How do you sell a product to a customer?
When I was 18 years old, my parents bought me an electric guitar and taught me "Happy Birthday" by The Beatles on it. It took all day because they wanted me to learn from scratch. I didn't know what chords went with each note, so they had to show me every step of the process. And then when it came time to try out the instrument at our local music store, I couldn't figure out which buttons did what. My mom ended up buying another one after that.
Selling something takes skill. Even if you're not trying to make money, there's still value in being able to offer people things they want or need. If you've ever been shopping for anything -- groceries, clothes, furniture, electronics, etc., you probably noticed that some stores have employees who seem like geniuses while others look totally clueless. Why does this happen? In short, their job is to help you find what you're looking for and convince you why their item should win over yours. They use certain techniques that work well. Others don't. Here are five popular approaches used today.
What are the ways to sell a product?
There are three common ways to get someone to buy from you: 1) You can persuade them through advertising, 2) you can give them a sample, 3) or you can provide them with information about how it will benefit them. Let's look at these separately.
1) Advertising - This means using printed ads such as billboards, posters, flyers, newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and even word-of-mouth advertising. What makes any ad effective is its ability to catch attention quickly. When consumers see an advertisement in print, they take only a moment before deciding whether to read further or toss it aside. With digital marketing, consumers have more options than ever to view advertisements. For example, many companies now deliver targeted emails based upon consumer behavior. These email messages either promote specific brands or services or simply share relevant content. Because of technology, consumers no longer feel bombarded by constant interruptions during the course of the day. Instead, they choose when and where they receive communications from advertisers and marketers.
2) Samples - A lot of times we decide to purchase something without really understanding exactly what we'll be getting. We may think of a product as useful but forget important details about how it works. To avoid making impulse purchases, samples allow us to test drive items first. They also let potential buyers compare similar products side by side. By providing samples, manufacturers attract customers' interest and encourage them to inquire about other related products. Another advantage is that once a company has built brand recognition within a given market niche, it becomes easier to introduce new products into the mix. Most manufacturers won't risk alienating existing customers by offering too much change at once. So, giving away free samples allows them to gradually roll out new offerings.
3) Information - Sometimes, instead of just showing off a product, sellers tell consumers everything they need to know about it. Advertisements include technical specifications, benefits, features, and comparisons between competing models. Online retailers often post detailed descriptions explaining how and why particular products perform better than alternatives. Think Amazon reviews. People tend to go to great lengths to explain why they chose to buy a particular item rather than others. Some studies say that consumers trust recommendations made by friends and family members more than those made by strangers. While most experts agree that testimonials aren't very convincing, they do create a sense of credibility among shoppers. But beware! Not everyone knows how to write good reviews. Make sure you ask your clients for feedback regarding your service or product.
So, here are five common ways to sell a product. Which ones appeal most to you? Do you prefer to talk face to face, browse catalogs online, watch videos or listen to podcasts? Or perhaps you'd love to shop in person on the weekend. No matter what method appeals to you, remember that successful selling comes down to building relationships. Try to establish rapport with your client. Ask open questions that demonstrate sincere curiosity about his needs and desires. Listen carefully to understand her concerns and feelings. Once he feels comfortable talking about his problems, you could pose solutions to his challenges. Don't hesitate to ask him probing followup questions. Just keep in mind that people usually have strong opinions about buying decisions. Be patient enough to hear opposing arguments to help him come to his own conclusions. Afterward, you might consider referring him to additional resources she could explore. Then, repeat the conversation periodically until both parties become convinced about the merits of your solution.
What are the 5 methods of selling?
Here's a quick overview of the five main strategies commonly employed in commercial transactions:
1. Persuasion - This involves influencing prospects to believe that you possess knowledge or skills superior to theirs. Often, persuasion requires presenting facts about your product or service in order to build trust. Your goal is to influence your audience to accept your message and act accordingly. To accomplish this objective, you must understand the target group's preferences, values, attitudes, motivations, and interests. You also have to determine the decision maker behind the purchasing choice. Is it the buyer herself, a manager, or a member of staff? Before launching into a persuasive pitch, prepare yourself by doing research on the subject at hand. Study competitors' websites and brochures. Read industry journals and trade publications. Talk to associates and colleagues. Attend seminars and workshops. Take notes and pay close attention to body language. Finally, practice delivering presentations regularly until you become skilled at conveying complex ideas succinctly and effectively.
2. Inducement - This strategy tries to motivate prospective buyers to make favorable choices. It uses incentives to overcome resistance and fear. Induction tactics involve offering discounts, rebates, gift cards, coupons, and early bird offers. Of course, you have to pick the right incentive to suit your audience's tastes and budget. Salespeople sometimes try to induce demand by promoting limited stock availability. Other forms of inducement include setting up special appointments, extending credit terms, hosting events, and offering premium prices.
3. Decision Support - This technique helps buyers reach informed judgments. Sellers present data in various formats including charts, graphs, tables, and spreadsheets. Also, they cite authoritative sources such as academic papers, government reports, court cases, scientific articles, trade associations, books, surveys, and interviews. Decision support includes educational materials designed to teach users how to evaluate pricing and quality factors. Many businesses employ consultants to develop customized training programs. At the same time, a growing number of providers rely solely on software applications to manage business activities. Both approaches save costs and increase productivity. However, buyers need to understand basic principles underlying cost calculations and financial statements. Otherwise, they may misinterpret figures and end up paying more than necessary.
4. Presentation Promotion - This tactic focuses on improving image and enhancing public perception. Companies spend millions of dollars annually developing corporate identity campaigns intended to increase awareness and boost sales. Marketing efforts also aim to convey positive images of products and firms. One powerful tool is branding which creates distinctive trademarks and logos that resonate across multiple media channels. Public relations professionals craft news releases, issue press kits, sponsor TV shows, hold charity auctions, send e-mails, publish newsletters, distribute brochures, and produce direct mail pieces. All of these promotional tools combine to form a cohesive campaign called integrated communication planning. This approach combines traditional promotion with newer technologies, such as social networking sites and mobile devices. According to BDO U.K.'s 2012/13 Integrated Report, 70 percent of UK adults expect businesses to engage with them via digital channels. Only 8 percent said they would wait before responding to a cold call.
5. Demonstration - Buyers appreciate demonstrations because they eliminate uncertainties associated with evaluating unfamiliar products. Showing a product in action lets people visualize and touch it firsthand. During a demonstration, experts typically stand near the display case to answer inquiries and address objections. Clients also gain valuable insight into the range of available customization options. Moreover, demonstrating products boosts confidence levels and encourages buyers to sign contracts. On the downside, demonstrations require dedicated space which adds to overhead expenses. Plus, they distract visitors from browsing the rest of the inventory.
What is the best way to sell a new product?
New products represent unknown quantities. Therefore, it's difficult to anticipate how interested people will react when faced with unfamiliar merchandise. As a result, entrepreneurs seek expert advice from individuals familiar with the field, trends, and competition. Experienced sales reps can steer novice executives toward viable product lines. Their input could prevent costly mistakes in selection and development phases. Experts recommend conducting feasibility checks prior to introducing new goods to the marketplace. First, identify competitive threats and opportunities. Next, conduct thorough analyses of current and future markets along with key players' strengths and weaknesses. Based on this information, devise appropriate strategies to position your firm ahead of the curve. Remember, success doesn't occur overnight. Patience pays off. Keep track of progress by monitoring customer satisfaction rates and profits. Continue fine tuning your products and services until you achieve maximum profitability.
For many of us, selling is something we've done since childhood and are naturally comfortable doing. But what if I told you that there's another way to go about it—one that allows you to reach more potential buyers, get their attention, and make the sale without feeling like an awkward salesman?
You'd probably think twice before saying "no" to anything someone asked you at any point in your life, right? You may not have considered this option because when was the last time you were taught how to sell properly or even given tools to help you do so effectively? If you're on social media, then chances are you'll encounter people asking questions from sellers who want to pitch them. When you see one of these situations arise, here's some helpful advice on presenting yourself as a professional seller instead of just trying to hawk off stuff you don't know much about.
What to say to sell products?
When pitching a new idea or service, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to come up with the perfect catchphrase or line to convince someone to buy your product. While having good content is important, getting too caught up in coming up with clever lines or snappy phrases can hinder your ability to connect with others emotionally. The key is to simply start talking. Don't worry about sounding dumb or forgetting exactly what you wanted to say — people will still listen to you no matter what. However, they won't care nearly as much as you might expect about what comes out of your mouth. Instead, focus on telling stories that appeal to other humans' emotions. Tell personal anecdotes that show real human experiences rather than generic tales of success and accomplishment to prove that your product works. People really respond well to hearing those types of things. Remember, you aren't trying to win over a judge here — you're trying to build a relationship where both parties feel understood by each other.
One quick note: It's also OK to tell a little white lie once in awhile. There's nothing wrong with exaggerating a bit to boost interest or add color to the conversation. Just remember to keep everything honest and above board. After all, lying isn't going to earn you any trust points!
How do you sell products with words?
After learning what to say to sell, you must now learn how best to communicate it using language. Simply put, people often speak differently depending upon whom they're speaking to. This means that while you might use certain phrasing to talk to family members, you could end up offending co-workers with the same type of speech patterns. Before launching into a pitch, take a moment to consider whether your chosen style of communication would actually work better for the person receiving the message. For example, imagine giving your boss a presentation on why he should hire you. Would his lack of enthusiasm mean you should change your tone? Probably not. On the other hand, if you're sending an email to a friend explaining that she shouldn't bother showing up to her reunion next month, then perhaps you should dial down the drama and try being a lot less dramatic overall.
Another thing to watch out for is jargon. Jargon is shorthand used within a particular industry or sector that people generally understand but outsiders might struggle to grasp. In short, jargon is usually pretty specific to whatever group you belong to. As such, avoid using jargon whenever possible. Even if you think you're communicating clearly, it always helps to check back after stating something to ensure you haven't accidentally slipped in jargon somewhere along the line.
What words attract customers?
Once you figure out how to engage prospects with words, you'll want to pay close attention to which words draw the most attention. Most likely, you'll notice that there are certain keywords, terms, and expressions that seem to capture peoples' imaginations. These are called "attention grabbers." Paying attention to these words lets you craft pitches around them. Keep in mind that what attracts people varies based on region, age group, gender, etc., so you'll want to adjust accordingly. Some examples include buzzword bingo, catchphrases, and acronyms. Buzzword Bingo refers to finding commonalities between two unrelated fields, turning them into a word or phrase, and applying it to a business model. Catchphrases are short statements designed to convey a larger meaning in a single sentence. Acronyms refer to shortened versions of longer words.
In addition to paying attention to popular buzzwords and catchphrases, you should also look at trends. Trends are changes in consumer behavior over time. They tend to reflect shifts in attitudes and interests among groups of consumers in various demographics. Because trends represent shifting preferences, businesses should anticipate changing needs and develop products and services to meet them. Trend analysis involves identifying emerging market segments, understanding current trends, and predicting future ones. To determine whether your brand has enough momentum behind its name, ask yourself if it matches up to a trend in society today. Are our core values aligned with societal beliefs? Do we offer unique solutions? Are we making progress toward positive outcomes? Once you identify trending topics, you can decide whether it makes sense to pursue them.
How do you present a product to sell?
Now you have a solid foundation of knowledge on what to say to sell and how to say it, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll automatically be successful. One big problem that plagues entrepreneurs is poor eCommerce website design. According to research conducted by Shopify Inc., 60% of shoppers said that visual cues influence their purchasing decisions. So if your storefront looks amateurish, people are far less likely to stick around long enough to find what they came looking for. Take advantage of Shopify's free site builder tool to create an appealing web presence. Alternatively, you can opt for a premium theme from sites including StudioPress, Themepark Interactive, Woo Commerce, and DiviCupcake.
If you choose to customize a prebuilt template, however, you'll have to spend money on customizing elements like colors, images, logos, text, and banners. Fortunately, there are plenty of great templates available. Try starting with themes made specifically for small businesses, or pick from platforms like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and Canva. Also, don't forget to integrate SEO features into your designs. Search engines prioritize websites that feature user-friendly interfaces and streamlined navigation options.
Finally, consider adding video testimonials to bolster credibility. Testimonial videos are becoming increasingly popular across industries. A study published by Harvard Business Review found that 85 percent of viewers felt favorably disposed towards brands after watching a commercial featuring customer endorsements. Customers responded similarly, citing YouTube testimonial videos as highly effective marketing tactics. By incorporating video testimonials into presentations, you can give prospective clients a peek inside your company culture and provide evidence of your expertise. Video testimonials are especially useful for B2B companies seeking to establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche through case studies and expert commentary.
Whether it's on the phone, over email or face-to-face with a potential client, there are many ways that we use technology every day. And while most of us have been trained by someone else to deliver our message and service, there is one way where people don't need any training at all -- they're already used to talking about themselves!
Selling a product isn't always easy, but it doesn't have to be complicated either. Let's look at some examples of what happens when trying to make a sale, and then see if we can apply these lessons to other situations as well.
First off, let's talk about the types of customers you might encounter when you're working on projects related to tech services like web design, graphic design, programming, etc. These are typically folks who want help figuring out their own problems, whether it's troubleshooting an issue they've had with something they purchased from another company, or helping them understand how to set up a particular new piece of software. Or maybe they just want more information on something they'd like to buy later down the road.
These kinds of customers aren't looking for a hard sell, so try not to give them too much info upfront. They will likely ask questions because they still haven't made up their minds yet, which means you should focus on answering those questions before moving onto anything else. Try to keep things light and breezy. You'll also notice I'm using "you" throughout this article - this is simply because I think it helps show me listening and speaking to my audience rather than making assumptions based on gender stereotypes.
So now that we know who we're dealing with, let's take a closer look at how to go through the whole process of actually getting someone interested enough in buying your product to provide payment details. While there may be variations depending upon your niche market, here's a general overview of how to get started...
1) Start off casual and friendly. People generally want to feel comfortable around others and even though you may be nervous yourself, try to relax and speak openly. If you come across as stiff and uncomfortable, people won't trust you. Also remember that you're going after business, so be sure to dress professionally and present yourself nicely. Don't forget to smile since smiling releases endorphins into your body, making you happier overall.
2) Be prepared to answer tough questions. It seems obvious, but it's important to realize that no matter how confident you may seem, everyone has questions. Even if you've worked in the industry for years, there could still be unanswered questions floating around inside your head. When clients ask you questions, don't hesitate to pause to collect your thoughts. Remember, you're not only representing your company, you represent YOU as well. So don't worry about sounding dumb. Just make sure to put thought into your answers and really listen to what the person says. Take notes during meetings and follow up with additional research once you're done. This shows that you care about being helpful without putting pressure on people.
3) Make recommendations. By giving good advice, you position yourself as a trusted advisor instead of a salesman. As long as you stay away from hype language such as "This will blow your socks off!" or "People love this," you shouldn't run afoul of FTC regulations. However, avoid recommending items that you wouldn't purchase personally, unless you have a personal relationship with the prospect. For instance, if you were asked to recommend a specific brand of computer mouse, you should point out why yours is better than the competition. The same goes for cameras, headphones, printers, routers, cell phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, apps, websites, etc.
4) Ask for referrals. Most companies encourage this practice by offering incentives like free upgrades, bonuses, gift cards, discounts, etc. But asking for referrals does two things: 1) builds credibility 2) establishes a sense of loyalty. In both cases, prospects tend to reciprocate. Since they appreciate the gesture, they're happy to send along work to you or refer others to you. Plus if they choose, they can advertise their positive experiences with you on social media.
5) Set expectations early. One thing that irks me often is when people call me back days, weeks or months later to inquire about progress. To prevent this frustration, tell prospective buyers what kind of timeline you expect to achieve certain milestones. If possible, offer estimates for each phase of development. Then stick to your guns. Some developers may be tempted to rush a project in order to hit deadlines, but rushing usually results in missed deadlines and unhappy clients.
6) Provide alternatives. Give options, comparisons, pros/cons lists, suggestions, ideas, etc. Clients like choices and nothing makes them feel less powerful than feeling overwhelmed by options. Keep in mind that your goal is to educate prospects about whatever it is you're selling so they can make informed decisions. Once again, don't go overboard and overwhelm people with excess detail. Use clear action words to describe what you suggest.
7) Focus on benefits first. Instead of pitching features, highlight benefits such as time savings, cost reductions, increased revenue, improved productivity, etc. Features are nice, but focusing on benefits gives prospects room to breathe and lets them decide whether or not they want to move forward. Think about it like this: Would you consider purchasing a car with a lousy engine just because it was cheap? Of course not. No one would. Yet sometimes we find ourselves doing exactly that with projects. We agree to spend X amount of dollars for Y feature(s), regardless of whether we truly need it or not. A benefit driven mindset allows you to evaluate costs vs. value propositions.
8) Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Many times, sellers get caught up in telling everything about their product. That's OK, but don't fall into the trap of providing tons of extra details that serve little purpose except cluttering up space. Prospects are far more concerned with finding solutions to their problems than learning about irrelevant minutia that probably won't impact their decision anyway. Your job is to figure out what matters most to them right now and focus on that.
9) Follow up. After agreeing to perform a task, honor your promise and deliver. Nothing irritates me more than clients who drop the ball. Whether it's missing deadlines, sending incomplete materials or failing to respond altogether, never allow a lack of communication to result in lost opportunities. Stay diligent and professional, and treat people respectfully.
10) Be patient. Yes, patience is definitely required. Sometimes it takes longer to build relationships than it does to complete tasks. There are several reasons for this. First, you cannot control outside factors beyond your influence. Second, building rapport requires lots of attention. Third, if you're busy doing your day jobs, there's not much opportunity left for networking. Lastly, people may change their minds about wanting to hire you or continue developing friendships & partnerships. At least until you meet someone who wants to work exclusively with you, you must remain open to meeting someone else.
As we saw above, there are plenty of tips and techniques to ensure you're successful when trying to sell a product. Now that we've gone through the basics, let's dig deeper...
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