4/7 in a series
Over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about six things we must do to be successful in sales. This week we focus on being transparent.
Most of these 6 imperatives are about how to get to Yes, but this one is about not creating a No. Being transparent through the sales process does not mean you will win the deal, but lacking transparency by being inconsistent, uninformed, or unclear can lose the deal.
Don’t sabotage your sale by getting caught off guard.
We’ve all been there. You’re having great conversation with your customer. They are interested in your service, and closing the deal is all but inevitable. And then they ask a question. You don’t know the answer, but you could make an informed guess. If you answer now, you can close this deal on the spot. If you wait to get an answer, they might change their mind or explore other options.
Some salespeople may have found it tempting to B.S. a little. What’s the harm? Your answer is probably correct, anyway. Right?
There used to be that kind of “wiggle-room” in sales. Even if you were tempted before, you just can’t B.S. it now. You can’t take the risk.
Buyers used to depend on salespeople for information about their products. Salespeople could have a little knowledge and a lot of confidence, and both parties might walk away happy. But thanks to the internet, buyers have access to as much—if not more—information as you do.
A recent study found 45% of buyers are doing more research now than they did just one year ago. We need a lot of knowledge, a little confidence, and easy access to answers for those out-of-left-field questions when they do pop up. And sometimes the humility to admit when we just don’t know.
We can’t afford to say one thing when our website, our ads, or our colleagues say something else. Think of the red flags that get raised when your answers don’t jibe with the other things they’ve seen and heard.
Were you inconsistent because you don’t know? They might question your credibility.
Were you inconsistent because you lied? They might question your integrity.
Were you inconsistent because the company doesn’t have a good process? They might question the business’ ethics.
People buy from people they trust. Now, more than ever, we have no choice but to be trustworthy. That means being transparent and consistent across all sources of information. What we say and do has to be consistent with what we claim—and what our company claims—our products and services can do. If not, we risk losing trust…and the sale.
The best way to avoid this pitfall is to be prepared. We can help.
If you’d like to see the rest of the series or read more blog posts from The WinSource, you can find them here.
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Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!