The job of a salesperson is to influence—but in order to have any real influence, you need the right information. You need to know everything you possibly can about the problems the buyer is struggling with. The strategic question is “What can it do to make the prospect or customer comfortable? What can I do to make them comfortable enough that that they will make the leap of faith and buy what I’m selling?”
Be clear about how much each potential customer is worth to you. This allows you to determine the time and effort you should put into selling to each one. If your clients are looking for a number of features, and you can’t fulfill all of them, then get them to rank the importance of the features. Do this first, rather than deciding what they are on your own. Figure out what this client is looking for. Find out from them, and then you will know what you can sell to them.
Selling anything whatever it is requires strong business skills such as marketing, selling, business development, and communication skills. Smart salespeople should shift focus from products and pricing to the minds of customers, and put their energy into building honest relationships. Never think about the commodities of what you’re selling; always think about the end result, the benefits to the other person.
If you advertise the same way, and act the same way, and do the same things as your competition, then you’re no different. The more you get away from the prevailing model, the more you can justify charging higher prices for what you do, and start making a lot more money. One of the big differentiating points about businesses that most people don’t think about is to have different business behavior than your competition.
Understand what your target customers do, what products they need and why, what key benefits they require, and when, where, and how they buy. Niche businesses are lucrative, but sub-niches serving a very particularized segment are even more successful because the seller can tailor their approach to more closely match expectations. Keep an eye on key trends in your market, such as changes in buying patterns and the activities of competitors.