If you think about it, one of the primary reasons you’re in business is to generate sales. Without sales, there’d be no income; without income, well, there’d be no company of which to speak. How are your business’s sales? Where do you currently stand as far as generating leads, nurturing those leads, and then ultimately closing the deal? For some people, this process is more straightforward than it can be for others. If your small business is experiencing a sales slump, it may be time to introduce some new techniques and motivate your team to “get it done.”
Did you know that employees who have formal sales training are over fifteen percent more likely to close deals than those who have no training in which to speak? And did you know that there are days better than others to make sales calls? This article breaks down some of the top tips for finetuning those sales skills and boosting that bottom line!
It Starts with the Customer
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many salespeople miss this critical fact: it all needs to center around the customer. What are their needs? What pain points consequently need addressing? How can your product/service improve the quality of their life? Notice that the key is the customer, their needs, and their lives in all of those sentences.
Too many salespeople make it about themselves and their company. They lose sight of what is truly important when closing any deal. People don’t necessarily want to hear about you at length—they want to know what you can do for them. This is what it all comes down to. So what have you done for them? What can you do for them now? And down the road, how can you continue serving them and facilitating their day-to-day lives? Knowing the answers to these questions starts improving your sales technique and closing more deals.
1. Be a Good Listener. Central to any sales-based interaction is the communication between the seller and the consumer, right? Communication is contingent upon listening—effectively so. On your end, you need to listen to what they want, their expectations, and any concerns they may have. And not just listen, but hear what they are conveying to you. You want to ensure also that the person with whom you are talking sees that you are engaged in the conversation. This can be accomplished through body language, posing thoughtful questions relating to what they’ve said, and carefully answering those questions of you.
2. Know Your Product/Service Inside and Out. The customer expects you to be an expert in what you sell, plain and simple. Sure, there may be times when you don’t have all the answers, which is fine. However, going into any call, meeting, or customer interaction, gather as much knowledge as you can and be confident in your understanding of what your company sells. Don’t just try and BS your way through; be honest and offer to find the answers they seek. The last thing people want is to deal with someone who seems shaky at best with the product/service they sell.
3. Learn How to Be an Effective Problem Solver. During the sales process, problems may arise—this is not an uncommon occurrence. You need to be invested in trying to solve the problems to the best of your ability. Of course, you will be eager to close the deal and get the sale, but you also have to be able and willing to address any issues/concerns that the customer has. This inevitably demonstrates that you care about your customer’s needs beyond just the numbers and final sale.
4. Be Willing To Demo A Product. Explaining what you have to offer and how it can benefit them is excellent, but demonstrating that product can undoubtedly go a long way toward solidifying that sale. If a client sees that what they are about to purchase is inordinately complex, even the salesperson will hesitate to pull the trigger on buying. The key is to make it easy. Create an easy-to-follow demo, and you will generate more sales.
5. Cold Calling is Not a Lost Art. In this digital day and age, there are many ways to reach out to prospective clients. Cold calling—the old-fashioned way, on the phone—is not a lost art. Some studies have shown that phone calls are still the number one way to generate viable leads. There is something personal about talking to someone, mainly when most phone calls people make to businesses are automated. You do want to keep in mind the day/time of the phone calls. For example, the best time of day to cold call is toward the end of the workday, versus early on when people are scrambling to get ready and get to work. The best days, according to surveys, tend to be Thursdays, with Fridays being a definite no-go.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Collaborate. Sure, you want to hit your sales quota. You want to make that end of the money goal. And that is great, but often, more can come out of collaborating with your co-workers. If clients see that you work as a team, they will be more inspired to buy from you, as various studies have found. The goal is to give the customer the best service possible, and sometimes this may mean collaborating with someone else.
7. Leverage your Social Media. Many salespeople shortchange the value of social media. Everyone is on social media—to the tune of 3 billion-plus people worldwide. Suppose you are not using your accounts to advertise your products and connect with users (a.k.a. potential clients), nurture leads, and answer questions/respond to feedback. In that case, you are missing a valuable opportunity.
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