I started my career in sales and marketing. Starting my own business required me to increase my sales skills, and in the intervening years I’ve spoken to many sales organization. Sales isn’t easy, but neither is it complicated. Here are ten ways to kick start your selling.
1. Make more calls. Getting in front of more people who could buy from you is an obvious way to win more. But it isn’t enough to simply show up. The next key is how you show up.
2. Develop better skills. A hundred sales calls without adequate selling skills will result in a hundred “no thanks.” Closing more of the prospects you get in front of means having better presentation and selling skills.
3. Help prospects before they buy. What can you do to deliver value before you get the order? If you can create value prior to making the sale, the prospect has proof you can do so after they buy.
4. Build deeper relationships. People won’t buy from you just because they like you, but they definitely won’t buy from you if they don’t like you. And the best way to keep lines of communication open to maintain the sales relationship is to build a better personal relationship with your buyer.
5. Learn more about their industry/profession. Information gives you context and context gives you insight. By knowing more about the prospect’s playing field, you can identify specifically how your product or service will help them be more successful.
6. Follow up faster. Return phone calls immediately, provide what you promised quickly and be accessible. No buyer should ever have to work to get what they need from a sales professional.
7. Give up sooner. Despite the cliche, persistence doesn’t always pay. Sometimes it turns into futility. When you’ve done all you can reasonably do, quit working the prospect and move on. You might want to periodically circle back and see if anything has changed, but use the time you were wasting on a dead end prospect to pursue better leads.
8. Stay in touch better. Whenever I hear from a salesperson, I know they want to sell me something. What would happen if you called to be of help? Find out how the customer enjoyed your product? Or simply thank them for their business? Use staying in touch to create positive emotions and add value to the customer’s experience.
9. Anticipate need. My printer is inanimate, but it knows when I need to order more ink. Use technology and human anticipation to think about what your customer will need and provide it.
10. Ask for more business. If you’ve done a great job on these other ideas and created true value for the customer, there is nothing wrong with asking. How much business might you be leaving on the table because you haven’t asked your customer to buy more?