As a Sales Trainer, an author of a Sales Book and having worked in sales my whole working life, it’s not uncommon for people to ask me for my “one piece of advice”.
It fascinates me that people in business who have most likely trained to do what they do, have different methods of doing it and many different experiences seem to believe that sales have that single silver bullet that if used it will work every time.
Meaning, you believe there is a single, simple, relatable step that is touted around by those “snake oil” sales trainers that will work for them every time.
Perhaps this goes some way in explaining why some people sales training isn’t a priority, so maybe you think it’s a simple skill that doesn’t need learning, practising or improving. Do you?
Just to bring this to life let me share a real example, I was talking to a business owner only last week who told me “that for the last 12 years of being in business my training budget has always been the same, that being zero”.
Now, this is a business that’s been around for 12 years, successful, established. But, how many bad habits, inefficiencies and outdated practices do they use that actually mask their true potential?
I get it, I really do, there is so much free information out there for your to sieve through and digest, but, information is one thing, practical learning, support to implement and accountability are fundamentally different things.
So if you’re after a short cut and the easy road to sales success here are the two things you need;
If you’re just looking for that elusive silver bullet, here you go – enjoy my list:
Be persistent with leads and develop the habit of following up.
We know that 80% of sales require 5 contacts to make them happen. This means you must nurture viable leads until an action is taken. A contact could be to send emails, direct mail, make phone calls or send brochures. By taking this deliberate action you will be in the mind of your customers when it is time for them to make their next purchase.
We’ve all heard “provide solutions to meet your customers’ needs”. Consider this fact, as many as 70 per cent of your leads are reaching out to you to solve their problems. When customers contact you, you must be able to demonstrate to them how you can quickly and easily solve their problems.
Actively listen to customers.
In your excitement, you might be tempted to talk constantly to show them that you are qualified. It is important to remind yourself that you should never get into a knowledge joust with a Prospect. You should always listen more than talk as listening to customers’ answers can be one of the most effective sales tactics you have.
Ask for referrals from your customers. Did you know that only 11 per cent of sellers ask clients for referrals? This means the majority of sellers are leaving money on the table. Most customers would happily share your good customer service with friends, family members and colleagues, but you do have to ask. Ensure you have referral conversations in your process.
Never sell to Suspects.
Research tells us that only 25 perc% of all leads can be classified a Prospect. I’ve told you before that Suspects are potential transactions, and you cannot bank your future on potential. Watch this short video “Who Should I Be Selling To”.
People love stories.
When sellers meet with Prospects they are often prepared with all sorts of facts and data. Although data may seem important, studies suggest that only 5% of people remember statistics after a presentation. However, an impressive 63% of people remember stories after a presentation. So you need to arm yourself with stories about relevant experiences of people who have received results after using your products and services.
Find prospects who want the things you have to sell.
In sales, your ideal Prospect probably looks like your best customers. Those customers that want the things you sell. It doesn’t matter how hard you try “you’ll never sell snow to an Eskimo” be sure your sales effort is targeted at people who either want or need your product or service.
Maintain a positive mindset.
So many sellers develop a tired persona when there’s a slump in sales (truth bomb, you’ll have one of these). Sellers must make every effort to remain positive in good and tough times. Customers can tell when you are not in a good mood, and it will affect how they perceive you and it will impact negatively on the outcome.
Further Reading from The Sales Mindset Coach blog.