10 THINGS EVERY SALESPERSON SHOULD KNOW IN NIGERIA
10 THINGS EVERY SALESPERSON SHOULD KNOW IN NIGERIA Selling is a skill and just like every skill it needs practice and constant honing. It is not just about the methods you employ to talk to a customer to convince him/her to buy your products or use your services. It is also about how to read and understand their body language, their mood, their needs and also to be able to tell them what they need to hear. A good sales person must in the first place know who to target, who will be more receptive to his or her message and who are likely potential customers and those who are not likely to avail of his or her products or services at all. A good sales person should be familiar with the spending habits and patterns of customers and how they behave
As a sales person in Nigeria you need to be skilled in basic marketing techniques
Here are ten things I feel are must know for every sales person in Nigeria. Read on, digest and put it into practice.
- Listen: the prospect of selling your products or services sometimes make you lose sight of the fact that your customers are people and therefore you should treat them as such. In your rush to close a sale you may likely get carried away by your enthralling speech delivery and actually miss the most important aspect of marketing which is helping customers solve problems. Most sales persons in Nigeria feel comfortable talking to prospective customers, but listening always seems to be another ball game altogether. A good sales person needs to become proficient in active listening, listening with adapt attention to observe any underlying customer needs, or listening with a strict focus and asking intelligent follow up questions. Usually a customer can tell if you are listening to them , rather than just thinking about what you will say next to generate sales. And usually you will find that most people appreciate a good listener. Great listening skills can help sales person empathize with prospects to actually have more insight about their business and pain points. Armed with this knowledge you are guaranteed to sell more effectively and offer an appreciable solution. Even if you have a lot of speeches to deliver, just remember that selling is mostly about the customer and not you or your products or services. Listening is the only way you can truly understand your customers’ pains or needs. Every sales person must necessarily be a good listener.
- Ask the right questions. Essentially you will need to start off every sale conversely by asking questions to analyze the prospect’s business needs. (I.e. needs analysis) a good sales person should essentially be able to delve deep to discover a prospect’s business pains and also how your product or service can help solve them by asking relevant questions. The questions you ask will help you determine the particular kind of information you should share about the benefits and value of your products or services based on what is going to be the most relevant for them. Being good at qualification questioning is a necessary skill for every sale person. You need to know how to ask questions that will move the sale forward. Your ability to gradually uncover vital information about your prospect’s business, though not through interrogation but through a normal give-and-take conversion process.
- Enthrall your audience. There will be times when you are going to present to a group of people. You want to make a lasting impression. You simply can’t rush through the points, keeping your audience enthralled and holding them in rapt attention is certain to drive sales.
- Get referrals. Another very important thing to know as a sale person is that you need to have good quality referrals. Keep a culture of getting referrals from your pervious customers, most especially after you have closed every sales deal. If your customers are truly delighted and satisfied with your product or service, they will most likely send their friends and colleagues your way. But it’s important that you ask.
- Research prospects: not everyone out there will be interested in your product or service. So honestly, you have to be able to determine the specific group of prospects you want to reach, prospects that will be most likely to be interested in what you are offering. Hence a thorough research of your prospective customers is not out of place. You will need to be able to reach them whether by personal contract, by mail, by phone or whatever means appeal to you. You need to know how to catch their attention and hold their interest. Find out what their wants and needs are, what do they value? What are their spending patterns and habits? For example, will a group of female undergraduates in the university be interested in your coconut oil cream? Will a group of middle-class prospects be interested in your “smoothies” ?
- Help your prospects. Other than simply closing in one sales deal a good sale person should focus on helping people. Your job as a sale person may involve prospecting, forecasting and quotes, but the true goal at the very core of every sales person’s skill should be your ability to genuinely help people. Usually we tend to forget this fact when we are bugged down in the day to day hustle of the job. But if you are not thinking about how best you can help your prospects; you might never be able to reach those goals that you are probably always thinking about. You must remember that your prospects are people with feelings emotions and desires. Once you approach a prospect with the intention of helping him/her to solve issues, doors will open up for you that you never knew even existed. Start thinking of how best your product or service can help solve a prospect’s problem and not the money you hope to make from selling to your prospects. It doesn’t always have to be about the sales but about the relationship. From your sales standpoint, you may get tempted to treat your customers as mere ‘leads’ and to some extent even ‘marks’. It is however essential to keep in mind that people want to be treated with respect and not to be seen as just a source of money.
- Understand what buyer wants. Like it or not, people will have their own spending habits and there is little or nothing you can do to change that. Make people feel they are helping you buy, as opposed to making them feel they are helping you sell. Learn to put your buyer at the center of everything. Buyer research usually has a major impact on sales and marketing. Note buyers always want to do the talking about their problems, their challenges, their business, and their needs. This will help you to be sympathetic to their needs or problems and also to be able to provide options and explain the advantages and or disadvantages of using your products or services to meet their needs, buyers want to be heard, they want to be understood, buyers are people and therefore they have got problems like you and me, and sometimes they need to vent. Be prepared. Help and reach out. Give and educate. Use psychology to engage the buyer and also to establish trust. Buyers expect an individualised purchase process and solution which will take into consideration their unique challenges and priorities. It is essential to know what your audience’s underlying needs or wants are and also how best to tailor the sales process for relevance. Usually a buyer would have an idea of what he/she wants, it’s your job to unravel and address the roots of that need. Prospects who want to buy will surface objections just to make certain they are making the right decision in patronizing you. Your job here is to help them see clearly and appreciate the benefits of patronizing you.
- Demonstrate subject matter expertise. Your customers will probably know very little about your product. They also usually don’t understand the features. So it’s going to be your job to explain everything to them. You have to, as a sales person, have a perfect understanding of the product or service you are selling. You should be able to explain in detail how each product, works, how it feels, what value it offers, and the reasons it would appeal to your prospects. Adequate product knowledge will help give you a more effective sale. A good sales person should be able to define and communicate what the prospects should expect from using their products or services. A subject matter expert (SME) is a person who is an authority in a particular area or topic.
- Believe in yourself. This is a fact that cannot be stressed enough. If you don’t believe in your products, find another job immediately. You say all the right things when making a presentation, but if you don’t truly believe what you are selling then the customer won’t believe it either. Simple as that. You can only sell something if you believe it yourself and most importantly if you believe in yourself. So if you are a sales person and do not believe in yourself or in your product, do everyone a favor and move on. Enough said. You will need a daily dose of motivation to keep you going in the long term of your sales journey in Nigeria. Identify things that drive your selling skills. According to Toeld Cohen: “if you know why you are in sales, you become energetic and passionate and you begin to display other characteristics of a good sales person. When passionate about yourself you extend that passion to your work”. A confident sales person possesses and exhibits a natural comfort in dealing with prospects. Customers like to work with confident people because of the level of trust that is placed in them.
- Build strong relationship. We are all consumers in our own rights, and we all know that it’s much easier to buy from people we trust. Hence, trust is an essential ingredient in a seller-buyer relationship. To build trust, a good sales person will have to invest time in creating a quality relationship with customer. Helping a customer will go a long way to help build a solid relationship as well as paying attention to what your buyer needs.