Another great book on the psychology of selling

A book I bought for holiday last year, which I thoroughly recommend is Predictable Irrationality by Dan Ariely.

It is not intended as a sales manual, but is more an insight into patterns of human (and therefore by extension customer) behaviour. As the title suggests, it explains that although we as buyers do extraordinary things and apparently act irrationally, much of it in fact is entirely predictable. How much would this benefit you as a sales person do you think ?

One tip I learned is the example of giving people 3 options. Set out 3 options and people will naturally drift towards the middle option. This gives you the opportunity to present the product or service you want them to go for (and which is realistic) as the middle option. Good stuff eh ?!

He also covers an example of comparing 3 items when two of them are similar (a luxury weekend in Paris, a ‘value’ weekend in Paris or a luxury weekend in Rome.) He talks about why a person will be likely to choose one of the Parisien weekends. But I’ll let you discover that one for yourself.

You will be able to buy this at all good bookstores, I got mine at Smiths, you can follow this link http://www.whsmith.co.uk/CatalogAndSearch/ProductDetails-Predictably+Irrational+-9780007256525.html

But happy reading and let’s make 2009 an informed year ! Knowledge is the new power !

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Build in unique selling points

Jamie a sales director attended one of our recent telesales training courses in Leicestershire. He offers you the following tip ;

“Apart from the usual communication skills, a key part of selling is to try offer something that sets you apart from the competition, a Unique Selling Point. – this could be either goods or services your company offers that no one else is doing. It could  also be a USP about you as an individual, some thing that sets you apart from the (as always) 2- 3 other people quoting the same thing. It must be something that makes the customer remember you and persuades them to look at you and your company as the preferred option. This could be as simple as something you say on the phone or what was in the written quote, or even how the quote is structured and laid out.”

So it is worth giving it some thought. There are always some unique points to use – sometimes it just needs a little thought and imagination. We cover the idea of using benefit statements with one of the telesales audio CDs in the series on telephone selling and telemarketing http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=5 It covers the use of benefit statements, reason statements and open questions. These are the key parts to bear in mind when opening the sales call.

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Customers are humans – no really they are !

Matt Hazle submitted this gem “the philosophy I try to keep in mind on how I deal with customers is I try and deal with them how I would want to be dealt with myself, which I seem to remember you saying on the course. I like to deal with people on a human level but convey a certain professionalism at the same time i.e. that their order (or whatever) will be dealt with accurately and efficiently.”   I worked with Matt for 2 days on a telesales course in Leicestershire. 

It is easy to forget that your customers are human when you can’t seem them, but if you really connect with them – it will make your job a whole lot easier, because they will like you more. It’s that simple. This is one of the fundamentals of good telephone techniques and it is good selling advice. So we cover this topic on the first module on training. This is covered by the CD at this link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=20

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Telesales training tips

Should you go through to a decision-makers voice mail when you’re given the option ? My answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no, so you need to use your discretion. This is a topic we discuss frequently on training. If you do telesales or telemarketing and you are trying to contact a decision maker where you’re trying to follow up a quote or a document you’ve agreed to send them, then leave them a message. Because if this is part of some on-going dialogue they may just call back. 

Conversely if this is the first time you’ve tried to contact them, again they may be unaware of what you do so leave them a message. You never know they may just be interested in what you are selling or offering.

However if you’ve spoke to someone before and perhaps already left them a message I would advise against keep leaving messages. After all if they’ve not repsonded to 2 or 3 messages you’ve already left, why should they respond to the latest one ? Also if you leave too many messages and too frequently it makes you look a bit desperate ! And you certainly don’t want that do you ?! Even telesales and telemarketing personnel can have dignity !  


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