Take the Lead. There is a delicate line between aggressive and assertive. A salesperson that is of the “consultative” mind will assert themself and take the lead. Remember, we are assuming that because this customer has called you or come into your place of business that they WANT to do business with you. Why else would they be there?
You may be curious, what does “take the lead” mean? To take the lead, we must assert ourselves as a consultant to the customer by expressing our knowledge so that the customer knows that you are the expert and they need not look any further. Believe it or not, most people like to be lead. It makes things simpler and easier.
A good phrase to accomplish asserting yourself as the expert, and taking ownership of your next sale, is to simply state to the customer or potential client, “I can help you with that!” Remembering what was discussed previously in the first key to highly effective selling, your tone must absolutely convince the listener that yes, you can and will help them. They do not need to go anywhere else to get what they need. You now have their business.
The next step in taking the lead is to be sure to capture details that will let the customer know that you truly care. Be sure to ask the customer their name and use it when communicating with them. Now that they know that you will help them and that you know them, they are willing to give you a chance. Part of preparing for the phone call or your next face-to-face sale is to be sure to take notes and write their name somewhere you will see it stand out.
“Names have power. When spoken with respect, our names provide us with a sense of belonging.”-Norman Vincent Peale
After you have taken note of their name, attention to detail is always a nice follow up. If the name is uncommon or difficult to pronounce, ask them how they say it. This shows respect by calling them as they would like to be addressed.
When talking to the customer the person that is taking the lead will be sure to note the objectives and basic needs of their customer. Restate their objectives and basic needs to them, using their own words so they recognized that you are asserting yourself and producing what they want. This technique will also show the customer that you are in fact listening and giving them the attention that they are after. The customer wants to buy, that is why they are there. They came to you.
The last thing to remember when taking the lead is contact information. If you don’t close it right then and there, be sure that you schedule a follow up, gather their information and set a time with them. If you need a moment to look into other questions that they have or if there are objections that are stopping you from giving them what they came for, it will make the ability to sell to them more fluid if you schedule a time to follow up. In this situation, it is wise to immediately take notes about the experience and remember as much detail as possible. That way you can call into remembrance the next time you see them any quirks or specific things they were looking for. This will help you build the relationships with your customer. Being prepared will give you the confidence you need and show that you have taken the lead to fulfilling the sale.