Sales Training: Basic Techniques
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Sales Training: Basic Techniques

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AIDA is a sequential process that you can follow in the sales process.  First, get Attention.  Then create Interest in your product.  Build that interest into Desire.  Finally, convert that desire into Action.  To illustrate this with a simple search engine example, when attracting surfers: first et a good ranking in the search engines (A); write an (I)nteresting page title/description to appear in the SERPS list; list the (B)enefits of your product on the page; invite the surfer to (A)ct by asking to be sent further information by email.

FAB helps you distinguish between the Features of your product, the Advantages it has over competitors, and the Benefits it offers the customer.  Although you need to understand your product, poor salespeople tend to talk about the features of their product, but it is the benefits in which the customer is interested (ie: the positive impact it will have on them, such as save money or time).  Advantages are USPs - unique selling points - which you should try to get into the list of criteria the customer users to choose a product (eg: by asking questions or direct suggestion).

The Hunter/Skinner model helps you to think about how you are going to get new business.  The Hunter salesperson goes out to find new clients/customers.  The Skinner looks to get cross-sales or more orders from existing clients.

Good interpersonal skills are essential in sales, particularly questioning and active listening.  People tend to buy from people they like and taking an interest and good use of listening can help build rapport.  In addition, two key skills are handling objections and using closing techniques.  Objections are often buying signals, and are best handled by good preparation:  understanding what objections are likely to arise, why the points are made, and what your response will be.  There are many closing techniques, and it is best initially to find ones that you find comfortable use and seem to work in your business.

Scripts can be very useful - write and rehearse the different types of dialogue that can occur between you and the customer.  If you have practiced various permutations to the point where you know each one inside out, it gives you the ability to handle those situations spontaneously and with confidence.

The sales process can differ significantly depending on whether you are selling tangibles or intangibles, to individuals or a company, through a formal bid process or ad hoc decision-making, to an existing or new customer, etc.. 

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