4 Sales Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn from Watching QVC
Selling is vital to any entrepreneurial endeavor. Selling your product. Selling your service. Even selling your employees on why they should produce great work. Selling matters.
As Zig Ziglar used to say, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”
If you’ve been a student of sales for any length of time, chances are good you’ve read or studied people like Zig Ziglar, Tom Hopkins, and Dan Kennedy. All have great advice. All are certainly experts within their niche in the world of sales.
One great way to learn and study selling is by watching QVC. Yep, that’s right; the television station on which hosts sell various products is a great way to hone your sales skills.
Here are five lessons you can learn and improve by watching QVC:
Lesson 1 – Set Expectations
At the beginning of each new segment, the host looks directly into the camera with a big smile and says, “We have such a great show for you today!”
Then the hosts continue building excitement for the products that they’ll be pitching during their segment. Often, they’ll use phrases like:
I’m super excited to share with you one of my personal favorite products. I’ve used this product for the last 6 months, and it has changed my life.
We have a show packed with some great products for your kitchen.
This is going to be a great show! In today’s show we have a one time offer that you’ll never see again. Once our quantities are gone…they’re gone for good. And you’ll never see them again at this amazingly low price.
They are excited! They make you excited!
These opening comments are their headlines. They use them to draw the viewer further into the show, and to set expectations for what lies ahead.
As Zig used to say, “Selling is nothing more than a transference of feeling.”
Lesson 2 – Benefits Based Presentation
All the hosts on QVC are masters at explaining and demonstrating the benefits of the products they’re selling.
Most salespeople struggle with selling the benefits; instead, they often get stuck selling the features. The benefits are the results the products will actually deliver.
The hosts will often use phrases like:
Since I’ve been using this product my skin has never been softer and smoother.
Healthy living has never been easier with this blender. I feel better, wake up more energized, and have more energy throughout the day as a result of the smoothies I make with my blender.
You’ll be the talk of the party when you show up with these.
Phrases like these help the viewer envision the benefits they’ll experience as a result of owning the product.
Tip: To ensure that you are selling the benefits, continually ask yourself – which means? Here’s an example:
Our websites come with a custom admin panel (this is a feature).
Which means, you’ll be able to quickly and easily make changes to your website without having to know any code (this is a benefit).
Which means, no more waiting on your coder to make updates – which saves you time (another benefit).
You also won’t have to constantly pay them for making changes – which will save you a lot of money (another benefit).
Benefits are what help prospective clients understand how your product or service is going to impact their life.
Lesson 3 – Use Scarcity
If you want to see masters of using scarcity, then tune in to QVC on Sunday afternoons for their show, In the Kitchen with David. David is one of the station’s long-time hosts, and truly a master salesman. His salesmanship skills really shine when it comes to proper use of scarcity.
Scarcity is a psychological trigger used to create a sense of urgency in the minds of the prospect. When scarcity is used correctly, it persuades the prospect to take immediate action.
By default, most people procrastinate when it comes to making purchasing decisions. They like to ‘think it through’ or maybe shop around for better pricing. However, when done correctly, scarcity helps consumers make an immediate decision. Here are a few ways QVC uses scarcity:
1) Countdown clock – as each host is presenting/demonstrating the product, there’s a small countdown clock on the left-hand side of the screen. This clock is counting down how much longer before they’ll be moving on to the next product.
2) Number left – The hosts are great at constantly reminding viewers how few remain. They’ll say things like:
We’re getting VEEERY limited in the black.
We only have fewer than 100 remaining in the blue.
My producer just told me we’re down to our final quantities.
Each of these phases is designed to get viewers to pick up their phone and place an order immediately.
When done correctly, scarcity can be one of the most powerful triggers for getting people to take action.
Lesson 4 – Use Social Proof
As social creatures, we all look around for clues to help us determine if others are taking the same action we’re taking. We don’t want to be the only one making the decision.
We often think to ourselves, If others are doing it, then it must be a good deal.
Here are a few ways the hosts on QVC are masters at using social proof:
1) Number ordered – for products that are selling really well, they’ll place a counter that continually updates showing the total number of units ordered. On some products this number reaches into the tens-of-thousands.
2) Customer Top Rated – when they’re pitching a product that has high customer reviews, they’ll point out that the product is customer top rated, and even read a few of the 5-star reviews.
3) Testimonial Line – for certain products they’ll have purchasers call in and share their experience with the product. The hosts are masters at asking questions to help draw out answers that will convince others to take action.
4) Very busy – one of the most popular phrases you’ll hear the hosts say is, “We’re getting very busy on the phones.” Which is a very subtle way of using social proof.
Sure, you could read dozens of books on selling. Or you could attend countless training seminars to further hone your skills. Instead, why not schedule some time to sit down in front of the television and study QVC?
You’ll see true sales masters pitching products that most people didn’t know they wanted or needed until they tuned in to the show.
But be careful to hide your wallet…or you may end up with a new pressure-cooker!
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