Personal selling is one of the most effective techniques used by various companies and brands to increase their product sales. Whether it is Apple, Nike, or BMW, everybody uses this impactful technique to offer a great buying experience.
Before we delve deeper into what is personal selling, let us look at a fictional situation.
You lost your phone, and so you need a new one. You don’t have time for research as you need it on an urgent basis. You go to a mobile store and get confused, looking at the wide array of phones displayed there. Suddenly someone from the store having knowledge about all those cutting-edge gadgets approaches and asks you what you are looking for. He asks various questions to understand your requirements. After studying your needs, he shows you a few phones and you decide to purchase one of them. The conversation you had with him helped in getting what you were looking for.
Well, this is what we need to do in real-life as well and help our customers in getting what they exactly need. Have a one-to-one conversation to understand their requirements before offering a product. You need to establish and maintain a lasting relationship with your prospects.
Every single interaction, the most minute details of the interaction you have with you customer, are an opportunity for you to create something remarkable. – Joey Coleman
What is personal selling?
Personal selling is an approach where sellers humanize the sales process and try to help the prospects rather than just selling a product. So, instead of bragging about a product, they step back and listen to the prospects. Sellers try to identify the problems that the prospects are facing and show them a way to eliminate them.
Earlier personal selling was only confined to face-to-face interaction between the seller and the prospect. Even now a face-to-face meeting is important for personal selling. However, thanks to the technological advancements along with in-person meetings sellers are also leveraging calls, emails as well as video calls for personal selling.
Personal selling tips
Personal selling is one of the most effective sales techniques that help in building trust and persuading the prospect to buy the product.
Here are some tips for using this powerful technique effectively.
Preparation is of paramount importance in personal selling. To establish a relationship and make the prospect comfortable, you need to do a little research before contacting them.
The will to succeed is important but what’s more important is the will to prepare – Bobby Knight
So invest some time in planning and preparing. Take a look at your sales pipeline and make a list of high-value deals. Plan how and when you will approach each deal. For making your work easier, you can take the help of the best CRM where you can add activities and keep track of them. You also get a clear view of all your deals to prioritize them.
Once you prioritize your deals, start researching about each prospect and gather as much information you can.
- Go through their social media profile and see what kind of accounts they are following.
- On LinkedIn, you can see what kind of posts your prospects are liking. This will help you in understanding their areas of interest.
- Go through their website and study them.
- Find out who your prospect’s competitors are and how they are better.
- Find out if there are any reviews written about your prospect’s company. The negative reviews will help you in understanding your prospect’s weak areas.
Gathering basic information about your prospect will help break the ice and personalize the initial conversation with the prospect. So, make sure you research about the prospect before initiating a call.
Once you break the ice and establish a relationship, you need to focus on finding out the prospect’s requirements, challenges, and goals.
Make the most of the discovery call to understand your prospect.
Do not hesitate to ask questions. For personal selling, you need to know your prospects in and out.
- What problems are they facing
- What are the pressure points (The weak areas that might affect their business if they don’t act immediately)
- What do they aim to achieve in the next few years?
- What’s holding them back from achieving their goals.
Once you gather enough information, try to schedule a face to face or virtual meeting with your prospects to show them how your product can help them.
After the initial contact, you will have to warm up the prospects and follow up with them to schedule a meeting. For that, you can use emails, but you need to be very careful while using it.
“No general messages” Try to personalize your emails.
For instance, you need to follow-up with a prospect who was supposed to call back and provide her convenient time to meet you. However, that didn’t happen, and the prospect isn’t answering your calls. So you think of following-up with an email.
I hope you are doing great!
I was awaiting your response for your convenient meeting time but I assume you are quite busy, and I don’t intend to disturb you.
However, we don’t want your priorities to be overlooked.
Below are the priorities you had discussed.
We were supposed to meet to discuss them in detail. Please share your convenient time for the same.
In this way, you need to personalize your emails to capture your prospect’s attention. In case your prospect doesn’t reply to your fist follow-up email, do not be disappointed. Follow-up again after a few days.
The best thing to do here is to create an email sequence of follow-up emails to save your time. So, you don’t have to remember to send the next follow-up email. However, ensure you have added personalized emails to the sequence. Even if you are using email templates for your email sequence, make sure you edit and personalize it.
4. Add value in the meeting
Face to face meeting is very important while using the personal selling technique. A face-to-face meeting is your last chance to impress the prospect. If you fail to gain their confidence here, it might become difficult to connect again, and you might lose the deal.
So try to add value to the meeting by saying things the prospect wants to hear. Prospects don’t want a product pitch; they want a solution that can help them. So be a consultant rather than a seller and guide on what they need to do to overcome the current business problem.
Ask the questions you couldn’t cover during the discovery call. After discovering your prospect’s problems, present your product as a solution.
Guide them on how it can help them in solving the specific problem that they are facing.
Be explicit about the benefits.
Find out if they have any concerns and address them immediately.
Give an assurance to your prospect that you are in this together. You genuinely want to help them.
Use collaborative words like “we” or “us” to gain their confidence. Such simple things will help make the prospect believe that you are on their side and you want to see their business grow. Closure becomes easy when you succeed in gaining the trust of your prospect.
Personal selling is a great technique if you use it in the right way. Focus on building relationships rather than just selling a product. Make the prospect comfortable and discover their needs. Once you know what they need, you can show them how your product can help. Don’t miss any opportunity to impress the prospect during the face to face meeting. Follow-up consistently after the face-to-face meeting. Use high-end tools to put your follow-up on autopilot.
Salesmate is an advanced CRM that can help your automate your follow-up and track your deals. You can gain control over your sales process with this high-end CRM and increase your conversions.