I assume you want to sell more and grow your business. I want to help by giving you my best sales tips to focus your attention on the best activities, the right mindset, and long-term thinking. As you connect with your customers and expand your business, remember that these fundamentals will always serve you well. If you build a sales team, have them remember these lessons as well.
Sales Tip #1 – Embrace the process
We all want to have the big win, that month that makes us a superstar! But if you can’t quite explain why you won or lost that last sale, you will struggle long-term in sales. Amateur salespeople often justify what they do as an “art” and try to convince others that they have some innate talent. Professional salespeople understand the power of having a series of repeatable best practices that they test and evaluate over time. Take the time to look at every step in your sales process and see what works and doesn’t work. Your goal is not the big win, but instead daily habits that lead to weekly activities, monthly results, with quarterly themes, that fill a yearly strategy. Each step counts, so enjoy it!
Sales Tip #2 – If you have to deal with objections, you’re already too late
As I mentioned in the SPIN Selling post, sales has changed from the old ways where we focused on probing, objection handling, and closing. To be successful in selling, you can’t wait for your customer to voice their concerns (objections) after your “pitch” and try and convince them otherwise. By then, it’s too late. Instead, make sure you have done your pre-call research, and understand your customer concerns well ahead of time. Also, ask great questions to uncover objections before they surface. The more your conversation with your customer eliminates their concerns, the less likely you will need to deal with objections. Remember that once someone has said “no,” it is much harder to get them to change their mind.
Sales Tip #3 – Go into each sales call with multiple commitment objectives
Your goal in selling is to always move your process forward to the next stage, even if it is small increments. Sometimes we want to try and get our customers to make a big decision, like setting up an appointment, doing a needs-assessment, or signing the contract. Going for too big of a decision at the wrong moment can often backfire, so having a secondary (and even tertiary) objective is an excellent way to solve this. If a customer is not ready to set up an appointment, get their permission to send them some relevant information, read an article, watch a video, attend a webinar (check out this awesome service), download a whitepaper, etc. And even get their permission for a date and time for a follow up call. Regardless of the scenario, have a few options that your customer can agree to that will move your process forward. Don’t ever end a sales call with a “no” or a “let me think about it.”
Sales Tip #4 – Set aside time each week to plan and measure your progress
If you don’t know what you are supposed to do each day, how do you know you did it? Likewise, if you don’t know what you did right or wrong, where should you start improving? When sales are good, we can often justify our lack of planning or analysis with “I’m too busy and it’s working. When things slow down, I will make more time for planning.” And when sales are bad, we can then justify lack of planning and analysis with “I’m too busy because it’s not working. When things pick up, I will make the time to plan.” It makes me laugh because as you can see, there’s always a reason! Each week, find some quiet time (maybe an hour) to look at what happened during the week and look for some trends and opportunities. Then make a plan for the following week to try and improve upon them. Combine that with a larger strategy and you are on your way to long term success.
Sales Tip #5 – Focus on customer problems, not your solutions
It may sound silly, but part of this tip is to shift our thinking towards understanding vs selling. Of course we need to focus on their problems, but do we actually do it? or do we get too wrapped up trying to showcase our features and benefits? People make purchases based on two emotions – fears and desires. Our jobs are to understand the strength of these emotions, the reasons behind the emotions, and ways our solutions meet those needs. Only once we truly understand the pain our customer has can we show them a new way forward. And as we have talked about, if you get good at segmenting your market, you can actually find common fears and desires within a group and work on solutions and sales process well before you even get to the sales call!
Sales Tip #6 – Never stop learning
I will always harp on this tip, but if you are reading this post…I’m proud of you! You are trying to build your skills and looking to grow and develop your knowledge. Read books, other blogs, watch videos, practice, and apply the learning. Each month, pick a new topic to learn and work on it bit by bit. If you look at the best salespeople in the world, or any successful person you look up to, they will all tell you the same thing – never stop learning. With today’s pace of business and growth, it is even more important than ever. Keep your mind sharp and your toolbox full.
Do you have any sales tips? Enter them in the comments below! And don’t forget to like and share this post with others who may want to get an edge in their sales game.