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Effective Selling Techniques for Start-ups
How do I create interest in my product?
Your first call with the decision-maker is crucial. Create the right impression right away by using the following tactics:
- Ask ‘yes’ questions. Don’t jump into the benefits of your product right away. Ask questions to which the only reasonable answer would be in the affirmative. A good opening would be "I supply treated birch wood and I understand you use birch in your custom Jacuzzis, is that correct?". Here, the only possible answer (assuming they do use birch wood) would be "Yes" – instantly, you have involved the prospect in a dialogue and bought yourself valuable time.
- Investigate their needs. Using open questions, work out what the prospect needs and would benefit from. Ask questions like "Where do you currently buy your wood from?" "How much do you pay for it?" "Do you have to get it treated separately?" Listen carefully and note down their answers – effective selling involves more listening than you might think. Get them to agree that their need is such that action should be taken to address it.
- Tailor your pitch to the customer’s needs. When you have worked out their needs, match the benefits of your product to the needs of the customer. Emphasise the tangible benefits your product will bring, rather than just listing features:
- "This wood is pre-treated" is a statement that simply describes a feature.
- "You don’t need to get our wood treated separately – we do it ourselves, saving you X amount of money" is better, as it describes a benefit such a feature would bring to the customer.
- Quantify benefits with evidence. Use hard evidence and figures to back up your claims and crystallise the benefits of your product in the mind of the customer. For example, "If you buy pre-treated wood from us, you will save £10,984 per year compared to your current supplier".
- Don’t shy away from discussing the competition. Acknowledge that competing products exist, but emphasise the unique benefits your product offers and provide proof to back up your claims.