Q. WHAT tips do you have for improving sales?

A. Sales are essentially the result of two inputs – lead volume and conversion rates.

Lead volume is perhaps more directly linked to marketing activity and brand, which we have covered previously.

Therefore, we are concerning ourselves here more with the ability to convert leads into buying customers.

In terms of conversion rates there are many tips and suggestions that we could cover but I’m going to concentrate on two; those being the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ and also ‘understanding fear.’

Many sales techniques will refer to the concept of selling to needs, but I believe this to be flawed.

When we consider it carefully, I think we have to accept that customers buy what they want rather than what they need.

And they certainly buy from who they want and when they want.

Therefore, a good salesperson recognises the importance of convincing the customer that they want their product as opposed to something different, or from somebody different, or at a different time.

There are, of course, exceptions to the ‘needs vs wants’ rule but they are few.

How does fear fit in? It’s actually an extension of a person’s want.

A decision to purchase is usually made from either trying to achieve a pleasurable outcome or to move away from a painful outcome.

Maybe it’s purchasing the latest TV or perhaps taking out a critical illness policy.

If you think about this more laterally, the decision is often driven by fear – maybe fear of an outcome for example, or a fear of other people’s perception.

So think about how you convince customers to want what you offer and what fear you may be allying by doing so.

Paul Heath, Ethical Business Mentoring Ltd


07496 833803