing I also like about having so many closes are that some are better suited to my selling style and some are not. With so many to choose from I certainly have several that work for me.
Often I have shared these with my students and many that would never work for me have worked incredibly well for them. I encourage you to start keeping your own collection. You don’t have to collect tot he extent that I have, but at least try to find a handful of closes that you really like an work well for you. Try and memorize them and have them ready to use.
By the way I have had a ton of requests for my “close collection” over the years, maybe one day I will publish it. What do you think would anyone be interested in having it? (By the way that question is a form of a close.)
Anyways, here are a few morning thoughts on closing.
A great close at the end is not where the deal is finalized. A prospect has often made their decision long before you ask for the deal. A close is where that decision is declared. The decision has been made in incremental steps along the way as you have successfully demonstrated value, solved their problem and connected with their specific wants and needs.
Closing doesn’t get you the deal it confirms the deal. The conversion of your customer is not an event, but a process.So you remember earlier when I talked about collecting closes? Make sure that you are collecting closes that can be used through out the sales process, not just at the end.
The final close is where it becomes clear whether you’ve done your job sharing the value or not. It is the time when you shift from the emotion of the sale to the logistics of delivery and terms. This is also what makes it difficult for most people to close. The #1 challenge that I have seen entrepreneurs and sales people experience is asking for the deal or asking for the money. The reason why is generally the haven’t properly prepared the prospect or they don’t know how to make the transition from the emotional, value driven part of the sale to the logistical transaction part of the sale. I call this the transition and unless you understand how to do it it can be stressful and cost you the sale.
These things should be done and confirmed through out the sales process. That’s why the popular phrase Always Be Closing (every sales needs ABC) is one of the biggest truths in sales. If you close early, often and even on the little things you will see a higher percentage of your prospects become customers. Very few prospects will ever be turned into a customer from one big close. But as they commit in degrees or identify the value for themselves in little steps they are pulled towards the sale.
Well, I guess that’s enough for today. I’m sure I’ll touch on closes again in the future. It is such an important part of the sales process and there is so much to say. I doubt if a thousand articles could finish the subject. Hope today was useful and I look forward to next time.
For more on successful closing go to http://www.TheSalesTrainer.com
As part of our training in the SELL MORE program we give homework. Yes, you heard that right – Homework! Sometimes it can be kind of tough too – easy doesn’t always equal results. Part of our homework this week was for our students to simply report back their experiences with the program so far. I was a little worried. I mean aren’t we always when we collect our own report card? So I guess this weeks assignment could have been the hardest for me – that is if I hadn’t been doing my job. Listen to what Mike had to say about the program so far and tell me if you think I got a passing grade: