The Art of Sales Talk
You've got the goods, now you have to have a plan. A huge part of selling is talking. However, you have to know what to say and when to say it. The wrong approach can send potential customers to a direction you don't want - away from your stall. So you better school yourself on the art of sales talk now and reap the rewards later.
Smarketing - the road to an effective sales pitch
Sounds new to your ears? If so, smarketing, simply put, is the combination of sales and marketing. Most businesses (both big and small) have these two separate departments who are supposed to help each other reach the ultimate goal - create revenue.
However, they do not see each other eye to eye and more often than not, they drag each other down. The sales people claim that the marketing creates useless leads while the marketing people are infuriated because the sales people ignore the former's efforts. It's a total fiasco. So in an attempt to make it these two departments work together, the smarketing was born.
The Art of Sales Talk. Photos by Garry Knight
The idea is to align the goals of the marketing department (which is to create leads or find potential customers) with the goals of the sales department (use the proper approach to sell the product or service).
You might ask, How can this help me when I have a weekend stall that is run by a few people only? You see, by applying the principles of smarketing you will be able to create a team, no matter how small, which will:
- Know who your potential customers are
- Create a sales pitch that works
And just to motivate you to use this approach, according to Hubspot, companies who use this have seen a 20% growth in their sales. Now that you are convinced, here's how you do it.
- Make the two teams work together
In a small-scale business like a market stall, basically, the marketing people will be responsible for finding out who the products are best suited for, create materials that will attract them to the stall, and inform the sales people about who these potential customers are.
Sales Talk Is The Key. Photos by Garry Knight and Philipp Beckers
The sales people, on the other hand, will be responsible for the actual sales talk.
They will be fashioning their pitch according to the information gathered by the marketing team. This is why it is so important for them to come together and communicate openly at all times. It will be easier to spot gaps (like the marketing team bringing the wrong people to the stall, or the sales people using the wrong pitch) that affect the sales.
- Use the same language
Make sure that both teams, or people, use the same lingo so they know they are referring to the same things or issues when discussing business.
- Make use of the data
This prevents blaming or finger pointing. If one team feels that the other is responsible for the lack progress, then their claim should be backed up with solid proof. Frankly, this saves time and allows both teams to tackle problems head on.
These steps are oversimplified considering that for a market stall, the number of people working together will be very small. For more details on these principles, you might enjoy reading the nitty-gritty of smarketing here and here.
Now that you have figured out who you are selling to, and you are armed with the proper materials and info then it's time to learn how to "sales talk".
Increase Your Sales. Photos by Mack Male and La Citta Vita
The first rule of sales talking is the most obvious of all: be friendly. Start with a custom greeting and do it with a warm smile. Practice your smile in the mirror - make sure it looks genuine.
Start your pitch with a question
Apart from the basic How are you doing? kick off your pitch with a question. Your aim would be to know more about your potential customer's needs. For instance, if you are selling sunscreen lotions you may start with Do you enjoy going to the beach a lot?
A note on questions
According to Entrepreneur, succeeding questions should be open-ended (not answerable by yes or no):
- Requires thought to be answered
- 5 W's and an H: what, where, who, why, when, and how
How about close-ended questions?
Is it a no-no to ask these questions? Nope. However, there's a proper time for them. You use them only when you want to confirm facts.
Lend a good ear
When you ask a question, listen carefully to your customer's response. Don't just ask a question for the sake of asking it, rather, seek to understand. It is important to know where the other person is coming from, this way you will know which aspects of your products or services to highlight.
Smarketingto build a repertoire. Photos by news.com.au and Edsel Little
Know your product/service well
Consumers are smarter than ever. Make sure that you have the correct information about your product and the technology used in its production. It is never impressive to fumble with facts, and worse, to be corrected by the potential customer.
Never talk for more than 1 minute
Yup, that's all you've got - 60 seconds. If you absolutely need to go longer than that, remember to pause and ask the person if you may go on. Be ready with an open-ended question, this is your key to winning another minute of talk.
Time is Precious. Photos by madewithlovemarkets.com
Do not sound desperate
You might be but don't let it show. It's a big turn off to prospects. Rather, speak like you've sold a hundred of what you are selling already. One sure way to sound desperate is to go for the hard sell. Hard selling is when you use outrageous superlatives to describe your product and even trash talk competitors. It is also when you rush to talk about the products rather than focusing on the customer's needs first and addressing them.
Do not give into price cuts
The potential customer might ask about the price and attempt to lower it - don't give in right away, or don't give in at all. It is another sign of desperation. What you should do justifies the price of your product; this is your chance to show them why your product is better than your competitor's.
Fix Price To Your Products. Photos by Ruth Hartnup and Tim Fields
Pair your talk with visuals
Some points may be difficult to explain without a visual aid. Have a flier handy, or a chart, even a sample product - anything to help you demonstrate why they should buy this item from you.
This is also why your market stall presentation should be impressive. To help you de-clutter and redecorate, you can check out this guide which lists the things you should do to have a winning stall.
Keep these things in mind the next time you are trying to win over prospects in the market and see how much difference it will make. If you are a newbie, finding your target market and planning your pitch might take some time but it will be worth it. Also, don't forget to cover your basics like finding a good, sturdy gazebo to use as your stall, lighting systems, and banner kits.
Gazebos Australia offers quality goods that have been trusted by market stall holders for years so you might wanna drop by their store. They also dish out helpful tips about overcoming common difficulties regarding selling at market events.