One of my principles in life is : "Learn from the best and ignore the rest"
In the past , I have been working for 10 years for IBM and they are undoubtfully one of the best companies in ICT for over 50 years. Sure they lost some important battles like their own creation the PC, but they are still the largest ICT company in the World and again for over 50 years.
As a young engineer and architect I was heavily involved in large sales deals and as technical advisor to our customers, IBM thought it would be a good idea to train my sales skills
Americans are excellent sales people and so I learned a few tricks I want to share with you. None of them are confidential :-)
1) Establish trust. Before you can start to sell anything, you need to do this. As a small company the only way is to create a good comfortable feeling with a professional look. In Centillien words, a good and interesting profile.
2) Tell them exactly what you sell, and also what you are not selling. Most people understand the first but lack the second. The second is important for two reasons. One is less discussion, the second is again gain trust. By telling what you will or cannot do clarifies things. In Centillien words, make attractive and descriptive advertisement
3) Selling starts when a customer is giving their doubts. Be prepared ! We had marketing people, mostly women that knew the answers to 10 reasons "Why not?" and mostly got away with it. A good way is to gather Frequently asked Questions (FAQ's)
4) Be a "thougth leader". If you can convince your customer that you think ahead it creates comfort. You are the specialist, make clear why you stay that way. In Centillien words write news and create events to demonstrate your capability.
5) Give compelling argument to act now. This can be discounts, another good one is if you have arguments that they will lose savings or business when not buying your product.
6) Closing the deal. The most tricky part, now it comes to the nitty gritty part of T&C's, contracts etc.. A lot of deals are lost in this final negotiation part. Try to keep in mind that any deal needs to be attractive for both parties and you have the best attitude to make it to the finish.
I hope this helps you all in doing more and better business based on good sales practises, entrepreneurship and believe in your values. Only one final and important tip, whatever you say and do, make sure it is true.
Telling lies will not help your business on the long run and that should be your goal, to build a business that lasts.
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