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Sales Techniques
Testimonials

Techniques and Testimonials in the Hands of a Salesperson
Sales are about doing whatever it takes to sale your product; using testimonials will increase your sales and give you the added credibility that it needs. As a salesperson you should understand the basic steps of a successful “sale.” A sale is the transfer of property from one person to another for a “price.” The price usually includes the cost of raw materials, labor and packaging. There is more to a sale than just the product. A salesperson should have “good prospect and/or lead (Rosen).” A prospect is person working at a particular company that has the authority to buy a product. A lead is information acquired from a company or individual seeking information about a product or service that they are interested in pursuing.
One of the most important techniques to becoming a successful salesperson is appearance. A salesperson should be well groomed; having a neat and clean appearance. Successful sales people should have foresight and anticipate what is appropriate attire for a face-to-face presentation. The first impression is what a buyer will remember when making his or her decision to purchase a product and/or service.
Some techniques used in businesses today are “mailers.” Mailers are letters or descriptive cards sent out in large quantities to generate “leads.” A lead normally requires information from a customer like the contact name, phone number, email address, position and areas of interest; to find out what the customer wants (Rosen). Some techniques require a salesperson to do a little investigation.
Before a salesperson can know what a customer wants; a salesperson needs to know what the customer does or makes. Research is another primary technique of sales. If a salesperson wants to sell too a company or individual, he or she needs to know the customer primary business. You should know the customer better than they know themselves. A salesperson needs to know if their product can improve the customers’ product packaging, appearance of their display and/or design. If the customer is looking to purchase a service; a salesperson needs to know various applications for the service they are providing and be able to adapt it to the customers’ needs at a moments notice.
After you have done all of your research, it is time to perfect your “presentation of the product and/or service (Rosen).” How a salesperson presents their product or service is a key factor to making the sale or being allowed to provide their service. A salesperson should practice their presentation and have an up to date proposal letter that meets the needs of the customer. A valuable technique used in proposal letters is “testimonials.” A testimonial is information provided to you from prior customers; it provides information like the company’s name, name of buyer, type of product you provided them and its performance at their company. Testimonials provide credibility for you and your product.
Another technique is visual aides and samples to present to your potential customer. All salespeople should have samples of the product they are selling. Showing a customer a picture of working applications and letting them actually touch the product will increase the appeal of your presentation. Factor in questions that a customer might have about the use of a product or service. Try to have answers for everything. This keeps the focus on the sale. If a salesperson is selling a service; they should be prepared to demonstrate their process for the customer. This will show that the salesperson is confident about their service. After the salesperson has gone through the products uses and answered all the questions and concerns that a customer may have; he or she should give the potential customer a pricing-quote. A quote is the price and terms of the sale. The term is the number of days given to a customer to pay for a product or service.
Sales are a trial and error process! There is no proof that one technique is better than another. Individualism and technique are the only factors that are constant in a sale.
Understanding the Sales Process
Some people believe that “sales” is something you do. I believe that sales are a frame of mind and have to be learned. A salesperson has to believe in the product or service they are providing. Understanding how to present ones self, product and/or service are the keys to a successful sale or learning experience. Everybody, at one time or another has sold something; whether it was a product or themselves.
As a salesperson you should be confident with a clean appearance. A salesman should wear a “suit and keep his hands clean and nails cut” when he is out of the office (UoMO). A saleswoman should wear “hosiery to compliment her outfit (UoMo).” Do not “wear strong cologne or perfume” when meeting with a potential customer. Of course the choice is up to you and only you can decide what image is appropriate; but keep in mind that you have a better chance of a sale in a suit than in jeans. I think that if your clothes and outer appearance are dirty and wrinkled, this will reflect on your product or service. If you are providing a service like auto repair; then your hands and nails might be a little dirty. Your attire might be oily. A customer may question an auto-mechanic if he or she are wearing a suit or dress while working of their vehicle. I think a salespersons appearance is related to the job. You should always dress accordingly; whether you selling computers or selling the need for brake pad replacement. I think a salespersons appearance is related to the job and represents their product or service.
The presentation is the next step in a successful or unsuccessful sale. Your presentation to a customer starts with your appearance and posture. You should practice speech techniques. Salespeople should understand the importance of speaking in an even tone and how to steady the pace at which they speak during the presentation. Raising and lowering your voice can confuse customers. Customers like to be spoken to in an even toned voice (UoFL). Yelling is appropriate if you are trying to make a sale at a construction site or machine-shop where noise is a variable. Speak at an even pace; not to fast and not to slow (UoFL). You are not in a race and you don’t get the sale if your presentation was the fastest. Speaking to slow tells the customer that you have run out of things to say about your product. A steady presentation let’s the customer think about what you have to offer and prepares them for the closing.
The last process is your closing statement. Your closing statement should always be in the same tone as your presentation (Verrecchia). A salesperson should review all the key point of his or her presentation with the customer. Some sales people believe that if you leave something out of your presentation; you should not bring it up in the closing (Verrecchia). I believe that all information about a product or service is important. Leaving information or a fact about you product out, because they were not discussed prior could lead to a loss of a sale. Being the customer, I would like to know as much about a product or service to make an educated decision to purchase.
Everything that you do as a salesperson reflects on your product and company. The tools and techniques that you use, creates a since of professionalism in your presentation. Credibility is what all good salespeople rely on. A sale is an inexact process! If something works for one person it may not work for another. The situation changes from one salesperson to another and from customer-to-customer. You will make some sales and lose others. The basic nature of sales is to keep trying no matter what obstacles get in your way.

Work Cited
Aull, Diane. "Testimonials: Friend or Foe?." WebCredible. Feb. 2004. 09 Nov. 2005 .
"Businesss Attire Do's and Dont's." College of Business. 2005. University of Missouri. 01 Nov. 2005 .
Chesney, Robert. "Five Successful Steps for getting and Using Testimonials." Los Angeles Business Journal 08 Oct 2001. 09 Nov 2005 .
Farber, Barry. "Sales Success: Using Testimonials to Unleash the Power of the Second Opinion." Entrepreneur Feb 2002. 09 Nov 2005 .
Graham, John. "16 Ways to Increase Your Sales." Managers Magazine Feb 1993: 30.
Klein, Jim. "Your most Important Sales Tools." Sales Techniques. 2004. From the Heart Sales Training. 05 Nov. 2005 .
Rosen, Keith. "It Ain't About You." 2005. Profit Builders. 25 Oct. 2005 .
Ruth, Amanda. "Effective Oral Communication for Sales Presentations." Edis. April 2002. University of Florida. 01 Nov. 2005 .
Verrecchia, Felice. "How to Close a Sale." At&T Business. 1999. Edward Lowe Foundation. 1 Nov. 2005 .
Weiss, Wendy. "Use Testimonials to Market Yourself." Business Know How. 2005. 09 Nov. 2005 .
http://www.autotrader.com/
http://www.hangtab.com/
http://www.hsn.com/

Other Places to go:

business do's and dont's
How to Sell
Testimonials Friend or Foe


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