The lockdown restrictions on travel and trade have seen the most industrious salespeople venture onto social media and WhatsApp to keep selling and build their sales pipelines. The most successful of these, says Dave Cilliers, have used product and market knowledge as a proxy for trust.
Dave, a senior facilitator at DCA and Associates and a specialist in the auto and finance industries, says that there is a bigger expectation on salespeople to immediately show that they are knowledgeable and keen on making a sale.
“In normal selling, you have a large set of selling and inter-personal tools available to you, but when you are dealing with a faceless prospect on a social channel, you have to act quickly and use your knowledge of your product and its competitors to build trust and rapport,” says Dave.
Dave explains that the best salespeople have an encyclopedic knowledge of their products. This is supplemented by a library of positive articles, videos and endorsements that live on the salesperson’s phone.
“The chances are that you are not the only salesperson that the prospect is talking to and that he or she has already done quite a bit of market research from the comfort of his/her couch. Now it is up to you to show them your knowledge and, in doing so, gain their trust.”
As part of this information sharing, Dave recommends that salespeople look for content that will invoke a sense of excitement and anticipation. Focus on the benefits of your product, talk it up and get them excited, this will buy you time and open the door to move from interest to an offer.
An additional benefit of this approach, says Dave, is the fact that a salesperson is not perceived to be pushy, but participative. “You earn your place on their chat app,” says Dave.
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