I have been a sales trainer for more than twenty years and every year these two questions come up repeatedly: "What are the top things that I can do to make more sales?" or "How can I be successful in sales?" Rookie sales people always ask these questions, but nowadays in such a highly competitive market these questions are even coming from seasoned sales veterans. The answers are quite simple and not nearly as complicated as some so-called sales trainers make them out to be. So here they are, The Top Five Sales Tips to Increased Sales Success.
#1- Focus on your Clients or Prospect
Get this into head - It's not about you! It is solely about the client or prospect. If you're focused on what you need, you cannot focus on what the client requires or their needs. You need to get to know your client as much as possible, building solid rapport and an understanding of their business requirements is key to making the sale and your success as a salesman.
A common mistake made by sales people, new and old, is telling the client what you think they should know or need. Instead, ask them what's important to them and their business. You cannot recommend a product or service without getting this piece of vital information. Clients and prospects are very receptive to genuine interest in their needs and their business and when you can relate your product or service back to their actual needs their is a greater likelihood that they receive what you have to say more positively. This will definitely decrease their resistance when it comes time to close the deal.
#2- The Right Attitude
Sales is all about attitude - your attitude. When you go into that presentation you have to bring your "A" game all the time. Every client or prospect deserve your best presentation, always! Whatever you're going through that day good, bad or indifferent needs to be set aside when you're front of the client.
Also, if you don't LOVE selling and the product or service you're selling - go find another job! To be successful in sales, you have to have a passion for sales and the products or services you represent. If you're passionate for what you do, it will show and the client will pick up on it - always. Your enthusiasm is infectious - people want to do business with people who are positive. People do not like to do business with people who gripe, complain, and have a bad attitude.
#3- Plan For Your Success - Set Goals
If you are in sales, you must set goals. How can get to where you want to go if you don't where you're going or the steps it will take to get you there. Make sure that your goals are realistic - not minimalist. You may be with an organization that gives you a quota to meet, this is not your goal. A goal needs to be something that you're willing to put the extra effort into in order to get the payoff or reward. Ask yourself "why" that goal is important; "what" will achieving that goal really mean for you. You goal is not about the money. The money is just a commodity to exchange for what you truly want. If you could make an extra thousand or even ten thousand dollars in your next paycheck, what would that mean for you? What would have that extra income really mean for you?
Remember, you have to break your goal down into manageable steps. If your goal is to generate that extra $1000 next pay period; how many prospecting calls or appointments do you need to set each day or week? How many presentations do you need to give? How much time do you need to set aside for follow up calls?
I recommend setting weekly goals. Once you've done this, put the pedal to metal ad go follow throttle at the daily tasks you need to accomplish your weekly target. Lastly, review your goals every day. Keep it fresh in your mind and don't waiver from the course you've set.
#4- Practice Practice Practice
Your natural talent will only carry you so far. You have to practice - your presentation and especially your closes. There is no such thing as the "magic bullet" close that will work on every client or prospect. You need know your product inside and out, and you have to know how your product stacks up against the competition. Your customers are comparing products, services and pricing; and you better had be doing the same. You know to why or what makes your product or service better than your competitor's, and you need to be able to quickly convey that information to your client or prospect in easily understandable terms. I recommend memorizing at least six strong selling points about your product or service.
When it comes to closing, you need to know a minimum of five closes. Yes, five. A rookie salesman knows one or two closes; a good salesman generally knows three closes; and the real pros know five or more closes for each objection. You should have one or two closes for each of these common objections:
think about it - I never make quick decisions - timing isn't right
cost too much - we're cutting back on expenses - not a priority now
I need to talk it over with my _____ - I already have someone
Had a bad experience with your company or similar company
I don't know you or your company
You must practice. If you want to close deals, your presentation and especially your closing techniques have to be polished and smoothly delivered every time. If you stumble through a presentation or the close, your client or prospect will perceive you as being unprofessional and even unreliable. Think of this way - you wouldn't recommend to someone a theatrical play or movie where the actors give a shoddy performance or forgot their lines; and you wouldn't invest any time or interest in a professional athlete who didn't know that plays or have the skills to win games; would you? Why would you assume that your clients or prospects would do the same for a sales person.
#5- Follow Up
This is one of the most important things you can do as a salesman. Too often sales people forget about their clients after the sale is made - out of sight out of mind as the saying goes. Make sure that you do exactly what you told the client or prospect you were going to do. When you need to do a call-back set an exact time for the follow up and call them back at the promised time down to the minute. You're clients and prospects will be amazed and will be more likely to put their trust in you because you're reliable and do what you say you'll do. People have come to expect poor follow up; when you are different, you'll get noticed and that attention will get you more sales.
If you start here, your results will immediately begin to greatly improve and you will be on your way to becoming a true success in sales.
Michael is the creator of "The Authenticity Ratio" which is a highly rated keynote and training topic that has transcended industry borders from insurance to real estate to professional sports teams. He is also the author of "The Authentic Salesman" and several articles on sales training, leadership and personal change. Michael has been featured on FOX, CBS, Industry Week, Business Insider, Forbes, US News & World Report, The Huffington Post and many other publications for his unique insight on topical issues, sales, leadership and Authenticity.
Michael is also the CEO and President of The Authentic Salesman, a Dallas based consulting and sales training firm.