The Art of the Sale
While we mostly address the technical fundamentals of a successful sales presentation, for this edition of Smarter Selling, I thought we should address what is commonly referred to as The Art of the Sale. This component of the sales presentation is not as easy to identify and develop as technical sales skills. But it is essential. When you see it in action, you definitely know you have a winner on your team. Hopefully more than one!
Art can be characterized in terms of expression, communication of emotion, or other qualities. It usually involves imaginative and/or technical skills. One category of art is visual arts, such as painting, sculpture, photography, and other visual media. Architecture can be included as one of the visual arts although it must have a practical component of use. Performing art includes music, theatre, film, dance, as well as literature.
For those of us who have been in sales for any length of time, you either know or have observed two types of sales agents. There is the technically proficient agent who scores well on their evaluations…either an in-house process or through the mystery shop process. But many times the technically proficient agent does not sell at peak level. The other type of agent does not always score high, but sells the sox off their team members. They have that enviable talent of truly connecting with their prospective buyers. Ideally, management creates a sales team proficient in both areas. However it is not that easy. So must management decide between two types of agents to keep on their team? Do you want someone who scores high? Or do you want someone who sells a lot of product because of their ability to connect with their buyers. The answer really is how to get your agents to be both.
Let’s break down the components of art as defined above: Expression, communication, imagination and technical skill. It clearly defines a sales presentation.
• Expression: How an agent expresses themselves is critical in being successful. Do they speak in an easy natural manner? Do they convey sincerity and trustworthiness? Do they appear knowledgeable? Are they easily understood? What about facial expression and body language? Does the agent convey openness and friendliness? This is why the use of video shops is so important. Beyond evaluating what is being said, of more importance, you can assess how it is being said. Is the delivery of information believable or mechanical? By viewing and studying the video of an agent’s sales presentation, you can determine the non-spoken message being sent. You can see the smile or the uninterested face. You can see the open welcoming body language or the closed off crossed armed stance. And so much more.
• Communication: If you put two agents side by side and ask them to explain something about your product or service, unless scripted, they will deliver that explanation very differently. One will be convincing, focused and relevant. The other will drown you with information and stats. A successful sales agent must be effective and efficient in the delivery of their information. Long explanations are not necessarily better. You never want your prospect’s eyes to glaze over.
• Imagination: Do your agents know how to create the sale outside of the traditional sales box? Do they try to incorporate new techniques? Or do they greet every prospect who walks through their doors the same way over and over? I remember years ago having a very non-traditional agent on my sales team. It was not unusual for him to greet a buyer with a short little song. Is that recommended for all agents all the time? Of course not. But it was different and made that prospect smile as they entered. Of course it also helped that the agent had a very good baritone voice.
• Technical Skills: This of course is the foundation of all successful sales professionals. Through practice and preparation, agents learn to master various techniques to glean information from their prospects and then incorporate that information to personalize their product or service thereby creating a match. They must master listening skills as well. Just because an agent hears a prospect ask a question, unless they are listening, they will not be able to fully understand what is driving that question.
And there it is - the Art of the Sale. Agents must be both technicians and artists. They need to paint the picture and back it up with relevant benefits for that buyer. It won’t happen overnight. Learning the sales profession is a process that takes time.
Are you ready to identify the Michelangelo’s and Ansel Adams on your sales team? LeBlanc & Associates will help you through the process of creating that talent. It’s easy. We are a call or email away.
Top 10 Best U.S. Cities for Female Entrepreneurs
The National Association of Realtors looked at each major housing market in America to see which are the best for millennial homebuyers (born in the ‘80s and ‘90s). The criteria they used were large millennial population, strong job growth, and affordable home prices. The top two spots were in Texas, due to great job numbers in Austin and Dallas. Here's the full list, with affordability index and job growth: :
|AFF. INDEX||JOB GROWTH||CITY|
|4.||225.5||3.0%||Des Moines, IA|
|5.||256.6||4.2%||Grand Rapids, MI|
|7.||187.6||2.5%||New Orleans, LA|
|9.||161.0||2.4%||Salt Lake City, UT|