Making a sale is always an interesting dance between the salesperson and the customer. If the music is right, the dance goes by quickly and leaves everyone exhilarated and content that they showed up to the club. Pick the wrong song and the dance turns into one of those awkward slow songs from a junior high school dance--the one where both parties can't wait for the song to change so they can move on to a better prospect. Here are 3 tips to make every sale simple so everyone heads off the dance floor feeling happy.

Focus on the details you think are game-changers instead of trying to provide a long list of benefits. Yeah, you can probably wax poetic for ages on your amazing product, but the bottom line is that your customer is short on both time and patience. She wants to know what your product does, sure, but more importantly, she wants to be convinced it is the one she needs. That means the things your product can do are only relevant in relation to how those capabilities will change in her life. If your product is a stroller and you tell me it is available in 10 fabulous colors, has a detachable lining, and comes with 360 swivel wheels, as a new mom, I might nod and continue to check out my options. However, when you explain that this means I can choose a color that will keep my baby cool in the summer, throw the removable lining in the wash when he spits up on it, and roll him around town on suspension which rivals that of a BMW--you'll get a "yes" much faster.

Compare and contrast your product with that of your competition. Are you afraid to mention competing products in your communications with potential customers, because you figure it will give them a reason and road map to go elsewhere? Don't be. Take that stroller example again. When I recently told a salesman I had seen a model I liked at another store that his store didn't carry, he asked me about the one I had seen and quickly pointed out the difference between the one he was showing me and the one I had found elsewhere--his was a full 2 lbs. lighter. He knew that as a Manhattan parent on-the-go (and at the mercy of public transportation!) getting me to say yes to the concept of "less crap to carry" was a no-brainer. Openly discussing other choices the customer may be considering gives her the confidence to ultimately choose your product. It shows you are knowledgeable not just about your offerings, but also the industry in general, and removes the customer's concern that she might fare better in another store or with a different product.

Provide pricing in a way that matters. No one wants a mystery when it comes to money. Communicating not just the cost, but also the return on investment a customer can expect when purchasing your product is crucial to closing the sale. Back to that stroller. The salesman also knew that his stroller was $100 more expensive than the one I was considering at the other store, and he said so outright. But before sticker shock could set in, he also added "but I think you will find eliminating those extra 2 lbs of weight is well worth the price difference--especially as your baby grows and becomes heavier. You'll save way more than the extra $100 it costs by avoiding doctor's visits for an aching back." And even though it was more than I had set out to spend, I shelled out the extra money, and silently thank that salesman every time I go down a flight of stairs into the subway.

Published on: Mar 16, 2015