Labour Day has come and gone and most businesses are now back in full swing. If you’re like most, you’re in the home stretch toward year end and focused on how you can drive your sales up in the time left.
Certain fundamentals are essential to success, and the same is true when it comes to sales. It’s a field that’s been studied extensively and now is the time to take advantage of that knowledge. To take your sales to the next level, you need to use winning strategies that give you the best chance of making your business more successful and more profitable!
Success in Sales is NOT Random…
The problem with most sales people–and sales organizations–is that they leave their results to chance.
Having failed to create and implement a sales system that gets consistent results, they “roll the dice” and hope for the best. Let me be blunt here … If you make a living by selling and don’t follow a proven sales process, you may as well buy a lottery ticket. And if you run a sales organization without a defined selling system that your people know and follow, book a ticket to Vegas and hope for the best!
A Successful Sales System
If you’re committed to driving more sales and increasing your bottom line results, then it’s time to develop or embrace a system for selling based on proven methodologies. To help you as you set out to transform your results for the last part of the year, let’s look at seven critical components of an effective sales process.
- Build rapport and trust Obviously, you want your prospects to trust you — this is a very important step. One of the most effective ways to build trust is to show genuine interest in your prospects and their needs before launching into your product presentation. Ask intelligent questions. Here’s some of the best sales coaching I ever received when I started selling many years ago:“Enter every sales interaction as though you are independently wealthy and don’t need the sale!” Relax and focus on the relationship. Make a connection.
- Discover their purpose Sometimes people are shopping with no intent of buying anything. That’s OK! Then there are times when people are in a hurry to buy. That’s OK too! Discover what their purpose is early on in your process, and avoid wasting time and energy that you could be investing elsewhere. Again, focus on asking great questions. I can’t emphasize this enough.
- Understand their buying reasons People only buy for two reasons: to increase pleasure and/or to decrease pain. As a salesperson, look for the pleasure your prospect is trying to gain or the pain that he/she is trying to ease. This helps you qualify prospects quickly by answering the question “Can my product or service help this person?” By digging deep and expanding on their pain or pleasure you also help them to quantify their pleasure and/or pain so that they can make a wise purchasing decision.
- Inquire about their budget So many sales people are intimidated to ask the money question. But true sales professionals understand the importance of finding out if the buyer’s budget allows them to purchase their product or service. Here’s a great question to ask: “What kind of budget did you have in mind for this purchase?”
- Clarify their decision-making process Ask them how they normally make a decision like this. For example, do they usually like to shop around? Do they need time to research other options? Do they need to discuss it with their spouse? Avoid surprises, and help facilitate their decision-making process.
- Present your solution Only after you have followed the previous steps should you make a presentation of options that are available to them! For many of you, this is step #1. By slowing down and following the process highlighted here, you will be able to custom tailor your sales presentation to the needs of your potential client and close many more deals!
- Ask for the business Don’t leave this to guesswork. Many sales people are hesitant to ask for the business for fear of being turned down. Accept that you won’t win them all and move on. Better to get to a “no” quickly than to spend tons of time and energy with a prospect who isn’t really planning on buying from you anyway. Have you ever gotten caught in “the chase”? Don’t waste valuable time on prospects who aren’t going to buy from you but are too polite to say so. Ask for the business, and find out where they stand.
Let me say it again: Success in sales (or in anything for that matter) IS NOT random. If you want to improve your sales results, be deliberate and design a selling system that will get you the results you want. You have too much at stake to leave it to chance. Don’t you think?
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