Any salesperson, of any experience level, who is not using sales tools is not selling as well, or as easily, as they can.  They may be selling a lot, and it may be more than enough to satisfy themselves, but it’s not as much as they could be selling or as easy as it could be for them.

Well thought out sales tools, whether they’re charts, diagrams, questionnaires, brochures, estimators, or simply good sales scripts, all help keep the salesperson and the prospect focused on the same things and at the same time.  Because they take care of that, they ‘free’ the salesperson to concentrate on how the information is being received; to concentrate on the prospect instead of on them self and their own products.

Too many salespeople erroneously believe using sales tools ‘restricts’ them and won’t allow them to be responsive to their prospects.  They don’t use a script because they want to tailor their presentations to suit the prospect and they don’t want it to sound ‘canned’.  That’s nonsense.

A salesperson’s job is to convey specific information that helps the prospect see how that information can benefit him.  Doing so efficiently and effectively takes great planning.  No one goes to see a great actor in a great play because he ‘wings-it’ and makes up different dialogue for each audience, each night.  They go because, as a great actor, he’s made the effort to learn the dialog so well that he’s now freed from thinking about what he’s trying to convey and he can now concentrate on how he’s conveying it and how the audience is receiving it; adjusting his delivery as necessary for maximum impact.

He couldn’t do that if he didn’t know the words in advance; and if a salesperson doesn’t know in advance exactly what he wants to say he can’t say it with maximum impact either.  Whether something comes across as canned or as well-planned has nothing whatsoever to do with the words being said and everything to do with the amount of effort put into learning and delivering those words by the person saying them.

Effective sales tools are built on two sales principles.  The first principle is: the best time to handle any sales problem or objection is before it comes up.  I try to anticipate common questions or objections we all get.  I always want to put those things out first for two reasons.  If I can overcome them, I want to do so early so they won’t be hanging over the rest of the presentation and if I can’t overcome them, I also want to know early so I don’t waste time on the rest of the presentation only to lose the sale over them later.

The second principle is: put the pressure where it belongs; on the prospect.  I’m all about low-pressure selling; low pressure on me, that is!  I can’t control the credit process or the resulting decision so I refuse to worry about them or to feel pressure to get a prospect an approval.  I simply make it clear to the prospect what’s required and make it the prospect’s responsibility to earn the approval they want.  The trick is to do it easily and non-judgmentally.

Effective sales tools can help you do that.  You should have a number of them readily available, each one geared for slightly different situations and you should know them so well that you can instantly recognize when one or the other, or a combination of them, is needed and can quickly and smoothly transition directly to them.  It’s just a matter of practice …and practice …and practice.

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