The road to sales success isn’t always a smooth one, or a quick one, for that matter. But there are things you can do to get the ball rolling a little quicker. Here are my five tips to help ensure that you make that all important sale in record time, every time.
1. Target the right prospects
There’s no point trying to convince yourself that you can make everyone you speak to want something they don’t need; you’ll be wasting your time, and their time. In order to close a sale before the competition, you need to make sure that you’re targeting the right people. It sounds simple, but the best way to do this is to spend time before you pick up the phone making sure that you are calling relevant prospects. Easier said than done? Social networks such as LinkedIn are invaluable for finding and acquiring sales leads. And if you really must pick up the phone straight away, get to the point. Don’t waste time with small talk, ask key questions to determine if there’s a sale to be made.
2. Earn the sale
Don’t just call up prospects with an impersonal offer that they most likely can, and will, refuse - they’ll soon be able to tell if they are just another number on your list. A good salesperson will frame their product in such a way that solves a problem for their prospect. Make every prospect feel important with a personalised call or email and you’ll soon earn their trust as well as the sale.
3. Be an industry expert
Any salesperson worth their weight will know their industry inside out. You’ll know what problems the industry is facing and you will know how your products can help solve that problem. Tailor your calls and emails specifically to that particular issue and make it clear not only that you can help, but also explain how you can help. If a business is after a solution, you’ve effectively made the sale before you’ve even picked up the phone.
4. Whilst you’ve got one deadline, your prospect has another
Make sure that it’s the sale you’re closing, not the opportunity for that sale. It’s good to be eager to close the deal but if you try to hurry it along too quickly you might risk losing it altogether. Remember, not everyone is working to the same time constraints as you and if you make your prospect chose between having the deal now or never, they might well just chose never.
5. A little less conversation…
Communication is key in sales. You might be asking all the right questions but unless you actually listen (and I mean really listen) carefully to the answers, it won’t get you any closer to that all-important sale. Once you’ve got a prospect on the phone, use that time wisely. Make sure you ask all the right questions and let the answers inform your sales strategy. If the prospect has a problem and you can solve it, they will buy.
By Paul Black, CEO of sales-i.