The entrepreneurial guide to making sales without selling

April 15, 2019 ATB Financial

Kim Orlesky shares her tips to making sales without selling

As a small business owner, selling—yourself and your product—has likely been foundational in getting you where you are today. But sometimes sales are difficult. Basing our advice on Kim Orlesky’s presentation at ATB’s Emerge Entrepreneurial Summit, we’ve put together our five key takeaways to help you refine your selling abilities.

Be prospect focused, not product focused

While “sales” typically means selling tangible things, successful salespeople focus on their connections with the potential buyer instead of pushing the product. Concentrate on building stronger relationships and your buyers will be more likely to trust you. This strategy results not only in one-time sales, but ideally in long-lasting buyer relationships.

Show them why, not what

There’s one question you should always ask the person you are selling to: “What does it feel like to be there?” You want to show the potential buyer the value you are able to provide them and at the same time bring to mind the particular issues or challenges they are facing. This way, the buyer can draw their own conclusions about your product and you can avoid a direct, pushy sales pitch.

Sell to ideal candidates

When we try to sell to everyone, we actually sell to no one. Rather than attempting to reach out to as many people as possible, consider targeting the audience that will be most receptive to your message. This means fishing where there are fish, and not investing time and energy in leads that seem to be going nowhere (if the fish aren’t biting, move downstream!). Buyers want to feel like they are being sold to personally, so knowing, acknowledging and drawing their attention to exactly how you are meeting their needs will result in more satisfied customers.

Remember selling is a skill to be learned

The most successful salespeople are the ones who are constantly honing their skills.. While sales might not be one of your strengths right now, remember it is a craft that can be learned and developed over time. You too can become a great salesperson; all it takes is the necessary dedication, curiosity and practice.

Ask the right questions

Use your research to ask insightful questions about your buyer’s needs. Sales calls typically include low-level questions such as: Are you this? Have you done that? Or do you prefer such-and-such? Rather than asking these questions to get to know the customer, use them only for confirmation at the end of a deal. When trying to get to the bottom of your buyer’s needs, focus on more open-ended questions (who/what/where/when and why). This will help you better discern where you can provide value to your customer.

 

Use your research to ask insightful questions about your buyer’s needs. Sales calls typically include low-level questions such as: Are you this? Have you done that? Or do you prefer such-and-such? Rather than asking these questions to get to know the customer, use them only for confirmation at the end of a deal. When trying to get to the bottom of your buyer’s needs, focus on more open-ended questions (who/what/where/when and why). This will help you better discern where you can provide value to your customer.

 
Want to join us at our next Emerge entrepreneurial event? Check out our event for ATB Emerge
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