Less is More: Quick Tips to Improve Your Sales
I'll be brief. If not - I'll negate my own point. Got time to read a 12-page essay on sales improvement? You want to get back to making sales and money. Let's go then.
Less time more pressure.
You prospects have less time and feel more pressure. Just like you, I'm sure. As a sales professional, you need to be sensitive to this. For your own good, have a clear, short and concise benefit statement. Don't waste a prospect's time or yours with lengthy (and boring) introductions. Observe people who go on and on at networking events when asked what they do or introducing themselves to the group. Is that you?
Less resources to get more done.
Your sales increase when you better demonstrate how much 'leverage' your product provides. Have prepared proof of substantial Return On Investment for prospects. The best ROI support is customer testimonials containing real numbers. If you don't have any, use industry data and 3rd party research, or statistics, and proactively collecting your own. Start today.
Less contact more voice mail.
If you don't improve your ability for leaving voice mail messages, then you will continue to face the frustration of getting your calls returned. Most salespeople's ability and confidence with voice mail remains poor. If you can't motivate me to even call you back, how could you possibly motivate me to buy from you? Again, be brief, concise and clear. The most glaring weakness is not letting me know the BENEFIT of calling you back. Get training on how to leave an impactful 30-second message that can't be ignored and pulls response.
Less paper and more email.
Letterhead is hard to find these days. A client of mine, IBM, wanted to send a testimonial letter about a sales seminar I gave. My contact couldn't find letterhead. However, lack of letterhead is no excuse for poor spelling and curt communication. Build relationship through constant and meaningful email contact. Make your emails well-written, focused and brief. You face obstacles, like strict network security and the poor computer skills of your recipients. Take a course on email etiquette and copy writing. Don't send an email with large or too many attachments. Sending paper 'snail-mail' is making a comeback with the current anti-spam and "too-much-email" sentiment.
Less personal presentations and more technology.
Travel and budgets have diminished. Teleconferencing and web-based presentations have grown in their use. Sadly, technology doesn't breed ability. Listen to me. Using a webinar to read a PowerPoint to me over the phone will NOT sell me. Again, build your skill set and improve your presentations or have an expert facilitator do them for you.
Less talk and more listening.
The wisdom of the ages. Clichй really but still ignored and executed poorly in sales. Prospects have little time to listen to your 'sales pitch.' Ironically, they have plenty of time to 'complain.' Perfect. Encourage this and note their problems. Let THEM sell themselves. Let your prospects talk themselves into purchasing and stop interrupting them. Give the occasional prompt and affirmative nod to support their rant. Good sales people sell products. Great sales professionals solve problems.
Less preparation and more action.
More salespeople fail while perfecting their approach instead of actually making contacts. Look. Over-preparing makes you sound robotic and impersonal anyway. It's a procrastinator's crutch and an excuse for those in fear of rejection. Get on the phone and attend networking events now. Improve on the fly. Don't worry. We're all human and generally kind.
Enough said. Time to sell.