Have you ever been on an appointment that went perfectly?

Everything you say is smooth, the client is interested and excited that you're there and purchases everything you recommend. You walk out with a $1000 sale. Life is good. You drive off saying, "I love this business! I am so good at this! I'm a professional presenter--and wait till they start using my product! Their life is about to change--and they'll have me to thank for it!"

With success under your belt, you head into your next appointment, wearing the exact same thing you wore before. You arrived early, just like before; you say the same smooth words that worked before--and ... nothing happens.

"What's happening!?" you think. "I know my presentation works--it worked just yesterday!" You leave the client's house with no order, no interest and no referrals.

So, what did just happen? Too many times, people in sales assume that there is just one basic selling style or environment.

In today's selling environment, clients want to be sold in a way that meets their buying needs and creates value for them. To be effective at selling, it helps to match your selling style with the way your clients want their needs met.

There are three different selling "levels" or environments; each requires a different approach. Not recognizing which one your prospect is operating on could cause you to completely misinterpret his buying signals--and ultimately miss the sale.


Transactional Selling

The oldest form of selling, this is most often used when price and availability are the principal criteria in the purchase decision.

In transactional selling, the client already knows and understands his needs; he knows exactly what he's looking for, and the sales person adds little or no real additional benefit beyond fulfilling the desired sale. To identify this type of selling, look for situations where the client is normally very busy, short on time and asks you direct questions.

It's best to deal with this client in a timely manner: Make your presentation short and sweet. Answer his questions, give him the information and ask for the sale. These customers will shop on-line and need very little follow-up.

At some point, we've all been this type of client. Think about times you've run into a store looking for a specific item--and gotten a salesperson's song and dance about similar products on sale this week, other products you might be interested in, etc. It's annoying--and disrespectful. It really doesn't matter what the salesperson says: you are purchasing the SONY SV5000. You've come to this particular store because it's in stock and cheaper than in other locations you've looked at. The best thing the salesperson could do for you is ring you up!


Consultative Selling

This environment works effectively for clients who demand and are willing to pay for sales efforts. The salesperson provides additional benefits, beyond the product; the client allows the salesperson to get involved with their problems--he's not just buying from you, he's consulting with you.

This selling environment is focused on relationship-building, honesty and trust with the buyer. Being creative, solving problems and understanding could wind up being more important than product knowledge.

You can identify this type of environment by the needs of the client. They may ask you a lot of "what if" questions. They need to "think about it." They need a clear understanding of your product and your services as their salesperson. They rely on you for answers to their problems and future situations. They expect you to lead them in the decision-making process. This client likes personal attention, needs intense follow-up and offers you the most potential for profitable repeat business and referrals.


Enterprise Selling

A relatively a new concept, this mode works most effectively with clients who look for an extraordinary level of value.

Enterprise selling is an environment designed around the "team" concept: you and the client work together as a team, as partners contributing to a larger end result for both parties. This style is sometimes called a "strategic alliance," "joint venture," or "cooperative relationship."

Examples of this type of selling would include partnering with a client who doesn't really want to engage in the network marketing business, but believes in your product and your company. The client agrees to sell your product through his or her Website, store or newsletter. The client attracts business, keeps current clients happy--and you sell product. A perfect relationship.

This is relatively rare in network marketing, but this type of strategic selling often results in far greater financial results than either transactional or consultative selling, since the strength of the partner or partners adds far greater value than what could be achieved by either one alone.


Real-World Selling

In the real world, these selling types are not as black and white as I've portrayed. I want to challenge you to analyze, at what level you are selling?

Are you like the example I mentioned at the front of this article--do you sell to everyone the same way? When you seek customers, are you trying to apply consultative selling techniques to a customer who doesn't want to invest the time and money?

With each new selling situation, figure out which selling level is most appropriate and apply yourself accordingly. It's never a good idea to become too set in your ways!



DAWN SIEBOLD is co-founder

of the Gove-Siebold Group
(www.gove-siebold.com), a training organization that helps

networkers develop world-class
communication skills.