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Selling without the technical jargon – 5 tips

Sales staff have to know their products and services. If you don't know what you are selling, you may as well pack your bags and go home. But that doesn't mean that sales staff have to describe every single detail to the customers just to show how clever they are and to provide a comprehensive explanation. Surplus information can also have a negative effect.

1. Don't allow discussions to become too one-sided
Many sales employees mean well when they present the benefits of their products in detail and thoroughly explain all the new features and improvements. With the exuberance of feeling and the inner security that their product is superior to that of the competition, they inform their customers about every single technical advantage – often using technical jargon. And in doing so, they fail to notice that they have lapsed into an endless monologue and are creating a distance between themselves and their customers. Communication becomes a one-way street. Like ice floes, the emotional worlds of the business partners drift apart; often without the sales employee being aware of this. Meaning well is not always the same as doing well.
2. Too much information makes customers feel insecure
When sales staff inform instead of guiding, this harbors further risks. Many customers get annoyed when they are simply told the facts with no room for comment. Some customers create a bridge by telling the sales employee what they are thinking. Of course, the sales employee should respond to this. But good sales staff build their own bridges and don't let the situation get so out of hand. Certain sales staff even use specific technical jargon in their sales pitch. They believe that this makes them look more professional and that customers will think, "He knows what he's talking about". But if customers are unable to understand the (often technical) explanations, they start to get the feeling that they cannot keep up with the conversation and that they are lacking in competency. The negative feeling of being a clueless layman does not motivate such customers to make a purchase. On the contrary: it only makes most customers feel unnecessarily insecure.
3. Too much information causes rejection
If customers are faced with too much information, they can absorb only a fraction of this. When it gets too much, they completely stop listening. A bicycle salesman can explain every new screw and material to his customers, he can describe modern power transmission and the exact weight of the bicycle down to the last ounce, but he is also in danger of losing the customer. The customer doesn't want to know about every last screw on the bicycle, he would prefer to hear the benefits that he gets by purchasing the product. For example, he is interested in the fact that the bicycle is extremely sturdy and still extremely lightweight, which means that even older cyclists can easily carry it up the stairs to their apartment. Or that the bicycle is suitable for rough terrains…
4. Time does not stand still
Providing information to customers takes time. But the time factor is very important in the sales pitch. Customers do not always have (or take) the time for detailed information. Often, the time for talking is limited right from the outset – just think about trade fairs and exhibitions. Managers' calendars are filled with appointments, ranging from 10 minutes to half an hour. If you take too much time providing too much information instead of sticking to the essentials, you will find yourself rushing from appointment to appointment unnecessarily. Time is money. Sales staff's time is also money. In other words, if you keep your sales pitch targeted and get to the essentials quickly, you may even be able to visit a few more customers.
5. Reflecting on your own behavior helps
To get to the essentials, you first have to know what they are. Many sales staff are too involved with their products and at advanced training courses they learn mainly about the new product features. Communication with the customer is not considered sufficiently. It is worthwhile reflecting on your own behavior, to review your working day and consider whether your sales talks were too one-sided or if you really listened to your customers enough. Did you start talks by asking questions, so that you could quickly realize what your customers were really interested in? If you're not sure: talk with a friend or family member or in front of the mirror. This will give you an initial idea. If you cannot guide people in talks, but get lost in the details, you are fighting a losing battle.

Marc M. Galal6
95606 Marktredwitz
Phone: +49 9231/96370
Fax: +49 9231/63645

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 News - 21.04.2014
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