The following is Part Two of an interview with Brian Tracy, author of numerous business titles, including Unlimited Sales Success: 12 Simple Steps for Selling More Than You Ever Thought Possible written in collaboration with his son, Michael and the books in the Brian Tracy Success Library.
How can a salesperson go beyond asking customers to buy to getting them to say yes?
A critical factor is ‘positioning’—how the customer thinks and feels about the person doing the selling. Your positioning in the customer’s mind and heart is perhaps the most powerful factor in determining how much you sell and how quickly. Thousands of customers have been interviewed over the years and asked specifically what they thought about the best salespeople who called on them. They consistently described top salespeople, in every industry, worldwide, in three main ways—as a friend, adviser, and teacher.
When your customers begin to think of you as a personal friend who just happens to be in the business of selling a product or service that they purchase, they will remain loyal to you. When customers begin to see you as an adviser, as the go-to person in your field, they eventually reach the point where they will not buy from anyone else but you. Customers also saw top salespeople as teachers who not only showed them how to best benefit from the product or service they were selling, but also took the trouble to educate them on the background and side issues pertinent to making the best choices. Being a friend, an adviser, and a teacher to your customers is called the Golden Triangle of Selling. It applies to every salesperson: When you become fluent in each of these strategies and use them simultaneously, your sales results will soar. Your customers will be happy. They will buy more from you, and you will earn more than ever before.
Isn’t this all about building relationships with customers?
Indeed. Everything today in selling is relationships. And the keys to successful relationship selling are trust and credibility. When you think over your life, you will find that the most important people in your life are also the people you trust the most. Without trust, no sales relationship is possible. Credibility means that people believe in you and are confident that your product or service is good for them and that you will fulfill your promises. Earning a customer’s trust, and establishing your own credibility, begins with asking a series of well-prepared questions and listening attentively to the answers. The more you demonstrate your desire to understand the customer’s needs, through asking questions and listening to the answers, the more the customer trusts you and believes in you.
To become a successful salesperson—to join the 20 percent of top salespeople who make 80 percent of the money—you must become a relationship expert. Always look for ways to reassure your customers that the relationship is important to you. The more emphasis you put on your sales relationships, the more sales you will make and the more successful you will be.
Brian Tracy is the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International and one of the top business speakers and authorities in the world today. He has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the United States and more than 60 countries worldwide. His AMACOM titles include the Brian Tracy Success Library series as well as Full Engagement and Focal Point