Prepare to Sell!

Sales is a critical part of any business, including non-profits. Sales is not complicated or difficult, but requires preparation, consistent action and a plan. Before completing any preparatory work in sales, consider asking yourself some tough questions.

  • Why are you in this business?

  • Do you believe in your product/service?

  • What are you trying to accomplish?

    When you believe in your product and understand why you're doing what you're doing, the rest of the sales process is much easier.

    The first step in the plan is for the salesperson to know the features and benefits of the product or service (let's say product). For example, let's say your product is office furniture. Describing the features of your product and your company might look like this:

    • Been in business 18 years

    • Lots of variety ? including home office

    • Free delivery

    • All price points

    • 7 day guarantee

    While features are very important, it's even more important to identify the benefits of your product. This process involves more thought ? you need to put your feet in your customers' shoes and ask, "What's in it for me? (wiifm)" For example, "Why should I care if you've been in business 18 years? How does that help me?"

    To fully understand the benefits of your product, first list the features, and then answer the wiifm question for every feature. There are no rules for this exercise and there will likely be more than one benefit for some features. Getting back to our office furniture example, here are some benefits:

    • Longevity ? we'll be here for you when you need us. We will remember you! You don't even have to come into the store when you need something. Bottom line ? a relationship, convenience and peace of mind.

    • Variety ? one-stop-shopping. No matter what you need, we have it or we will get it for you. We save you time.

    • Free Delivery ? save you money.

    • All prices ? you will not be disappointed. When you come to our store, you will find what you want within your budget! We save you money and minimize stress at the same time.

    • Guarantee ? If it doesn't fit or doesn't look good, we'll take it back ? no questions asked. This gives peace of mind and freedom in making your decision.

    If you get stuck determining the benefits, ask your customers! Why did you buy from us? If the answer is vague, be willing to go deeper and deeper until you get something tangible. For example:

    • "I bought from you because I liked the furniture."

    • You go further ? "What did you like about it?"

    • "It matched my existing office furniture."

    • "So, you appreciated the variety we offer? Did you look anywhere else? What did you find there ? good and bad? Were there any other reasons you bought from us?"

    This may be stressful for you, and you may feel like you're bugging your customers. Again, put your feet in your customers' shoes ? do you think your customers want you to succeed? If your vendors called to ask you to help them, would you? If you're still uncomfortable, offer an incentive or gift to customers who help you to do this research.

    Another way to define benefits that are important to your prospects is to determine their needs and define their problems. By fully understanding your potential customers' needs and problems, you can better give them what they want. Sometimes your prospects don't fully understand their needs and problems, so doing this research in advance and being prepared with this information, you can help them even more.

    Now you can talk to anyone about your product!

    About The Author


    Sales articles

    1. Lead Companies, Eight Features To Consider

      So now the time has come to invest in Lead companies, but how do you know which one is the right one for you?When I was a new loan officer, finding a lead company was not easy, I can remember logging onto Yahoo, typing in the key word "mo... more to this article

      Article category: Sales Information

    2. How To Set Goals and Achieve Them

      We use only 5% of God's given potential, 95% of them is not used. Why not tap the 95% of our Creative Intelligence and achieve our desired goals. Our goals are limitless because of our creative imagination. You have to commit to your goals. If you do... more to this article

      Article category: Sales Information

    3. Top 10 Ways to Maximize Your Approachability

      After reading and researching thousands of books, articles and other resources on communication, first impressions, networking and conversation, I've learned one thing: none of them address what approachability means. Or maybe they just don't take th... more to this article

      Article category: Sales Information

    4. I Don?t Want To Be Sold; I Want To Buy

      I went shopping for clothes today.My plan was to buy a navy blue sports coat, a couple of shirts and ties and maybe a pair of black shoes.Understand that as a sales trainer, I want people to ask me to spend my money. I'm not going to bu... more to this article

      Article category: Sales Information

    5. What Not To Do With Your Leads

      Anyone that works in sales knows just how important it is to have lead sources to keep your pipeline filled. But it is not only how we obtain the leads that is important, it's what we do with them once we get them.One of the most critical mist... more to this article

      Article category: Sales Information

    Prepare to Sell information

    Article categories

    What is Lead Generation?

    Lead Generation is vital to all businesses. All companies tr...

    Sales Information

    Dropped Jaw Syndrome, Your Fastest, Most Reliable Market Test

    Business owners should be more like doctors.Forget se...

    Sales Information

    Why Should I Buy From You?

    Virtually every business you contact has this question in th...

    Sales Information

    First, Fast, And Foremost . . .

    First - being before all others. Fast - moving or able to mo...

    Sales Information

    Why You Buy, Part Three

    Still more discoveries from the recent studies in behavioral...

    Sales Information

    How To Take The Right Steps To Increase Your Selling Results

    Steps - it is unrealistic for most salespeople to expect to ...

    Sales Information

    Do Your Words Betray You?

    What do the words that you use say about you? What is your b...

    Sales Information

    Pinging for Success: Creating Search Patterns

    One of my first internship jobs as a college student was wor...

    Sales Information

    Selling Commodities

    "How do you create a perceived value to differentiate yourse...

    Sales Information

    Cold Calling Pressure Reduction

    Who likes cold calling? Most salespeople don't like c...

    Sales Information

    Its Better When They Tell Them

    You know that word of mouth can grow your business. You hear...

    Sales Information

    How to Write Effective Selling Proposals

    Depending upon how much you enjoy writing, writing sales pro...

    Sales Information

    How to Reach Purchasing Agents of Big Corporations

    Now business owners and sales professionals can develop a Fa...

    Sales Information

    Everyones Favorite Topic - 3 Tips for How To

    I believe that everyone understands that no matter what busi...

    Sales Information

    Focus on a Trade - Not a Discount

    Smart buyers will always ask for a better price. Unfortunate...

    Sales Information