Teach An Old Dog New Tricks | Is Your Sales Team Getting These 10 Selling Principles Wrong?
How is your sales team doing these days? The outlook is excellent for both the trucking and construction equipment industries, but competition among dealerships is stiffer than ever. That means your sales people have to be sharper than ever. However, today’s “sharp” selling principles require a somewhat different approach than in the past – an approach that is focused squarely on your prospective customer.
Even the “old dogs” – your most senior sales team members – may learn a few new tricks from reviewing these 10 selling principles:
1. Sell the solution, not the product.
Trucks and construction machinery are valuable to your prospect only if they solve a problem – increasing productivity or profitability. Sales presentations should focus not on what your equipment does or what it costs, but what it can do to enhance your prospect’s business operations over the road or on the jobsite.
2. Don’t depend solely on your sales presentation.
A polished presentation underscores your professionalism, but it’s not the purpose of your meeting with prospects. It’s a support tool. People buy from people, so rather than concentrating entirely on delivering your presentation, be sure you’re putting the prospect first by making eye contact, listening and watching for non-verbal clues that offer buying signals.
3. Ask direct questions.
You can’t sell anything if you aren’t addressing your prospect’s key concerns, so don’t guess what’s on their mind. Ask what they think about your pricing and about your truck options. Ask why they’re considering buying from you instead of the competition.
4. Price doesn’t make the sale.
Construction and trucking firms have to watch their budgets, but a big rig or wheel loader that delivers more day in and day out is worth more to your prospect. The real proposition is value.
5. Never make a presentation unless you intend to close.
Be proudly confident in your dealership and products. Tell prospects right up front you appreciate their time and your goal is to get their order within the week because you have the truck model that will do the most to help them build their business.
6. Ask for the sale.
Not everyone needs to sit through your entire presentation to make a buying decision, so why bore them and waste your own time? Break your presentation into a few appropriate segments, and at the end of each one ask if they’ve seen and heard enough or they would like to know more. This can help you close sales faster and also learn early on if you’re presenting to the wrong people.
7. Tell them the price up front.
Everyone wants to know what that excavator is going to cost. Coyly waiting till the end of your presentation to tell them is a bad idea for two reasons. First, it looks as if you’re ashamed of the price, and second, your prospect will be distracted during your presentation rather than attentive, wondering just how bad the price will be. Instead, give them the number and then explain why it’s such a tremendous value.
8. Sell to influencers, too.
Even if you’re dealing with an owner-operator, there may be others who influence their buying decisions. And in larger firms, there are always people other than the decision-maker with a stake in the outcome. If you can learn their interests and motivations, you can make a presentation that is far more relevant.
9. Avoid free trials.
A test drive is one thing, but offering free use of new trucks or equipment is costly and rarely works as a closing technique.
10. Impart a sense of urgency.
You have to be sensitive to individual timing issues, but the reality is while you’re being overly polite, someone else is stealing your sale. You know your truck or piece of equipment is the best choice for your prospect, but only once they buy it and put it to work. Practice making that point professionally but convincingly.
Work with your sales team to implement these 10 selling principles, and track how the numbers change over time. Change doesn’t happen overnight, especially trying to teach an old dog new tricks, but once they learn that these new tricks can benefit them and their sales figures, they will begin to revamp the way they sell to prospective customers.