Sales is the driving force of business. Today, there are many traditional and electronic tools available to support it and new ones are constantly being created. Companies and freelancers are testing newer technologies and using mechanisms thanks to which they can sell even better and more. Using tools will certainly benefit you, but combining them with the right knowledge base is the key to the most effective sales. Whether you're a layman or a specialist, mastering sales techniques can strengthen your position and open your eyes to new opportunities, because all of us want to sell more, and to do that you need to know how to improve your sales techniques.
What are sales techniques?
Sales techniques are nothing but ways by which we can more easily convince a customer to buy our product/service. They can be divided into two basic ones: hard and soft. Hard sales techniques refer to actions directly with the customer. Simply put, you have to convince the customer, using all available methods, to buy what you offer. We have known hard techniques for years and it is these that we associate with 'pushy salesmen'. Soft ones are very interesting sales techniques. We do not directly identify them with selling and "pushing something on us by force". It is rather a series of actions on our subconscious which are supposed to lead us to purchase something. We should select sales techniques depending on the sales channel. We distinguish between personal sales, telephone sales and impersonal sales (e.g. mailings). A skilful salesman/saleswoman can use sales techniques in a very natural way, without arousing any suspicion. However, if you take them too literally, you may be considered an artificial salesman. Secondly, every situation is different and it is difficult to replicate a technique completely. The point is to remain yourself and use your personality to gain the trust of your customers or business partners.
Sales techniques - types
It is impossible to count the number of these techniques, but one thing is certain - we come into contact with them every day. We can use them consciously or unconsciously and succumb to them at the same time. They are also used in marketing to trigger different needs in customers and help sales. However, both marketers and salespeople have to be increasingly creative as the main sales techniques are already highly recognisable to customers. Especially when dealing with those that have been practiced for many years. Countless books have been written about sales techniques. It not only depends on what you are selling, but also what approach you take to it. Whether you want to use a traditional approach or perhaps psychological sales techniques. In this article, you will learn examples of sales techniques that you may encounter on a daily basis and what sales techniques we distinguish.
Foot in the door
We start with one of the most classic techniques that each of us has probably encountered many times. Its premise is trivially simple. Do you have a big request? Precede it with another small one that everyone will agree to. Freedman and Fraser proved already in 1966 that if your interlocutor agrees to the first thing (even a symbolic one), you are twice as likely that the second request (the right one) will be successful. Often you may encounter an element of this technique if you have "fallen" into the sales funnel of a given company. It offers you the first purchase often well below face value just to test your willingness to spend. When you get to the next stage of the funnel, you get an average offer. But as you already know, it can be much more difficult to say NO.
Door in the face
An interesting technique as it is completely opposite to the first one. However, it is based on the same basic assumption - it is not about the first request. According to this technique, the first thing we propose should be highly exaggerated and completely unrealistic. Once we hear the first refusal, then we can "go along with the other party" and propose a second request. The point is that we only wanted the second one from the start. This is an effective way because we have a double chance. Statistically, there is bound to be someone who agrees to the first proposal. Then we gain twice. However, this method works best with direct contact, when you can react in real-time. If you acquire customers through mailing, it is better to choose another more effective technique.
A rather controversial sales technique involving the customer in the purchase of a very attractive item. After a while (when the customer is already decided to buy) it turns out that the product is no longer available. As a result of the fact that the customer has already become involved in the process, it is much easier for him to decide on another more expensive item. The controversy of this sales method and technique is that often this cheaper item has never even been there. This is often exploited by professional car traders. They put up a car that doesn't quite match the facts, but is cheap. When the customer arrives, it turns out that this car has just been sold. However, suddenly a similar model is found and only slightly more expensive. The customer has come (engaged), so he is willing to buy the more expensive vehicle.
The first three are extremely effective when we have direct contact with the customer. However, they have one major drawback - they require a whole group of people to oversee such processes. In the age of the internet, the answer to the question of how to sell is becoming different from 10 years ago. The focus is now on modern sales techniques. Nowadays one person is often enough to sell our product - an influencer. A well-crafted campaign involving a recognisable person can bring better results than many classic sales techniques. If we want such a campaign to be effective, it is worth defining the target group well. Well-prepared prospecting will help in this. This way we can consciously choose an influencer and thus sell as much as possible. More and more companies see that influencer marketing is a very effective sales technique.
Closely related to the previous point based on buying a given product because someone recommended it to us. A recommendation from a trusted person (even a stranger) or a person regarded as trusted can be more effective than many sales methods or techniques. All product evaluations are based on the same principle, on Google or Facebook, among others. When we see that an item has 5 stars it automatically increases our trust in it. However, it should be remembered that this is also a sales technique which is supposed to build positive emotions
Be an expert
This can be a professional sales technique and at the same time very effective. It is logical that you should improve your knowledge throughout your life, that is why we trust people who know more than we do. They are regarded as experts in our minds. If they also share this knowledge with us for free, our vigilance often wanes, this does not mean that everyone who wants to help us has bad intentions, they are simply people who know that sharing knowledge and being an expert is the best way to gain trust and sales.
Answer questions quickly
Non-obvious sales techniques are often used online. How do they get us closer to achieving our goal? The answer is very simple. This principle is based on inbound marketing. If a customer has come to us himself (has done some work), he expects a return from the company. If they are wondering about something or want to make an inquiry, they will probably send a message. They expect an answer. This seems obvious, however, the truth is that 62% of companies do not reply at all to customer enquiries. This causes the customer to become discouraged as he feels completely ignored. The next time he or she is looking for a similar product/service, it's likely that our company will be passed by.
Cialdini's rule of unavailability
The rule is very simple. WE ONLY HAVE ONE PRODUCT LEFT. Few things motivate us to buy as much as such information. It instantly triggers the desire to buy. If it is not going to be available soon, I have to have it. This principle is as simple as it is effective. It can be used in direct contact with the customer here and now, as well as online. A perfect solution here is an e-mail generator which sends information to all collected contacts that we have the last items of a given product. Very often when booking a hotel via the Internet you will encounter that "5 people are watching the room in this hotel". Next time, you will already know that this is a sales technique.
Viewed product reminder
This technique is based on showing the user the recently viewed product on the pages he/she is currently viewing. Its assumption is that if we see something enough times, the need to buy will be potentially greater. This is often the case. We should remember that shopping at a given moment can be interrupted not only by our reluctance but also by random factors. By using retargeting the shop gives us the opportunity to see the product again even on another page.
Call to action
There's no denying that an ad containing a call to action (go in, buy now, check out, etc.) is more effective than one devoid of these phrases. Research often refers to the fact that we now have less and less time to think, so it is up to the shop to encourage the customer and take that proverbial first step. An analogous situation can be observed when searching for information on Google. It is less and less common to type in complete sentences, and clusters of words are more prevalent. In advertising, a keyword planner will be useful in determining such clusters, but in sales, these keywords are already known. Remember that the customer may not know why you are displaying the advertisement. They may not be able to distinguish between an informative and a sales advertisement. For this very purpose, the use of call to action words seems to be essential. As you can see, there are many sales techniques and methods. Listing them all is virtually impossible. However, it is important to use them skilfully. You need to take into account who you are talking to and how much you need to know about the other party in a given sales technique. It is also worth taking into account how much time we have for the sale and how sure we are that the "released" customer will have a chance to come back to us. Whether we are on the client's side or the seller's side, these techniques are worth knowing. We are not saying that they are a bad thing. After all, what matters, in the end, is the product or service we are going to buy/sell. However, it is worth making this choice consciously.