Zen, which is a sect of the Buddhist school of thought, emphasizes on focus, discipline and practice. The art of selling, whether it is of a product, a service or an idea, can also be mastered through these three attributes. While this forms the foundation, there are various Zen philosophies that can be applied to selling.
The 5 Secrets of Zen Selling
Holistic approach – Zen considers the universe as one. Selling, too, requires a holistic perspective. The several key parts to this holistic picture are knowing your company, having complete knowledge of the product (its features and benefits) and being in touch with the marketing strategies and targets. You also need to have an idea of your competition. However, the story does not end there. You need to thoroughly study your customers. Selling should involve identifying who the ideal customer is. Once this is done, you need to research on the various factors that would prevent them from purchasing what you are selling. Is it money? Is it the durability or the complexity of your product? Once you have made a list of all these factors, you need to address all of them.
Positivity – Zen encourages a positive attitude. Of course, this is important for selling. However, being positive yourself is not enough. You also need to spread positivity. You don’t need to look highly professional or dress too formal. You just need to make your prospective client feel comfortable and important. For instance, avoid using jargons if you feel your client may not understand it. Be soft-spoken and caring. If the customer has concerns regarding what you are selling, address them directly. Understand the issues and be gentle when explaining how there was more to your offering than what the customer had perceived.
The Right Focus – Focus on creating a relationship, instead of making a sale. This will not only help you make a sale, it will also result in repeat business. Focus on finding out what exactly the customer needs and see if what you have on offer will satisfy that need. Keep in touch with your customers after the sale is made to find out what the experience has been. This will give you important feedback that can help you improve your offering.
Live in the Moment – Zen advocates living in the present. While selling, do not think about the outcome. Step into your customer’s shoes, understand their issues and help them find out what is best for them. If you feel that the person will not be benefitted by what you are selling, it is better to move on to another client. While you are talking to a prospective customer, do not think about your sales target. If you are truly concerned about your customers, you will form everlasting relationships with them.
Believe – Zen emphasizes on the importance of believing. In selling, we need to believe that we will make the sale. This eliminates the fear of rejection, which manifests itself in many ways, including nervousness. This prevents us from making a good impression and forming a relationship with the customer. Hearing a “no” should not be taken as rejection, but as a learning opportunity.
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