As professional salespeople, our goal is to master the systematic series of repeatable events designed to create a desired outcome. Sales is indeed a science. But often times it also resembles a science experiment. We mix a bit of this and a bit of that in a giant test tube, hold our breath, and wait to see what the results are.
I’m guessing we’ve all experienced some great successes, some disappointments, and some indifference. Looking back, I’ve learned many things that will hopefully contribute to future achievements. I’ve also learned a few things that I definitely will not attempt again.
In traditional David Letterman fashion, I’d like to present my Top Ten list of sales tips and tricks. I hope you might remember one or two of these in the future and, with a little luck and an optimistic spirit, you’ll find they help contribute towards a positive sales outcome for you as well.
#10: Manage Your Time
Develop a list of sales qualifying criteria that prospect’s must meet in order for you to invest your sales time with them. Time spent qualifying an unlikely sales prospect is time taken away from selling to real customers.
#9: There Is No Such Thing As “Business Hours”
Quite often the most important people in the world of business work outside the nine to five grind. An early morning or late evening call will often catch the exact person you need to sell to…the person with the power to make decisions!
#8: Embrace Cold Calling
Don’t think of cold calling as picking up the phone and blindly dialing the next person on a call list, but as a strategic part of business development.
#7: Tell A Story
Many sales presentations are boring. Salespeople talk about why their product is great and why their company is great – which is why the customer looks bored and uninspired. Creative presentations engage the customer’s imagination. Tell a story that allows the customer to picture themselves using your product. Often this leads to a “I need to give it a try” emotional response.
#6: Keep It Simple
Don’t overcook it when discussing the features of your products and services. The client only cares how THEY will benefit from what you are offering. Streamline your pitch, respect your customer’s time, and keep it simple.
#5: Gather Information
Learn everything you can about a customer before you meet with them the first time. Use Google to find out the who, what, where, why, when and how about businesses and decision-makers. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be invaluable resources, as can industry journals and trade publications.
#4: Become A Newspaper Industry Expert
People like to buy from experts, so invest time and energy in positioning yourself as a newspaper expert. Be careful not to come across as a know-it-all, rather convey your knowledge and expertise in a confident manner. This builds trust and rapport, allowing your customer to feel good about their buying decision.
#3: Have A Sense Of Humor
Telling a joke is a great way to put a client at ease. If you make a customer laugh they’re more likely to look upon you and your product in a more favorable light and they’ll enjoy spending time with you.
#2: Customer First
From the start of the selling process to the end, make sure you put the customer first. It truly should be all about them, their business, and their needs. A satisfied client is a repeat client.
And my #1 Sales Tip: Be Persistent
Do not take no for an answer. Don’t be pushy but be persistent. There is a difference. My favorite quote is “Persistence overcomes resistance!”
Have a great week,
If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at (612) 278-0223 or firstname.lastname@example.org