Following is an ultimate list of the top 16 sales tips and techniques. Use one, or use them all; each is proven to work.
Sales tip 1: Focus on the outcome
Before ever starting to sell you must know where you’re headed. How many times have you heard before that you’ll never get where you want to be unless you have direction? Forget sales tip no.1 at your peril.
Sales tip 2: Spend more time on the phone
Yes, you heard it right. Ask yourself this simple question, “How long does it take me to type up a carefully worded email?” and then ask, “How long does it take to pick up the phone and talk?” Now add to that the fact that you get feedback from that same prospective customer from the phone in real time and the choice is clear. Phone wins every time.
Sales tip 3: Have self-esteem
Self-belief is a large part of selling. Without belief in your abilities, your sales presentation or pitch will come across poorly and lack energy. Being able to communicate effectively and transmit your message is one of the top skills you need in your sales arsenal. Believe in yourself and project that belief with sureness to give strength to your message.
Sales tip 4: Believe in your product / service
Convincing a person of something is never simple, so don’t make it harder by introducing doubts about your offering! Lack of belief in your product comes across through your voice and through your body language. The person you are selling to can easily pick this up, they will themselves start to feel uneasy. They will feel lack of congruence (conflict) between your words and the message you are actually presenting.
Sales tip 5: Call when you say you will
What is more annoying than realising at the end of a day that you have another 12 people you should have called? Perhaps you could call them now, but no, they are on holiday for a week or their phone isn’t picking up. If you arrange a time to call someone, call them at this time and leave a message if you have to. A big productivity killer is letting leads mount up – who knows – maybe by tomorrow they will have closed the deal with someone more reliable?
Sales tip 6: Listen to learn
How many times have I seen salespeople talk over their clients? It’s bad practise. Sometimes it is necessary, but the idea should be to learn as much from a prospect at the start of the sales process. Understand them as a person, what are their interests, ideas, hopes, dreams of the future and most importantly what type of things to they choose to do, want, like, prefer that somehow relate to your offering? By hearing their thoughts of past experiences and their reactions, you quickly build a picture of the most efficient way to communicate to the person. The presentation will be more relevant, and better converting than by talking nonsense in the hope that some of it ‘flys’.
Sales tip 7: Keep a steady-flow in your ‘pipeline’
OK, so for me, this is a really big deal. Nothing, and I really do mean nothing will make you more money than this one tip alone. It’s called being productive. If at any point, you are spending your entire day talking to existing customers or taking care of administration STOP! Realise that in a day or a few days, suddenly you will have no leads and will be sitting on your thumbs, whistling, or perhaps making your 10th cup of coffee. Moreover, you will bring in virtually zero commission. That’s the sting. Remember, to always take in new leads each and EVERY day to keep your cash-flow high.
Sales tip 8: Be thoughtful
Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can lead to an incredible increase of 25 – 95% in profits (Bain & Co. ’78). So obviously taking care of your existing customers for a portion of your day is a great way to ensure excellent profits. The time taken to ‘service’ an existing customer need only be a few minutes. Alternatively, time spent in convincing a new customer to purchase is greater. A simple way to be thoughtful is to ‘touch base’ with your existing customers as you would on a social network like facebook. Share a fun story or message related to their interests which you got through listening well right?!
Sales tip 9: Record your calls
Learning comes from feedback, and learning is integrated through repetition and physical practise. What better way is there to improve than to record your performance? If you have the stomach for it, regular call-recording should be part of your sales development. Ideally you have a supervisor or colleague who can listen it to a few calls once a week and critique your performance positively. Did you miss any buying signals? Did you hear the prospect’s voice wavering when they said they had a competitor quote? How could you have responded better? WHAT?? You didn’t try and close the deal! It’s hard to notice some blindingly obvious issues during the heat of the sale.
Sales tip 10: Be relaxed and funny
Smile! Nothing is harder to do than sell to a human brick fortress. You absolutely have to open up the person you are talking to for the sale to succeed. The best way? Break the ice with a joke. This can be situational – maybe there’s a dog barking in the background? Say, “Is that your dog barking back there? Remind me to put on my steel pants if I ever enter your house!” Or anything you think works; just don’t be uptight. Ever called one of those car hire companies? They have set phrases to say and they come across like robots with no personality. People don’t open up to people they don’t know how to react to, so it’s your job to lead the way!
Sales tip 11: Give something for free
Imagine you have a back pocket from where you can magically pull out great free inclusions. In the online world this is a free report or a free eBook or even a newsletter that gives insightful information or acts as a resource. Otherwise, you need to have an extended guarantee, a free accessory, or an extra bit of land / night at a spa / tickets to a concert; this type of free bonus. You hold these back from your initial sales presentation and bring them out as deal-winners to push you that inch ahead of the competition.
Sales tip 12: Sell ‘benefits’ rather than just features
This can only be done successfully if you have taken the time to understand your prospective customer. Once you know them, you comment on how your product / service benefits them in particular. Perhaps if enquiring about a honeymoon trip, they tell you they like to relax, have comfortable journeys and to explore? If so you may tell them about the lie-flat beds available in business class offering the height of comfort and letting them feel rested and relaxed – ready to wander one of the 2 city destinations you have chosen because they offer excellent sightseeing and day excursions to explore combined with luxurious landscapes and culture.
Sales tip 13: Reciprocate, don’t supplicate
Is your product not valuable? Is your price high for a reason? If so, when your customer asks for discounts, for extra services, for better payment options, it is your duty to educate your customer about reciprocity. This is the mutual exchange of privileges (defined by Merriam-Webster) that is fair in negotiations and in sales. If your customer gets something, you should also get something in return. Let’s say you are asked for a discount; this discount should only be given if they pay in full and they pay now. What happens if you don’t stipulate this? The prospect goes away, tells another company that you offer a 10% discount, they match this but they educate your customer! They close the deal and you just wasted a substantial amount of time because you didn’t remember this important sale tip.
Sales tip 14: Build your knowledge daily
Along with the previous sales tip on recording your calls, you should never stop learning – this means product knowledge and sales knowledge. Product knowledge is gained through taking time to learn about your offering from the customer’s point of view; if you were them, what would you want to know and what would convince you? What materials can teach you more about the range of products and the key differences between them? You should be able to reel off product knowledge quickly to show expertise. For sales knowledge, read sales books or look at blogs on the subject – often the most effective method is the most convenient one. Try downloading a sales eBook to your Kindle device or similar – these are surprisingly often top ideas that have already been distilled from authors who have previously read and researched the subject – you end up with distilled and pertinent information.
Sales tip 15: Push value over price
When all things are equal, what extra value can you give your customers? Better customer service, more friendly service, safer transport, 24hr support, a trusted brand – these are all important. Despite what many think, it is the value you offer, not just the price that attracts your customers. Low price could mean ‘will break’ or ‘dodgy suppliers’ or even ‘a call back once you have paid to take more money’ (the case when assumed extras are NOT included). Tell your customers why you are worth more and you never know, they may just listen.
Sales tip 16: Visualise your monthly goal object
All this talk about the customer is nice, but what about you?! Why don’t you get something? Recognition – its great. Be the best – yes it’s motivation. But can you see that in your mind? I find that the best way to motivate yourself on a Tuesday or Wednesday at the start of the week is to have a solid, and physical goal OBJECT. Yes. Choose something; if you’re a girl, you may have a dress or handbag that you fancy, or a new tech gadget like an iPad. If you’re a guy then perhaps you want a fancy watch. Whatever you want, get a picture of it and stick it on your desk. When you’re feeling low – remember that if you keep plugging away – you’ll get there.
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