That’s what a QBQ, Inc. prospective client told Kristin—booking her for two QBQ! speaking engagements—and it happened for several reasons. It helped that this executive had read the QBQ! book, embraced its Personal Accountability content, and wanted this message for his team. Beyond that, what transpired between our buyer (the executive) and the seller (Kristin) gives us insight into why and how sales happen.
You may not be in sales, but you know people who are, so please forward this article to them.
I’ve been selling since 1986. My mentors trained me well, and my inborn personality is a natural fit for sales. That doesn’t mean only people like me can sell, though. I chuckle when someone says, “I could never be a salesperson!”—like salesperson is a cuss word. I know they don’t understand the profession when I hear this.
Selling is a learned skill—and process—and anyone can win at it. So, let’s explore what causes a customer to move forward in the buying/selling process.
10 Facets of Effective Selling
- Response time. When our prospect emailed an inquiry to QBQ, Inc., we emailed back six minutes later. Yes, 6. I’m totally confounded when vendors don’t respond—or do so days later. Must be they have all the customers they need!
- Work ethic. Kristin chatted with our prospect by phone on a Friday afternoon when, as a VP of Sales once told me, most of her sales reps had already quit for the weekend. Kristin’s new client even commented on this fact.
- Follow-up. After Kristin and the buyer talked, she had a proposal in his inbox in half an hour. On Monday morning, she reached out to ensure he’d received it.
- Tenacity. During my first year in sales, a sales manager invited me to join his team. When I asked why, he said, “Because you hold on like a bulldog.” Some people call that pushy; we call it good selling. Good salespeople don’t quit till quitting is the only option left.
- Openness. Salespeople who hide their pricing and what they’re selling come across as crafty, coy, and cunning, destroying trust. I recently kicked a door-to-door gent off my porch because he refused to tell me what he was offering!
- Authenticity. When Kristin interacts with prospects, she’s pretty much a “what you see is what you get” gal. When Zooming with clients, Peggy the Pug has been known to make an appearance.
- Likability. My mentors, Jim Strutton—and Steve Brown (author of 13 Fatal Errors Managers Make)—taught me this: If they like you, they just might buy from you. Point #6 helps here.
- Versatility. Some buyers want us to ask them a zillion questions and listen to their answers to show we care, while others are ready to buy 5 minutes ago. Knowing the difference and adjusting to them is everything.
- Timing. This is often not in a salesperson’s control. We may have the right product at the wrong time—it just can’t be helped. However, if we stick around (see point #4), the time can suddenly be right. We’ve made many sales to buyers we’ve politely pursued over time.
- Belief. As Jim and Steve taught me in the 1980s—and nothing’s changed—you can’t sell if you don’t believe. Transferring belief in one’s product into the hearts and minds of prospective clients is the cornerstone of effective selling. Even when our “technique” is off, belief can save the day—and the sale. Kristin believes in QBQ! Do you believe in what you sell?
In the end, selling is helping—helping people get what they want and need. Who doesn’t like to be a helper? So go help someone today!