Selling and selling skills

Understanding the process of selling when in business

Alison Fell, SalesStar EuropeEditors Note: Expert content needs an expert content writer and Yorkshire Powerhouse is pleased to publish this business advice article on Selling Strategy and Sales Training, kindly written by a real expert in her field – Alison Fell from SalesStar Europe.

Please consider contacting Alison for any aspect of Sales Coaching or Strategic Sales Consultancy – just click on the advert links above or below – and please mention Yorkshire Powerhouse if you do make contact.

Commonly taught techniques such as “features and benefits” or “relationship” selling are outclassed by trusted advisors who employ consultative and strategic methods. Even when our competition offers the same product features and relies on discounting, the advanced methods of consultative selling can help you compete to win more sales with more margin.

“Benefits” based selling is still widely taught and used within business today. The belief is that if you highlight the features and benefits of your product, the customer will see what your offer will do for them, justifying higher pricing. However, these tactics are fundamentally flawed. This is because when a buyer compares the features and benefits of your products to those offered by your competitors, they find them to be very similar, if not the same. When there is little differentiation in the features, it frequently comes down to two things: The client/supplier relationship, and more frequently, the price. The latter is the very reason why there is a constant battle to maintain reasonable margins amongst sellers.

When selling to a physical user of a product, benefits still matter, especially in business to consumer selling. Relationships are still a necessary part of the success equation. However, if we depend solely on these practices, we will face the following difficulties:

  • Price resistance in a competitive market.
  • Eroded margins.
  • Higher buyer rejection levels.
  • Higher customer attrition levels.

Research samples of between 6,000 and 35,000 strongly argue that Consultative Selling is the current best practice in the 21st century. However, the term “consultative selling” is often misunderstood or even misused by many. According to research, 85 per cent of buying decisions are based on emotion. Because consultative selling is entirely focused on the customer by targeting their pain or gain, another emotion, “trust” is a natural outcome, and making the sale is a by-product of this.

Many salespeople can wrongly depend heavily on relationships, those who use relationship selling as their main sales methodology reason that if they develop the relationship, the customer will favour them more. And if they favour them more, they will have a preference to give them future orders. Recent research shows that those who depend heavily on relationships account for only 7 per cent of the top sales achievers, and less when it comes to making major (enterprise) sales.

The process of understanding your sales funnel, being skilled in following your sales processes and closing sales is a skill that can be learned – seek out expert support and training to take your selling skills to the next level!

Blunt thinking on selling techniques from Yorkshire Powerhouse

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SalesStar Europe - providing sales training excellence to Yorkshire SME's
SalesStar Europe - providing sales training excellence to Yorkshire SME's

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