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3 Ts of successful selling: Trust, tips and training

Jason Cannon June 13, 2013

Selling is more of a science than an art.

Even the most abstract mish-mash of colors can be called art. An abstract approach to a sales call, much like a haphazard approach to science, can blow up in your face.

A successful sales call requires a consistent methodical approach fraught with careful planning, timeless execution and personal chemistry with the customer.

But even the best laid plans can go awry, which is why much of a sales call can rely on an often overlooked but seldom undervalued personal trait: Trust.

“When the customer trusts, then everything you have to say about the product, the dealership, yourself, support services will help push to a close,” says Campbell Freightliner Dealer Principal Scott Campbell.

One of the keys to building a customer’s trust is how you convey product knowledge and how your products can help their business.

That knowledge should be gathered before you ever set foot in the dealership, says Bill Thomas, manager of sales and soft products training for the Mack Trucks Academy.

“Pre-call planning…involves understanding as much as possible about the customer’s business, industry, application, issues and challenges, accomplishments and failures and even knowing about the customer’s customers before the first meeting,” he says. “We encourage Mack sales professionals to then use all of that information to plan and execute an effective sales call.”

Thomas says the best sales calls are concise and to the point, suggesting that the days of the two-hour chit-chat laden sales pitch are likely over.

“The customer today does not have time to chat about the weather or (their) golf game,” he says. “He or she is running a business to make a profit and the sales person must come to the call prepared to ask questions that help identify root issues so they may develop a solution that truly delivers value to the customer.”

Another step in building trust, and another basic element of a sales call, is an effective needs analysis — something Bruce Mochrie, manager, Volvo product and industry training, says is the most important part of a sales call.

“Understanding the customer’s needs and being able to deliver solutions to those needs,” he says.

Ray Addison II, Manager – Marketing Communications for Daimler’s Aftermarket Parts Marketing, agrees.

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