The four basic elements of sales
Sales are the lifeline of every business because all businesses require revenue to be sustained. Without sales, every business will hemorrhage to death. Though the word does not resonate more as it should in the business arena, it is important to note that the endpoint of every business is sales, and this is why more attention should be paid to it.
If you are an entrepreneur, you must be a good salesman, and the reason is that no matter how bright your ideas or innovations are if it cannot be sold, then it will fail to the ground. It is safe to say that no matter what you are doing, you need sales to succeed.
Before we go even further, let us use this medium to define sales as the delivery of goods and services for a cost. Nonetheless, the term sales, have a broader meaning and incorporates advertising and marketing, but in this piece, I am going to be focusing on the four basic elements you need to know and do to become a good salesman, and these are
- Know your product
- Understand your product market
- Know your customer
- Communicate value.
Know your product
This is the first thing that is required of every salesman who wants to succeed in sales. You must know everything about the product you are selling. You should be armed with almost every answer to all questions regarding the product you are selling. You should live your product and once you open your mouth to talk about your product, everyone who hears you must attest that you are a champion in that business space.
In this era where people can just acquire information about anything online, it will be bad for a salesman to not know the ins-and-outs of what he is selling. In a situation where you can’t provide relevant answers to questions regarding your product, this is enough reason to cast aspersions in the heart of your potential customers and that is not a good situation to find yourself.
For this reason, before you come out to sell any product, make sure you know everything about it, make sure that your presentations are natural. Make sure that anybody who hears you or watch you can say of a sure, this guy knows what he is doing. When a potential customer sees you this way, it boosts confidence and also makes them pay more attention to what you are selling.
Also, if you know your product so well, you will be able to brand it the best way there is to capture the market. Just by glancing at a product, a product should speak for itself; the colour, the writings, and everything about it should be captivating and demonstrate what the product is all about. The potential customer should be able to know what they are getting just by their first look. A lot of good products have failed to sell because of poor branding and packaging. As a salesman, you should pay attention to the branding of your products if you must sell.
This may come as a surprise to you, but you can never run a very successful ad campaign if you don’t know your product too well. Ads are a form of communication and you can never communicate in the best way that you do not know too well.
According to statistics;
- The consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23 %
- Color improves brand recognition by up to 80%
- 75% of marketers always consider their brand values and positioning before making major commercial or business decisions
Make sure you get this first step right. If you get it wrong, your chances of success will be very slim.
Understand your product market.
The type of product you are selling determines the kind of sales strategy that you will adopt. Understanding which market your product falls into is very important to your success as a salesman. If your product is children’s product then the approach and market entry will be way different from a universal or adult product.
Understanding the market where your product falls into is very important in the design of an effective sales plan.
Universally speaking, the four major markets are consumer market, business market, Global market, and government or not-for-profit market. These markets are very peculiar and require different strategies to achieve success in sales.
Know your customer
Customer relation is an important element in sales. Sales are hard when you do not know your customer; what they need, what captures their attention and the language they speak.
Most times one of the major problem salesmen faces is lack of connection with their potential customers. When you don’t know your customers, it will be hard to sell to them. Unfortunately, too much money that most businesses spend on customer acquisition could be greatly reduced if they could get in the mind of their customers, and how can you do that you may ask.
I am sure that before anyone rolls out a product he already has in mind who the potential customers are, so if that is true, the next thing to do is to research them and you can do that by looking out for forums online where products in your category are discussed. By reading people’s comments, you will understand what they like and what drives a product.
You can also follow up on customer reviews on the existing products. By doing this, you will understand who your customers are and how they can be served better.
According to statistics;
- 50% believe that consumer insight and research are the main drivers of the decision in making our business
- ¾ of marketers believe their employees care about their customer perceptions.
With the help of the internet and e-commerce, the customer acquisition cost for many products can be drastically reduced to even achieve a better result. As a salesman, you should seize the opportunity.
Communicate value not cost
Cost is not hugely a problem when it comes to sales. It is very important to understand that not all products are for everyone. Therefore no matter how costly a product is, there are customers for it. The only thing that matters is the value the product is offering. This is why the expensive automobile companies and a host of others are still recording huge revenues year after year.
We see this every day in our lives and it is very important for every entrepreneur or anyone selling any product whatsoever to understand this reality. Some cars sell for just thousands of dollars while there are also cars that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The same goes for phones, digital devices, homes, and a whole lot of other things.
No entrepreneur or salesman should be deterred by how costly their products are if they are providing premium values that no other is providing. The value of your product should equate to the cost, and when it does, you’d have a smooth sale.
No matter what you are selling, never put the price first but the value. Find every opening possible to list the benefits of your products and let price come later. As a person, I am captured to a product by reading or hearing its benefits and this goes for almost every individual out there. A customer wouldn’t mind paying more if he knows he is getting a premium service or buying a premium product.
From today onward always try and incorporate a leaflet to your product that outlines the benefits and values of your product and you will be amazed at the difference it will make. The truth is that if you sell the value of costs, the results will be amazing.
- Pay attention to your product; know it too well to explain it in the way that the dumbest person can understand it; in words, through branding and ad campaigns.
- Understanding your product market enables you with the right decisions and strategies that make for a successful sale.
- Research and understand your customers and speak the language they understand.
- Put value ahead of cost. Let the value of the service or product that you sell diminish your cost. Sale value instead of cost. Putting cost first could be a huge turn-off.
- Every entrepreneur is a salesman even though it is not mostly seen that way. If there is any skill every entrepreneur should possess, it is the skill to sell their ideas, innovations, and businesses. Without this, his ideas won’t be sold, landing investment will be a tall order and his business will suffer a shipwreck.
Conclusively, sustained sales are the output of good products, and for that reason, the role of quality products cannot be overemphasized. Always make sure that your product delivers what it is sold for. This is the only way customers can be retained and a continuous sale achieved.