Here’s a note of truth: if your business relies on the selling of a product or service, you’re not going to get very far without basic sales skills. Being good at selling goes beyond having a knack with persuasion. It’s also about building long-lasting connections with your customer base, creating a bond of trust, and presenting your business in a positive light.
Understanding how to appropriately market your business’ wares is key to thriving in the long run. And when statistics show that only 24% of sales emails are opened, the importance of getting it right could make the difference between being respected and being all-out ignored by your potential customers.
If you want to understand why developing sales skills is so important for your business, take a look at the following three key reasons:
- To encourage customers to make a first purchase
Making that first purchase from a business, known or unknown to the general public, can be daunting. The customer isn’t just investing their money into their product or business; they’re giving you a chance, and trusting you to deliver the promise of a good product or service.
It’s a lot harder to build up this level of trust in the first place without good sales skills. Making a good impression, whether that be through the tone of your sales email or leaflet, or through person-to-person interaction, is vital if you want to generate that difficult first customer purchase.
- To generate repeat business
‘Sales is largely about the art of persuasion, and if you want to build long-lasting relationships with your customers, you need to keep them interested in what you have to offer long after their first purchase’ says Alan Bell of Alan Bell Mortgages. Putting good sales skills to practice will enable you to prove to your customers just why they should continue to buy from you in the future.
When it comes to purchasing a product or a service, there is often a balance between want – a more practical feeling – and need – a more emotional one. Depending on what it is you can offer to your customers, you need to focus on specific sales techniques that will appeal to the customer’s wants and needs. Having the sales skills to understand how to do this will help you to achieve a much more successful selling outcome in the long run.
- For positive word-of-mouth
One of the most effective forms of marketing remains, to this day, to be word-of-mouth. Communication between your customers can make or break your business – a flurry of good reviews from trustworthy sources can easily encourage others to spend time looking into your business to see what all the fuss is about comments the Professional Sales Association.
You might think that word-of-mouth comes down to your product or service only, but it’s really about the customer’s sales experience in general. A friendly, speedy and seamless selling process from someone with good sales skills can build customer loyalty in a way that a good product alone may not be able to do. And in a climate of distinctly average customer service, if you get it right, your customers are likely to spread the word about their positive experience with you.