Use these time tested sales tips to improve your performance right now.
I’m a collector. I collect everything from vintage Coca-Cola machines to really good sales questions. In this article, I’m sharing some of my favorite sales tips that I’ve collected from many great salespeople who’ve allowed me the privilege of observing them and asking questions.
I hope you find these sales tips as beneficial to your sales career as I have:
1. Business knowledge is the backbone of professional selling. An integral part of sales training is business training. You must understand how each buyer’s business functions. How they make money, who their customers are and the costs associated with them being profitable. Then you’ll know how your solution fits into the buyer’s business model so you can be a vendor of choice.
2. Define your Ideal Customer Profile. This task comes first so you can identify high probability prospects and not waste time pursuing unqualified buyers. Targeting your potential buyers mean defining demographics, psychographics, buying habits and qualifying traits. Without an ICP, you or your sales reps will flounder attempting to sell to unqualified buyers.
3. Make your CRM work for you. List building is critical. Use non-selling time to update and manage the data in your CRM system. Use the data to help set your schedule and focus on high probability buyers. Ideally, organizations should invest in a person or team dedicated to database management and relieve the sales reps from the burden of extensive data entry.
4. Elevate your positioning to Trusted Business Advisor. Your goal is not to be merely a seller of products and services, but to become a trusted business advisor. Buyers require more than what you sell, but also the value and expertise you bring to their organization.
- Ask in-depth, open-ended questions
- Move beyond features and benefits
- Explain how your solution brings them value
- Use Key Performance Indicators
5. Modify your personality style to accommodate your prospects. Buyers have different personalities. Analytical styles want lots of details. Directors, however, you must spoon feed them information as they request it. They prefer the big picture and don’t want to become immersed in details, either face-to-face or in emails.
6. Effective prospecting is the result of Quantity and Quality. Your lead generation strategy must consist not only of sufficient quantity of prospects, but your execution must be of sufficient quality to convert your touches into appointments. Making a lot of calls without an effective process for establishing credibility, trust and value, leads to high levels of activity with minimal results. Focus on developing your cold calling skills and your call-to-appointment ratio’s will increase dramatically.
7. Celebrate your wins. Use each sale, award or accomplishment as an opportunity celebrate and build bonds with family and friends. It’s motivating and can be a lot of fun. Don’t wait for someone else to recognize your successes.
8. Qualify first. Sell second. Your first order of business in the sales process once you have secured a meeting is to qualify the buyer. Develop your list of premium qualifiers – those that the prospect use have in order to become a potential customer. After that, develop a set of questions that you ask each prospect to determine their validity as a buyer. Never waste time with unqualified buyers.
9. Know why you do what you do. Your mission statement should clearly articulate why you’re in business, which is the unique value you bring to your customers. Your purpose as a sales professional should drive your activity – especially when it aligns with your company’s mission statement. Define your purpose by stating what motivates you to be a salesperson such as – financial freedom, autonomy, service to others, being a consultant, non-routine work life, meeting new people, etc.
10. Keep your presentation simple. Confusing buyers with complicated presentations, industry jargon, complex graphs or the latest buzzwords will send them scurrying to buy from your competitors.
11. Gain depth in every account. Get to know as many people inside of every customer’s organization in order to prevent getting swept out with regime changes. If you know only one person in an account, your bond is weak. If you know three people, your bond is stronger – especially if they are with key influencers.
12. Good words, delivered well. Salespeople say they do not like scripts. In reality, they do like scripts. What they don’t like is to sound scripted. Memorize good words and phrases. Practice (a lot) using them in conversation so they flow naturally.
13. Discover the power of research. One of the most powerful tools you can use on a sales call is “research” because it builds trust and positions you as an expert. Use any type of research to gain credible access to new buyers. Executives love research that helps them gain insight into improving their business… and they value salespeople who provide it to them.
14. Get your hands on your prospects free stuff. Sign up for a prospects newsletter, emails, product samples, RSS feed or social media pages to learn about their business. Use the information to approach and sell with credibility.
15. Embrace objections. Objections are opportunities to uncover weaknesses in your selling skills. They also help you discover if you want to do business with the buyer. Don’t shy away from objections. Prepare for them and improve your performance every time you negotiate.
Take these sales tips and apply them to your sales process. Always work to improve your performance. Remember, nothing happens until a sale is made. That means salespeople are the tip of the arrow driving the economy forward. That’s a great job to have and an important responsibility. Good selling!