Sales Strategies: Its Not Who You Know - Its What You Know
We are all in sales. We all selling in every role we have. Whether you are in sales, marketing, home business, looking after your kids, dentist, athlete or whatever your chosen field is - you sell. When you are "selling an idea" or pitching a business proposal or offering a product or service - it is all selling. You can choose to avoid it or be good at it. Have you ever met natural sales people and admired them? Have you wondered how they do it? It is simple - you just need to be in the "know".
Know your style - how do you like to work? Do you work with a team, do you work for a manager, or do you work alone? Determine how you work best or how you need to work, and design a sales process just for you.
Know your personality - are you outgoing? Are you shy? Are you confident? Are you reluctant to meet new people? If you are an extrovert sales may seem a bit easier to you but I believe that the introverts who are exceptional at building relationships with people, are some of the best sales people I know.
Know what energises you - do you work best inspired by others, do you like recognition, do you like to set goals and achieve them. However you like to work you can use this same formula to boost your sales. If you like recognition but work alone, you will need to find someone who you can share your sales achievements with.
Know your commitment - how much time can you allocate to selling as part of your role. If you run a home based business or work for yourself, I imagine you would be "selling" constantly to educate others on what you do and generate your next project or income opportunity. If you work with a sales team you may be required to bring in monthly targets. Make a note of how much of your time you need to spend in a sales mindset.
Know your weekly sales target - if you are part of a sales team, this will be easy as managers provide you with monthly figures. If you don't have this target - create it. Look at your annual income or targets you want to achieve, divide it by twelve for a monthly figure then simply divide it by four - easy - now you have your weekly target. Place this target somewhere you can see it each day to remind you of what you need to achieve. Take 10 minutes each week to review how you went against your sales goal.
Know your strike rate - if you have to make sales calls (either on the phone or in person) keep a track for two weeks to determine how many calls you made and how many translated into sales opportunities. Some of you may have products or services with long sales cycles (for example in some businesses the sales cycle can be several months) but you will get a feel for your success rate. You might find out of 10 appointments you have 5 turn into sales - your strike rate is 50%. Now you need to make 20 appointments to achieve 10 sales in a week.
Know how to ask for the sale - so many people I observe forget to ask for the sale. Don't be scared of asking people if they want to buy. Find language that suits your style and just ask. It could be as simple as "Would you like to proceed with this? If so, when should we deliver it for you?" - don't forget to ask for the business.
Know why people buy from you - understand what needs your product fulfils in people's lives. Do you sell services that make people feel better about themselves; do you sell products that make people's lives easier? What reasons do people have for buying from you? You could conduct surveys or hold focus groups to ask your customers what they think. Once you know this information it will assist your marketing and sales efforts.
Know how to generate referrals for your business - a good way to do this is develop advocates for your product. Find people who are willing to promote you to their customers or provide testimonials for you - this is very powerful marketing tool and makes your sale process really easy!
Know "no" is not the end of the sale - some people say no to a sale because they have more questions or are not completely satisfied they require the product. Don't let no be the final word. Have a series of questions or statements you can make to help fully understand why someone doesn't buy from you. Don't be put off by the word no - don't take it personally.
Know how to negotiate - this skill is essential if you are serious about selling. Learn the skill, get some training or observe and expert and ask lots of questions. Negotiation is a key part of any sale - no matter how large or small - get good at it.
Know more than your competitors - we all have competitors. Understand how what you are offering is different or better than your competitors. Be able to explain the differences to your clients. Know what your competitors are also offering so you can provide an educated and balanced opinion about how your products are different.
Selling is a great skill - you can develop it or improve it - make the decision to boost your sales by applying these strategies to your business.