30 May 5 ways to sell like an expert
Sometimes it’s better not to sell like a salesperson. Here are five ways you can come across as an expert in your industry, and sell your product that way.
There’s a saying in sales that we all like to buy, but none of us likes to be sold to. I think that’s true. Although we’re all salespeople, we all believe we are immune from other people’s sales techniques. Being part of ‘the funnel’ is not for us.
Here’s the thing: your buyers don’t want to feel they’re being sold to either. In today’s sales environment, buyers do their own research on sites like G2. They know what your product does and why people like it, before they even pick up the phone to you.
So, how do you sell when persuasion doesn’t work? The most effective way is to position yourself as an expert in your industry, and as a trusted advisor, gently pointing them in the right direction.
Here are five tips to selling like an expert.
1 — Don’t sell
It may go against all of your natural instincts, but you need to stop thinking and talking like a salesperson. If you’re on a call or in a meeting with a prospect that demands an expert approach, and you see a golden opportunity to pitch — don’t.
The beginning of the sales process when selling like an expert should be all about qualification. Work out in your head if your prospect needs your product, and if so, why? When you have this straight, the rest becomes much more manageable.
2 — Ask questions
The role of an expert advisor is all about talking less and listening more. Ask as many questions as you can of your prospect, so you can genuinely understand the challenges they face. Resist the urge to propose your product as the solution; instead, be thoughtful with your interventions.
During this questioning process, you can assume the role of a coach, asking the right questions until the prospect realises the solution for themselves.
3 — Talk business
The best way to promote yourself to your prospect as an expert in your business is to have a business conversation. You spend all day gathering priceless industry information from your prospects and customers: use it!
When you show that you understand their industry; their goals, challenges, hopes and fears; you immediately become someone they want to talk to. Then, you can provide value and build trust.
4 — Have confidence
As always, you need confidence if you are going to make this approach work. You need to sound assured, experienced, knowledgeable — this only comes with confidence.
The expert approach requires patience — faith that your laid-back demeanour will work. It demands control — holding back your natural urges to persuade and show enthusiasm. It needs practice — you probably won’t get it right the first time.
The more you try the expert approach, the bigger your confidence will grow. In time, you actually become the expert.
5 — Don’t sell (again)
Remember that you’re qualifying all the time when you sell like an expert. Your questions, your sharing of industry knowledge — it’s all there to help you measure the fit between your prospect and your product.
If there is no fit, don’t be afraid to walk away. Only salespeople need the sale, not experts!
Walking away from a prospect shows them that you are an expert trying to help, not someone putting on a front to land a deal. When they actually do have a problem you can solve, who do you think they’ll call?
Over to you
Those are our five tips to selling like an expert. Now, we want to know what you think.
How do you position yourself as a trusted advisor to your prospects?
What are the questions you ask to get to the bottom of their challenges?
Share your advice with the Sales Confidence community by leaving a comment below.