Wouldn’t it be great if there were a silver bullet that would make you more successful in your sales efforts? One thing you could do to really boost your sales success?
I hate to disappoint, but the reality is, there is no silver bullet. Sales success takes hard work and commitment along with skill and savvy.
While there is no one thing that will work for you, there are a number of things you can do to help boost your overall success. You can start by following these 10 sales tips.
1. Sell solutions to challenges
Mediocre sellers sell features, “My product has 10x more features than the competition at half the price.” Or, “I follow this 8 step process to evaluate your business processes. Step 1….”
Average sellers sell benefits, “Our 8 step process will uncover the levers that lead to great strides in operational efficiencies.” Or, “Our product will save you days of time sifting through piles of data.”
Top performers sell solutions to challenges, “From our conversations, I understand A, B, and C are going on in your organization and I think that if you can alleviate C that will lead to an immediate savings of more than $200,000 and more than $1.5 million in savings annually. It will also free up your staff to spend their time on more productive activities.”
What do you sell?
2. Manage your selling time
It takes just as much time to sell a $25,000 deal as it does to sell a $100,000 deal. Why not invest your time in getting more $100,000 deals? (See sales tips #4 and #6.)
3. Always be…
You’ve heard the ABC’s of selling – Always Be Closing. But just as important is ABP – Always Be Prospecting.
The best way to get over that lost sale is to move onto the next sale in your pipeline. If your pipeline is empty, it is much more difficult to recover. To that end each loss feels much more devastating. Top performers are always working to fill the front end of their pipelines by creating new conversations every day. (For prospecting tips, read Sales Prospecting: Tips, Techniques, and Strategies.)
4. Focus on quality, not quantity
To some degree sales is a numbers game. But it is not just about the numbers. The key is to create quality conversations. The best sellers have strict qualification criteria and don’t waste their time with prospects that are at too low a level, companies that aren’t the right fit, or buyers that don’t have the funds to spend. Top performers work hard to find out this information early on, so they don’t spend their precious time on prospects that aren’t going to go anywhere (see sales tip #2).
5. Always have a next step
Never leave a meeting or a conversation without a solid next step that’s been agreed upon. Better yet, always schedule the next step when you have the prospect on the line. Too often you’ll hear objections such as “just email me a few times that will work and we’ll put it on the schedule.” What ends up happening is the prospect goes into the witness protection program, never getting back to you or returning your calls or emails.
Instead, schedule the next step with the prospect right then and there. If the next step is to send a proposal, let them know you’ll put a proposal together but you need to schedule a time during which you can walk them through it. When a prospect makes a commitment on the spot (putting the next meeting on their calendar), they are much more likely to follow through.
6. Shoot high
It’s much more difficult to work your way up in an organization then it is to get referred down. When you start low it’s an uphill battle that is rarely won. When you start high however–at the C-suite–and get referred down, you’re more likely to find the right decision maker. And that person is more willing to take your call. After all, you’re being referred to them by the higher powers.
7. Take a page from the Boy Scouts
Always be prepared. There’s no excuse for not doing your research before a sales meeting. I was recently on a product demo in which the sales person asked to have a pre-call with me so that she could customize the demo and make specific recommendations for our situation. I took the pre-call where she asked excellent questions that allowed her create a demo geared exactly for what we were looking to do. On top of that she made some insightful recommendations for things we could do right away without even using the product.
Only by doing her research and asking the right questions ahead of time was she able to deliver a high impact demo.
8. Provide value
Buyers want to work with people who are experts in their trade and can provide value in each and every conversation. What value can you provide, not only once a prospect buys from you, but in your sales conversations leading up to the sale?
9. Understand your buyers
In The 6 Buyer Personas (And How to Sell to Them), we walk you through the preferences and styles of different buyers. It’s essential to understand what’s important to each individual buyer and their decision-making process. When you know this you can more easily match your selling process to the buying process and ultimately win more deals.
10. Answer the ‘why?’
Why should I stop what I am doing to listen to you? Why is your product or service better than the competition? Why does it cost more? Why do I need your product or service? Why should I believe you?
In all of your communications and conversations, a series of why questions are circling around your buyers’ minds. Don’t wait for the buyer to ask these questions (in many instances they won’t). Be proactive and answer these questions head on.
There are no silver bullets and each of these sales tips take work. As you read through the tips list you may find that you’re already doing some of these things. That’s great. But, if you’re not getting the level of sales success you think you should be, review this list and pick out the areas you need to work on. It will certainly help boost your results so you can win more deals.