Mark Tewart author of How to Be a Sales Superstar: Break All the Rules and Succeed While Doing It recently talked with LoveToKnow Business. Mark is an internationally recognized sales, sales marketing and sales management expert. He became a top performing salesperson at 19 years old and went on to become one of the youngest automotive General Managers in the country at the age of 27. He performs keynote speeches and multiple day seminars. His cutting edge, real world content contains superstar sales training delivered in an explosive manner.
Sales professionals need more than smooth talk to make it. What kind of superstar sales training tools can they take away from reading your book?
Sales skills, people skills, life skills and marketing skills. So much sales training and information over the last one hundred years is based upon sales skills and techniques. Much of the information has become outdated. Traditional sales training techniques actually hurt more than help many salespeople. In my book readers learn unique approaches for every part of the sales process. Most sales training and information is focused solely on sales skills. However the better a salesperson becomes, the less they need to rely on sales techniques. The more important part of the equation becomes life skills, people skills and marketing skills. Superstar salespeople are made from the inside out. You must have the mindset of a superstar, be able to eliminate potential roadblocks, and learn how to be persistent when others quit. Understanding human thoughts and emotions and being able to communicate effectively and dynamically is a huge part of reaching superstar sales status. Most sales training and information focuses on what you say and not why. I concentrate on the why. But even when you become a superstar at those skills, it is still not enough. If you are great at sales and people skills but you don't have customers, you cannot succeed. To be a superstar, you must learn how to get customers and keep them. Learning unique marketing techniques, direct response marketing, 2,3 and 4 stage marketing programs, how to cut through the clutter, creating continuity programs, and how to automate much of your marketing and follow up to grow your business exponentially are keys.
What kind of marketing skills does your book provide to draw in new customers while retaining current customers?
It contains specific ideas on how to establish your marketing web using direct response marketing methods such as unique direct mail, newsletters, email newsletters, blogs, web sites, joint venturing, promotions, voice broadcast, effective networking, video promotions and other ideas. I also discuss exactly how to set up referral programs, continuity programs and retention/loyalty programs and automated follow up with your existing customers.
Can you provide a glimpse of the skills necessary to relate to prospects?
The first skill necessary to relate to people is what I call TLC - Think Like A Customer. Most salespeople are taught to think like a salesperson. You cannot uncover the hopes, dreams and fears of a customer unless you put your agenda away. Most salespeople listen to the words of a customer, but there are three levels of communication. You must understand all three to be successful. When a customer communicates, you must listen to what they say. You must also listen to what they are trying to say, and to what they truly mean. Often these are different things. As an example, if a customer tells you that they re going to think about it. Those are the words that describe what they are saying. What they are trying to say, usually, is that they have fear(s). And, what they really mean is they have to shop or get more information to go ahead. One of the greatest life skills that keep most salespeople from reaching their potential is taking the time and effort to identify what's holding them back. Most people have built in mental roadblocks. Often the main roadblock for salespeople is their subconscious feelings, understandings and anchoring points about money, success, and fear. Everyone acquires anchoring points in life that don't support them. Any salesperson will say they want money, but if you dig deep, you will see they have acquired unhealthy emotions and thoughts about money. Most people never realize they have these roadblocks and keep sabotaging their success and don't know why. With the information in my book, I give specific exercises to get rid of the junk that's holding you back.
One of the toughest parts of making a living is closing the deal. Any words of wisdom you'd like to share on how to eliminate objections to close the deal?
Yes, first let's look at the language of the question. The words, toughest parts and closing signify struggle, contention and fighting. It really does not have to be this way. If you do all the things correctly up to the point of finalizing the sale, you will notice the customer wants your product or service more than you even want to sell. You become a conduit for the customer who is opening possibilities rather than trying to close. Closing is something that happens to eliminate fear. I invite you to know and assume, without arrogance, that your customer is buying. Even when the customer gives you an objection, simply try this 5 step process: Listen, acknowledge, funnel, handle and move on.
- Listen to the real fear behind the objection or the unstated objection.
- Acknowledge what the customer is saying.
- Funnel the objection to see if this is the only objection by asking, "Is there anything else that would keep you from buying?'
- Handle the particular objection by practicing risk reversal and offering choices of solution and then move to finalize or close again.
Also, I invite you to reassure your customer with a risk reversal technique such as what I call the "mistake phrase" - "Mr. Customer, based upon what you have told me and what you said you really desire and want to accomplish, YOU ARE NOT MAKING A MISTAKE!. All people need reassurance.
I feel like we've just scratched the surface on this topic. Where can our readers learn more?
I have several websites, but people can read the first chapter of How to be a Sales Superstarand receive several FREE bonuses from me when they visit www.marktewartlive.com. Also, I've taken a virtual tour offering insights and more around the web. Full tour details are available online.