The art of getting the sale – crash course in small business selling
In this episode I speak with Tony Manto; a business development officer from Adelaide about the art of getting the sale.
- Knowing your target market
- Knowing what their wants vs needs are
- Understand the competition or current supplier
- Defining your uniqueness
- Qualifying the customers
- Closing questions
- Follow up process
- Connect with Tony on LinkedIn
Video[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx6d6tigwG0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]
Use the contact form below to register your interest for Tony’s workshop or purchase the downloadable version.
Nick: Welcome back to Web Marketing Adelaide. I’m your host Nick Morris and this week we have a special guest with us, Tony Manto, Business Development professional, from Adelaide of course. Good day Tony, welcome to the show.
Tony: Good day Nick, how are you today?
Nick: Pretty good, thanks. How are you?
Tony: Yeah it’s fun, beautiful white light, where else would you want to be?
Nick: Absolutely. This week we’re talking about Seven Steps to Creating the Perfect Sales Process and Tony’s pretty knowledgeable about the subject and we’re pretty much going to go through the Seven Steps here that I’ve got written down and make sure we give our listeners lots of great information that’s going to help them sort of, improve their sales process. So, let’s, before we get started on those, I’ll get you Tony, to perhaps tell us a little bit about yourself and about what you do.
Tony: Sure, thanks. Nick, you know I’ve been involved in selling for over 30 years and I have a Diploma in Sales and Marketing and in those 30 years, I’ve come across lots of sales seminars and picnics, and I’ve spent a lot of time in my career in investing in programs and books. I’ve studied all the different techniques that are out there. I mean selling is a technique, it’s a process. It’s a lot like baking a cake, where you have all the right ingredients, you get a perfect cake.
Where a lot of people fall over is, they don’t understand those different processes and different steps and therefore, the conversion rate or the sales success is not as good as it could be. So, I spent a lot of time perfecting it as much as I can and I’ve collated and resourced so many different techniques so I do actually understand which one works best and which ones don’t and we’re here today to give you a bit of an insight on how that works.
Nick: Great, great. Yeah, that sounds good. Another thing I’ll just mention before we get into it is, I feel like a lot of people focus a lot on getting people in the door, especially with websites. With web marketing, they focus on getting the traffic up, so they don’t realize or really think about the fact that increasing their conversion rate can greatly increase their bottom-line without having to increase the traffic or their people in the door. So, it certainly can be a powerful technique.
Tony: 100% and the easiest way, the easiest metaphor I can share with your customers or your podcast viewers, it’s a bit like a date, a relationship. Okay, you don’t marry somebody on the first date. You have to get to know them, you have to court them, you have to take them on a date. You have to have a relationship over a period of time before you decide to get married. In sales, it’s pretty much like that and a lot of people don’t understand that process. The conversion is really after the 5th, or 6th or 7th or 10th exposure and that exposure could be via a web browser or a podcast as you’re, doing, which I think is brilliant, a sales letter, a brochure, you know. So, you got to have, people will make decisions, especially in today’s environment, where there’s lots and lots of information.
People do want the information before they make their decision. So, the decision process has been postponed and the exploration process has been expanded and there are 7 stages of making the purchase decision, which I do cover in my workshop. We’re not going to cover that until the 8th but there are 7 stages in making a decision and one of those stages is collecting and collating information and people, now, as I said have access to so much information.
So therefore, you really do have to take a slow one these days and give as much information as you can. Contact your customer as many times as you can, before they will be comfortable to purchase from you, and that’s where the internet marketing and website pages – so, getting customers to your web page, having a great web page is okay, it’s a good start, but that’s not where the success is. The success is always on the back-end and we will talk about that in our 7 steps.
Nick: Awesome. Let’s jump into it then. From here, step number 1, Knowing Your Market. Can you tell us a little bit about this Tony?
Tony: Sure, this stage of market is, or any market is broken into sub-markets or marker market. So a lot of people would say if this is a bookkeeper marker, the target is business owner but there are lots of different types of businesses, as a good example. So, you might target a trader, because traders, they’re very, very bad with their paper work but the trader is so bad with this paper work and so bad with payment, do you really want that trader? You might want to have more or you might want to target people that are more, have more compliance issues and so web developers might want to target someone who has an online shopping cart, because he knows there is more maintenance on the back-end with the shopping cart than having a normal web page.
So, although you might want to target certain businesses, you’re going to put your target market and define your customer and really identify who your customer really is and what your customer looks for and who is the ideal customer for you because within that market, there’s lots of different categories and the best thing to do is to, it saves on marketing costs and increases your conversion rate. Because you start to understand your true niche customer, and you might have two or three and that’s fine.
Niche marketing is where it’s all about but a shot-gun approach in marketing doesn’t work anymore. Identifying a target market is one, and then breaking them into sub-markets is where the key is. Identifying what each market wants and needs, which we’ll talk about it a minute, and before you go ahead and expending your resources and your energy in trying to convert that market. So, that’s what a lot of people probably don’t do as much as they should.
Nick: Great Stuff. Let’s move on to step 2, which you just mentioned there, which is Knowing What Their Wants and Needs Are. So, the wants and needs of your target market, what’s this one about?
Tony: Yes, sure, okay. This relates to your info, Nick. People probably want more traffic, they want more customers, but they need a good webpage to do it. They need good content to do it. So, rather than to try to sell them what they need, you need to identify what they want, and then sell them what they want and then provide them what they need because there is a tricky difference between wants and needs.
You might say, look you need a webpage but I don’t need a webpage, I need more customers. The web page will give them more customers. So, when you have your approach, you sell them solutions is probably the best way, what’s the solution? You talk about your solution and your product is going to provide you the solution. If you can’t quite sell them the product, then unlist it. They really want to see, they really want to hear how you could satisfy their wants when you give them what they need.
So, in your question technique, when you’re interviewing a customer, it’s very, very important to spend a lot of time and a lot of people just fail here, in interviewing your customer. Interviewing your client and find out what is it they really want? What is it they’re trying to achieve? And then you weave that language back into your sales presentation and then provide them what they need on top of what they want, if that makes any sense.
Nick: No, that makes perfect sense, and I’ve heard similar things in, with regard to sales in the past about perhaps in your sales cover you’re talking about the benefits rather than the features of a product and how it can help the customers opposed to what you provide and certainly with something like SEO, which is my core business. It’s fairly complicated, so I know what they need as you say, but just trying to identify more what they want, I think, is something that would be useful.
Tony: Yeah, good example. If you went through a technical jargon, you’d lose them. You’d complicate them and they lose interest and that’s a great example. When you say, you can achieve that, yeah, we can achieve that, what are you looking for? Yeah, we can achieve that and then, you’re really just scheming, either you’re sort of briefing how you’re going to achieve it by spending more time in convincing them or conversing the language that they’re looking for and giving them what they’re looking for.
Giving them the language back, I want more customers, okay. You want more sales, okay. So we can get you more sales by optimizing your web page by, but if you go in and say, oh we want to optimize your web page or we want to do your bookkeeping or whatever the trade may be, that’s not what they want to hear. They really want to hear, the easiest way is to provide solutions to their problems and that’s what you want to know.
Nick: Yep. Absolutely. That makes sense. Let’s move on to step number 3, I’ve got Understand the Competition or Current Supplier. Can you expand a bit more about this one?
Tony: Yeah, sure. Honestly, either you know the line, “It’s a competition out there.” And once again the book keeper may, or you know they may be targeting a certain customer or a webpage developer but they may already have a supplier. So, couple of things here, you have to understand who your competitor is, what their strengths or weaknesses are and then, that’s okay, that’s step 1, but secondly if you could find that out and you may find that out in your interview process, is finding out who their current supplier is.
Tell them, I want to talk to you about your web page developer, oh we already have a web page cart. So you do it in that order but if you understand what your competitor does, and more importantly what he doesn’t do, then you turn in what he doesn’t do, into your strategy and then turn around and use that as your conversational piece or your strategy when you talk to him, rather than going in there and targeting indiscriminately different companies, which already have a supplier.
You’ve got to understand who your market is, what they’re doing and what they’re doing well and what they’re not doing well. You’re really on the back port when talking to your customer and you’re probably going to convert more sales if you do understand, spend a bit of time researching the niche base and that is brilliant. You can go in there and they list all their services and you can see the best things for someone that’s got more technical – how they’re optimizing their web page and even your customer that you’re talking to.
You can go onto their web page and you can see all the links in the back-end there. See you can actually pinpoint what their current web provider is not providing them. So, once you’ve done that, you can then go in there and know exactly where you’re going to target, because you’ve already done your homework. So, basically, what I’m saying is, before you target particular customers, you really have to do your homework on who they are, who they’re currently using, and as much information about the customer as you can before you even start talking to them.
Nick: Yep, yep. That makes perfect sense. You really want to do your research and sort of know where you stand and how your products and services kind of compare to your, the ones that your competitors are providing. So, I think that makes perfect sense. Let’s move on to step number 4, Defining Your Uniqueness. What do you mean by this Tony?
Tony: Well that sort of leads into the next step, because once you understand who your competitors are, we’re all unique, we’ve all got our own strengths and weaknesses and if you don’t really have one, if you’re just a make do, you’re also going to struggle.
So you really have to, if you don’t have a strength you have to develop a strength and so you might turn around and say, well look I know that a lot of people who don’t do content management, as an example, in your field and I’m very good at content management. I understand copywriting, I understand the sales language. I understand how to link it on the back-end and I also link on it very, very strongly. So, once you get a view, a uniqueness, you have to portray that. Why should I do business with you compared to any other web developer or book keeper or hair dresser or whatever?
So, if you’re a hairdresser, it might be an international [Inaudible 00:13:31] in the competition. The strength is in streaking or hair extensions. So just to be a hairdresser, just to be a bookkeeper, you become what I call, a need to. So you really, there’s an old saying, differentiate or die and that’s probably the best way to put it. If you can’t differentiate yourself, you can’t stay there amongst the crowd and talk to, portray that information. You’re really just swimming in the ocean of competition and once again, your success rate isn’t going to be as high. If you can identify that, and once you identify that, that’s okay, but the secret is to portray that to your customer.
Nick: Yeah that’s an interesting one. There’s probably one I think that people might struggle with a lot, especially if they don’t have something obvious that they can just sort of say “This is my strength.” For some, for a businesses that’s perhaps in a position where they don’t really know what their strength is or they don’t know if they have a particular strength, is there anything they can do to try to discover this? Or should it be more about going back to their competitors, the stuff that we talked about before and figure out where there’s a gap and maybe making that their strength. Is there anything, do you have any tips on that?
Tony: Yeah, they need to come and talk to me.
Nick: Yeah, right. Someone perhaps that I can look at externally and …
Tony: I’m being facetious but absolutely is what I’m saying. Quite often we cast, or very often, most human beings, if you view consumer behavior and study psychology like I have, we can’t see our own weaknesses, we don’t understand them, and why having an external source, it could be you. It could be anybody, I’m just joking there. Most businesses, okay, here’s the answer, most businesses have customers, otherwise they wouldn’t be in business. So, the easiest place to start is ask your existing customer why did you choose me? What do you think we do well? There are lots of ways to find that out. If you’re starting out, you do the market research, you do your competitive research and then you come up with what you think you do well.
A quarter of what you think you think you do well is not what your customers thinks you do well. So, you can do it, externally, absolutely you give them a mentor or someone that’s experienced in that and then once again, which probably relates to our next question or next topic is lots of questions that you can ask, that will uncover that and if you ask the right questions, you’ll get the right answers. Sometimes you get it through your customers, sometimes you get it through your market research, other times you just get it through friends and associates in the profession. So, if you can’t define that, well then, yeah, you need to get external sources to ask for input.
Nick: Great. Yeah. I think that tip about asking your customers, that rings well with me and that seems like a really obvious, now that you mention it, but perhaps it’s something that a lot of people would miss, you know, ask your customers. Why do they buy from you? Or why had they become a customer of yours? What do they see as your strength and then you can bring that back in and take that information on board.
Tony: And once you go up there, that becomes the first to mind, in it’s own right. So, you can then turn around and then use that as power, your self-process, like XYZ used us and it’s always better to use a third person than talk of yourself because they would think you are vain and you’re just perking yourself up. So, the best thing to do when you’re in your self-process, and this is a technique I teach is teaching or trying it as a third person and XYZ did this because of that, and WYB did this because of that, you know.
They tried it for this reason. So, that’s always a better position to take, than saying, we we’re the best, we do this well , we do that well, because if you sound like you’re, winding up yourself and that’s not what people want to hear. It is better to come from an external person. If you ask a customer, if you get a consent or whatever and then you use that as part of your marketing strategy or your sale strategy when you’re talking to your customer.
Nick: Yeah, perfect. Testimonials, I think can be very powerful, so that fits in well. Okay, step number five here, I’ve got, which we just discussed a little bit is Qualifying Your Customers. Can you expand on this a little bit?
Tony: Yeah sure. Excuse me. When you have a customer that you’re talking to, he may not be ready to buy. He may be waiting for his budget or he may be out of money, he can’t hire you. He won’t say yeah, he wants to do your work, or you do his great work, and then he can’t hire you. Or you may spend hours and hours of time, like, what I call gate-keepers, which are people that sort of protect the decision maker. So, you might be talking many hours to the wrong person. Now, you may be talking, spending a lot of time and effort sending the information to a customer that hasn’t got the funds to buy, that’s not ready to buy.
As I said, in the sales process, there are certain stages that they go through. Make endless talk about the information gathering stage, which is just one of the 7 tips. When you’re in the information gathering stage, you have a beginning and an end. If you’re the first person that person speaks to, you have to be very, very good to convert that person. You have to know where they are in the decision making process and in their buying time. When are you looking at doing this? Oh, we’re doing it in July. Oh that’s fine, we’ll come and talk to you in June. So you have to, how much money do you have to spend? What’s your budget? So, once again, rather than, if you don’t ask all those questions, and you put together a $10,000 option, you’re going to lose your sale.
If he turned around and said I’ve got $3,000 to spend or I’ve got $10,000 to spend over the next three months. We want it done in three stages, I have to get signed for Sydney, I have to get signed up for my partner, my wife’s having a baby. There’s lot’s of, by understanding that, you understand where the customer is in his decision making process and you understand whether to go in for the close now, or you’re going to the close later.
So, once again, it’s all about timing. You don’t want to start to close or put the hard sell on him now when you know that you just started the information process. So, if you started the information process you might say, let me give you a brochure, or can we meet up for coffee or I’ll call you up in a month’s time or whatever. So you’ve got to give them a bit of time to digest the information. If you know you kept three quotes and you’re the last part, well then your process, and the language that you used in this strategy you use might be a bit steep and made it a little harder, a little bit more aggressive in the close because you’re not, he’s fed up, and knowing that, you can change your strategy.
What have others got that you don’t, you know? You already know that he has three quotes, what did they say to you? And he’ll tell you, they’ll tell you. You already know you’re in the right position, because you already know that they provided me this and they provided me that and then he or she isn’t using that information. You know what they haven’t provided or where they’re [Inaudible 00:21:23] and then you’re in a better position to close the sale. So, by qualifying your customer, not only, that they can pay you, but where is it in the decision making process. Once again, it all adds up to converting more sales.
Nick: Perfect. That makes good sense as well and it seems to fit in with what we’re saying as well, which is great. Okay, step number 6 here, Closing Questions. What’s this all about?
Tony: Okay. In the sales process you have probing questions, which we’ve talking about and probing questions are information seeking, they are questions that are seeking more information and once I’ve got the information from you, now I know which cast to plan. Closing questions are basically qualifying questions or getting people to have little yes responses to little bits of your presentation. So you might turn around and say, are you looking for a shopping cart? Yes. Are you looking for a postpaid shopping cart? Yes. So you, that’s closed. You understand that he’s ready to buy a shopping cart, he’s ready to buy a postpaid shopping cart and when are you ready? So you’re ready in June? Yes. So that’s a closing question. So, basically shutting all the doors and you’re bringing the customer down to a close.
So, you can think of it as a funnel. So, the top end of the sales process, you’re asking all these informational questions and you’re qualifying him and qualifying him and closing question which qualifies him a bit more, a closing question, which is just really better to say, qualifying questions that get a yes or no answer. That’s a closing question and the best thing to do is ask questions that give you the response that you’re looking for because if you ask the wrong questions, you get the wrong responses, which takes you away from the close. So, it’s important to understand which questions to ask when and how to ask him and you just you narrow the customer down to a sale and that’s what’s called closing questions.
Nick: Right. Yeah, so now I’m down on the funnel that seems to make sense and kind of leading them where you want them to go with the questions. Yeah, that’s good. Let’s move on to the last step in the seven steps that we’ve got for this podcast, which is The Follow-up Process. This sign tells me that this is perhaps, this might be an area where I’m lacking a little bit, so I’m certainly interested to hear what you have to say on this one. Maybe other people as well struggle with the follow-up process. So let’s hear what you’ve got on this.
Tony: Absolutely, Nick. You’re doing [Inaudible 00:24:19]. You can be rest assured a lot of people or you know – there’s a lot of clichés that gets bantered around and people don’t understand them and one of the clichés is the money’s in the back-end. I don’t know if you’ve heard that one before?
Nick: Yeah, I think I have.
Tony: Okay, good. So the money is – so here’s my formula that’s always worked for me over 30 years. It’s 7, 30 and 9. Okay, let me explain it to you. People spend a lot of time say for instance, you’ve got a guy is coming in to give you a quote. He comes there, he measures, he tapes, he draws everything up. He puts together a nice presentation and he leaves it with you and you’re not quite ready to buy. It isn’t part of your will and you want to think about it, which is fine. He spends all that time, and he never ever follows you up. Now, why wouldn’t you do that?
My formula is within 7 days is the first contact. If he’s still not ready to make a decision, you may want to follow up within 30 days and if he still hasn’t made a decision, you want to contact them every 90 days for the rest of your life and this is where your online podcasting and marketing comes into work, because he may not be ready to buy but if you qualified him earlier like I said, you would know that, but having said that, there is still time to budget and follow-up. A lot of people put presentations together and never, ever follow up, or they just follow-up once and then they just forget about it. Okay. More recommendations follow up 7 days, 30 days and 90 days.
And even if they make a purchase, you’d still want to follow-up because that’s where you get, I think statistically 68% of people that aren’t happy with your service, just don’t say anything. It’s some statistic that’s floating out there, so, you want to know that and that’s where you get your writing fans, that’s where you get your clientele base that loves you might sell them something else, because statistically they bought something from you, they’ll buy something else from you.
So, the follow up process, is not only to close the sale, it’s also to get additional sales and a lot of people do fail or when [Inaudible 00:26:45]. All my success comes in following up, following up, following up and if there’s one thing I want to stress, that is where a lot of people will have more success just by simply asking questions [Inaudible 00:26:58]. You forgot to put a price on it, it happens you know or you forgot to give me your phone number, or I lost your phone number, I’m glad that you rang and [Inaudible 00:27:13]. That’s happened to you.
I mean it happened once before in a podcast you know, I couldn’t find your number. So, once again, if I don’t follow up, if I don’t give you all the information that you need and see that you love me and the you’re happy with my service, not only am I going to convert more, I’m going to get more arriving customers, I’m going to get more referrals and you’ll probably going to get more sales in the future and that’s where I’m thinking a lot of people fail on making that one sale and do you have a customer, or do you have a sale, because once, a sale is a sale. If you want success in business, you have to create customers and customers have repeat purchases, and that’s where the follow up in your podcast, in your online marketing and social media really, really fits in to what we’re talking about.
Nick: Great Tony, great tips to finish off. Everything you said there seems really great. Enough said there that my listeners should definitely make some notes on and should try to think about how they can bring that into their process. I like the follow-up every 90 days for the rest of your life because, as you say, I mean they may not be ready to buy now and you should have learned that earlier in the process but they may be ready to buy in 6 months down the track.
It might not be after the first 2 follow-ups, it might be months and months away and I’ve actually had that before where I’ve had somebody that I met at a networking event then eventually became a customer. I’ll see you later or something. On this occasion, I didn’t actually follow-up with him, he just sort of found my email somewhere and re-contacted me but I guess there could be plenty of people who don’t you know, get back in contact but I’m getting into contact with them, I can get that sale that otherwise would have been lost. With that pretty much brings us to the end of the interview. Thanks very much for coming on the show Tony, but before we go, do you have anything you would like to tell our listeners regarding what you’re doing about your course and stuff.
Tony: Sure. What I’ve done is as I’ve said to you earlier. I’ve put together a manual program which is basically, over 30 years is impossible to teach you in 10 minutes. There is a procedure and a technique, it’s a bit like a recipe for success in selling and there’s hundreds and hundreds of techniques that you can get in these solutions. So, what I’ve done and gone through in 30 years, all the sales courses, you have spent tens of thousands of dollars in my knowledge and I’ll collate it in all the very, very best techniques into a workshop, into a stand-alone manual. Now, what I want to offer your customers, or invite your customers to do is, we want to offer this to your customers or to your listeners as a download or a 2 day workshop.
With the 2 day workshop, you will spend two and a half days with me, we’ll go through this step by step. We’ll answer a lot of questions and we will tailor make these solutions to your business. The answers are in here, but without that one-on-one consultation, you might not get it quite right. Having said that, the download will put you far ahead of the game of where you are now. So we want to offer all this to your customers on your webpage as a download, or if they want to talk to us, to talk to me about a 2 day work shop, obviously, I need the numbers to do that.
I can’t do it for one person, so we can take expressions of interest and as we get in half a dozen people that may want to do a sales workshop, we’ll follow you up and we invite you to a workshop later on. Yeah, that’s over 30 years in the making and obviously, the best of the best is in there and I would just invite your customers to have a look at it and if they’re interested in investing there, because I do offer a 100% money back guarantee. If they can’t convert more sales by reading and applying this information, we’ll be more than happy to give them their money back. So, all the details will be in your webpage Nick and invite your customers to contact us through there.
Nick: Great Tony great. Sounds like a really course and downloadable as well with who would want that option. People can head to our website www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au and check out the show notes for episode number 33, which is this episode. I have all the details that Tony just mentioned, how you can find out more information, how you can register your interest for the 2 day workshop. We can also
put it on our products page, as a link there. So if you just go to the website, click on the products link, you can find a link to the information as well from there.
Thanks again for coming to the show Tony. It’s been a really insightful chat and there’s certainly some stuff in here that I think I can apply to my own business, so it’s been a really interesting chat this morning so thanks again for coming on the show.
Tony: Thanks Nick, for having me.