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Thursday, 23 May 2013

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Want to know how to sell?


I have spent many years working in sales and marketing and the sales process that I always relied on was IFNOC. It's important to keep in mind when on social media you are just in part of the sales process. If you are using social media for a business of a brand then you are selling to to them as the purpose is to get the customer engaged and then to your site.



The Process is Called IFNOC 

Introduction
Fact find 
Needs Features Benefits 
Objection Handling 
Close


I find that a structured sales process works much better than being chaotic when pitching.With a structure it allows you to guide your potential client through your pitch and not to lose control.

Introduction
Who are you?
Why are you calling?
Where are you from ( your company) 

The aim here is to quickly let them know who you are and what the point is in you pitching them. 

Don't start by describing what your offer/product is as you have nothing to base your pitch on.

Fact find
This is one of the most important parts of the process this part is where you get to know your client. 

To start the fact find you need to ask open questions.
Open questions begin with such as: what, why, how, describe.

The aim is to get your client talking and about them and their business you want to understand what they do and why they do it 

One of my favorites to open with is : What does your business do?

Once you have a good idea of what they do, then keep with the open questions but start asking questions directly related to your product Eg: 

How would it benefit you of being on page one of google? 

The reason you are asking these questions is to get COW ( customers own words) you need COW so when you are presenting them with a solution you can use what they have said to sell your own product.

Needs Features Benefits 
Now we move onto the sales presentation, from the fact find you should have established the clients needs.If you haven't then keep asking those questions until you have.As without understanding what the client needs your pitch is going to be useless. 

In a sales Presentation you want to be looking to work with 3 points the customers need ( why they need your product),the features of your product ( what your product does) the benefit to them(What the product will do for them) 

A example for a SEO service : 

The Need is to be on the first page of Google 
The Feature would be back links and social proof
The Benefit would be to receive more traffic to their site which mean money

So I would say something like :

You said that you would benefit of being on the first page of google, with our service we are able to build targeted backlinks and social proof getting you on page one. This would benefit you as you would see more traffic to your site and more traffic means more money.

Objection handling 
If sales were as simple as that then my day job would be alot easier, but most clients will have objections. A objection in my view is a buying sign you just need to deal with the objections and find any said ones to take you to a nice smooth close. 

Each product will have its own objections but there are always generic ones eg: 

Price
I can do it my self


You will find that there are actually simple ways to deal with them. So going with the SEO product i will look at some objection and potential responses.

Its too expensive : 

You said it was important to be on the first page of google, how much business would you need to do just to cover this service ? As by using us to do your SEO you will easily cover the cost and then make even more.

I can do it myself
I am a expert in SEO and have been doing it for 5 years , I have no idea how to run a ( insert clients business) but by letting us do the SEO for you you have a expert doing the work saving your time so you can focus on your business.

There will be other objections and issues that a customer has with your products and pitch, but from my experience there will be a set number for each product so document them and make your self a list of solutions.

The Close
You will probably find that the Objection handling and the Close sometimes will blend into each other but in the end you need to finish off the deal and the aim here is to get the customers buy in and confirmation.

There are a couple of types of close formal,Summary and casual. 

Formal 
This is when you will sum up the needs of the client and then take them through the needs of the client and covering and terms and conditions.IF you have ever had personal finance this is the sort of style they would use.

Summary 
You will sum up the Needs of the client and then just confirm they want to buy the product. 

Casual 
it can almost be as simple as saying where do you want the invoice to go to .

The most important part of the close is getting the customers buy in and time scale , if they have said just send me a email that is not buy in. You want the customer to say they want to go ahead and then discuss a time frame with them. 

Summary 
Regardless if you are cold calling or face to face pitching the process will work if you're fact find is good then everything else should fall into place. Remember to have a notepad to make notes as it will help and don't worry about saying to the customer please wait a moment while i work out the best solution for you. But keep trying work on the open questions and dealing with those objections and sales will come 

Hope that is helpful and if you have any questions then go ahead and ask 

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Author: The Social Yeti
The Social Yeti is a happily married father of four. He helps businesses learn how to use social media to engage with their customers and increase their online presence. He's no Guru, but enjoys spending time in his cave, playing around with social media.Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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