4 Top Tips to Get Over The Fear of Selling
'Sales' can sometimes seem like a dirty word for both your customers and employees. So empower your staff and shake off the stereotypes
The term ‘salespeople’ is often associated with pushy sellers who want to make commission. Shoppers can be naturally wary of salespeople in retail stores, while those working on the shop floor often fear that they’ll scare customers away. Lacking confidence in sales is a common problem, but it can result in a lot of missed sales and customer service opportunities in the same way that being too forceful turns people away.
But selling, when done right, doesn’t have to be “salesy”. Helping customers find what they need and ensuring that they’re genuinely happy with their purchase will allow sales teams to sell effectively. Here are four top tips to help managers give their sales team the confidence to sell anything.
1. Put your sales team in comfortable surroundings
One way to help them get over their fear is to boost your salespeople’s confidence and make them feel comfortable. Your staff need to feel at ease and understand that they won’t be judged if they do something wrong.
Don’t focus too much on what needs to be improved – make sure you’re equally spotting the things they are doing right and let them know. It’s important for staff to know what they’re great at, what they should do more of, and more importantly, how their actions can (positively) affect other staff and the business.
2. Knowledge is power – give your staff the ability to sell
Knowledge is one of the best ways to boost confidence. If your staff have the right information about your business, its products, and customers, they’ll be more confident in approaching potential prospects. If they get first-hand experience such as through trialling products, or speaking to customers in an informal setting such as an exclusive VIP evening, they’ll feel even closer to the product or brand and will be able to sell it better.
Your employees need to not only understand exactly what they’re selling, but also who they’re selling to. Tailoring their approach to each customer will enable them to connect different products to different customers and give a far more personal, friendly service, which will help to close any potential sale.
3. Show them the “FAB” formula
Creating a personalised sales pitch can be tough. Teaching your employees the FAB formula will help them make their pitch. FAB stands for features, advantages, and benefits and is a great tactic for coming up with ways to approach customers and potential prospects. But before launching into a FAB run-down, the sales associate should first familiarise themselves with the customer and better understand what they want or need.
Whilst features are the characteristics of a product, its advantages are what the product or features can do. The most important part is the benefit, which is the value that the customer can get out of the product and its features.
4. Get rid of the sales stereotype
Many people view selling in the stereotypical image of a used-car salesman trying to pressure a customer to make a purchase when they may still be uncertain. But this shouldn’t be the case (even if you are a used-car salesman!). This is generally why people have a fear of selling.
The selling concept must be redefined. Selling is about helping customers find what they want or need, rather than pushing them towards something that they won’t get any benefit from. Selling is also about educating customers on new products that can make their lives easier and making them feel happy and confident with their purchase. It’s important that sales associates show customers why a certain product is suitable for them and the value they would have from buying it. But just as equally, they should be honest if there’s a better alternative or it’s not quite right for them.
If a customer returns home and remains self-assured with their purchase – from receiving honest feedback and genuine help from your staff – they’ll be more likely to return again, and become a loyal customer. Good salespeople sell to a customer once; great salespeople keep them coming back!
Reese Evans is the education coordinator at Vend