American Painting Contractor Magazine

APCJuly2014

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AMERICAN PAINTING CONTRACTOR • July 2014 17 S elling is not a magical skill that people who are eloquent talkers possess. Rather it is a skill in handling communication between two people, one who provides a service and another who needs that same service. Selling is communicating your craft and profession to fulfill customer needs and solve their problems. It is not coercion or manipulation. Few people work at being better com- municators. Our parents, our bosses, our friends and others around us were or are influential in how we communicate. Don't believe me? Think of the things you say to your children and then about how you are sounding more and like your mom or dad. With just a little effort, you can learn to be a better communicator. Selling is communicating with a pur- pose. It is not idle chitchat. One of the first mistakes nonprofessional salespeople make is to confuse social niceties with sales skills. Being friendly is important in any social setting, but it is foolish to think people will spend more money on your bid just because you like the same football team or think the weather is nice today. All else being equal, people are going to buy from the salesperson they trust and feel will solve their problems. Selling is also a skill of listening, not only talking. Professional salespeople are like cats. They listen, watch and gather infor- mation, then pounce. Talking too early in a presentation and becoming the expert can turn people off. Learn to ask questions. Find out what drove the customer to do the job now and to call you. It is doubtful the customer did so because of a magic dream or vision. Have you ever noticed the more the customer talks, the more the cus- tomer buys? One of your goals is to get the customer to talk. It is the only way to find out what they truly want. There are four types of buying logic sales trainers discuss when training new salespeople. • People buy from those they like. This perspective has been around for years, but in reality people buy from people they like and respect. Most of us have bought something from some- one we liked, but he or she let us down because of poor performance. So people may like you, but that does not mean they are going to pay $2,000 more for your job. They need to see value as well as likability. • People love to buy things but hate to be sold. Buying is an enjoyable process. Think of the millions of people who march through shopping malls each Sound Business Management Understanding Customer Buying Logic By Monroe Por ter See Advertiser Index on Page 42

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