I'm often asked what separates good salespeople from great salespeople. Besides more money and value to the company, it's knowing the competition and knowing themselves.
Such people always have a complete understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Knowledge is an essential part of being successful. Knowledge comes in several areas:
Product and system knowledge, even with the information available on the Internet, is necessary in selling a product or service. The ability to apply this information to the problems of customers creates the trust and dependence needed in selling. Your job is to show customers the value of each visit and why they should want to see you next time.
Growth in the mature HVAC industry will come by becoming the best in the marketplace. You will need to take customers from your competitors. To do that you need to completely understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. You need to know the products they sell and the services they offer. You need to listen to customers who have left them and came to you.
Take a meetingThe best way to get this information is at a sales meeting. To start the meeting, a salesperson should make a product presentation. A role-playing situation develops for everyone to see and comment. This usually takes 15 minutes. The second segment is devoted to the competition. A list of competitors is drawn up and everyone can make comments concerning the companies.
In the one I sat in on, people talked about employee attitudes and prices. Sitting and listening, I felt the salespeople in the room would leave feeling better about themselves and their company.
You should also know your own pluses and minuses. It will help eliminate one of the toughest competitors you face - yourself. So often, salespeople decide what prospects know and anticipate what questions they may ask. Since many salespeople know their weaknesses and their companies' weaknesses, they assume prospects know the same things. It presents an added problem during the interview. Let buyers ask the question before you answer.
This is why I believe that all salespeople must believe in themselves, their company, the product or service they're selling and the price they are asking. If they have any questions about any of the above, they will be caught off-guard and will lose the sale. The reason so many sales calls are "lost" by price is the seller doesn't believe in the price and didn't have an answer when the question came up.
If you believe in your price, you'll be able to manage any attack on the price question.
There are two things that you never bring up during a sale or an interview: price and the competition. If the competition is brought up, do not knock or badmouth them. However, if there is something you know to be true, just state the facts and let the customer make their decision on its value and effect on their company.
Price is never mentioned during a sale unless buyers bring it up. When you talk about price, you are making it an important part of the sale. If it's an important part of the sale to the buyers, let them bring it up, not you.
If you believe your product will make the buyer more profitable, you should be able to close the sale. Often it is not the price of the product, but the final, installed cost that matters most.