Making sales is an essential part of business for any company. And although it may seem like one of the toughest jobs, only cut out for those with a natural ability to converse, persuade an effectively negotiate, there are some tips that anyone can use to become a successful salesperson. If you are just starting out in a sales position remember: it takes a while to get the hang of it. But follow this helpful advice, and you will be equipped with the essential basics to reach your sales goals.
1.) Focus on the value and difference- Those you will be trying to sell your product or service to are not interested in it; they are interested in the value it will hold for their business. Don’t appear preoccupied with the sale of your own product or service, rather make the client feel as if you are interested in making a difference for them. Identify their “problem” or “plan”, and and sell them their solution, which is your product.
2.) Do your research- A thorough understanding of what you are selling is essential. Take the time to know everything about the features (how they will match your customers needs), the advantages (why yours is better than competitors), and the benefits (how the product or service will improve business for the client in some way). Cold calls are a thing of the past; no longer do salespeople have to go into a conversation with a client blindly. Google their company and know what they do and how your product will be used to increase and improve business for them.
3.) Get used to the word “No”- Do not be afraid to ask for the deal. Many new salespeople present the product and give a great report, but fail to ask for the deal. Don’t be so afraid of rejection that you don’t put yourself out there for a successful sale. If the customer is going to say no, then get to it so you can move on to negotiation and hopefully turn that “no” into a “yes”.
4.) Ask the right questions- Never assume you know what is most important to your client. Asking quality questions to gain insight into what they wish to accomplish is key in effective sales. Focus on open-ended questions that will begin a dialogue between yourself and the client, with questions beginning with “how”, “what”, and “when”.
5.) Actively listen- If you engage in dialogue with your prospective client through which you listen more than you speak, they will tell you exactly how to close the deal. Knowing the right questions to ask is half the battle, you must then listen effectively to get the information you need to make the sale. Gain as much insight into the problems and situations within the business as possible so you can build a relationship with the company.
6.) Take Notes- Its impossible to remember everything that happened throughout your conversation with your client. Take notes of everything, even if it doesn’t directly pertain to your plan of action. Have a notepad handy to jot down the details of what the customer says, highlighting essential points of the path they wish to take for improvement in their business. Also note small things that are important to that client, for example an upcoming anniversary or birthday for which you could send them a card, and potentially build stronger relationship.
7.) Differentiate yourself- Setting yourself and your company apart from the competition is essential in making a successful sale. Standing out against other companies who are offering the same services can be very difficult, so you must take it further than completing the steps above. Give the client a reason to give you their business instead of another company by building a dynamic relationship with them, selling in person rather than over the phone or via fax/email, and always bring value to the table.
8.) Put yourself in your customers shoes- Analyze your sales approach from the clients perspective and you will see where you are falling flat. You may think you’re saying one thing, but the person on the receiving end could be hearing something completely different. Understand how prospects view you and where you need improvement by selling to yourself. Try leaving a sales call voicemail on your own machine and then listening to it. This can help you identify what you need to change.
9.) Don’t worry about money- Putting the client above yourself is essential in making a successful salesperson. If you are only worried about the money you will make, you will never reach your goals in sales. Be genuinely interested and concerned with how your company can help the client reach their goals and improve business. Doing this will return increased business to you.
10.) There are no lost deals- only deals that you haven’t closed yet. Be patient in the world of sales to become a success. If you ruin the relationship with a deal that you failed to close, you could be setting yourself up for failure in the future as well. Treat each lost deal with the same respect as a closed one because you never know when you will run into that client again.