From the 1980’s until now the sales process is a whole new ball game. From closing the deal on a cocktail napkin to now using various tech-tools to simply land a meeting. Sales has indeed changed. I was lucky enough to sit down and chat this past Labor day weekend with one of the greatest saleswoman I have ever met. Back in the day the companies she worked for insured her due to how valuable she was to the company. Wowza.
Backing her game up since the 1980's, she shared with me some of her most simple tips around being a successful seller. So grab a hot dog, take a seat, and enjoy a few insights around how you can learn from the seasoned sellers and step up your own sales game.
1. Grab a coffee with a potential buyer
Forget that you are trying to sell and focus on the person you are engaged with. This will not allow you to build a foundation for a solid relationship but give you the opportunity to listen to their story and their needs. Listen intently and ask questions. Drop your phone, close your laptop and listen. You can tell a whole lot from a potential buyer by just listening. Time frame, budget, issues, pain points, hesitations, even methodologies. Sometimes selling isn’t at all about the actual selling. It’s about understanding the needs, wants and issues of the person that is about to be your potential buyer.
2. Be Persistent
A lot of times your potential client is busy and doesn't reply to your emails, show any interest, or even buy from your service at that time. Don’t show your disappointment. Be a good sport. Hang in there, keep forging ahead with emails and calls. Continuous follow up is going to be key. Let them know you know they are busy but you are there when they need you.
My Sales Tip: Put them on a nurtured drip campaign using ToutApp. That way they are getting highly personalized and consistent follow up over the course of weeks or months.
Most negative reactions I have recieved thus far:
You are persistent…do you know that? Let’s hop on a call.
Consistency and persistency will pay off in the end. Just don’t go too overboard:
Ease up on the fun dip Jen.
3. Be Transparent and True
If you are asked a tough question that you cannot answer… be honest…don’t wing it. Instead of fumbling, let them know you will get back to them the same day with the answer or will have an engineer call them back with the answer. Never drop the ball on any of their requests!
4. Train, Practice, then Throw the Pitch
Did you know that 66% of opportunities close the deal with the person who helps them create the vision and teaches them something new? Pretty neat…right? The salesperson that educated them with new ideas and perspective are more likely to close the deal. You want to add value. And interestingly enough, the #1 reason that people buy is not only due to need but for the sales experience. Train, teach your potential customers first then close the sale. If you’re good enough, they will ask for more and make selling that much easier.
5. Build Trust
Trust is built on listening and understanding the customers wants and needs. Do what you say you are going to do. The potential customer must trust you in order to be your partner. You must nurture and care for them. Think authentic, relevant, and personal communications. Think of how you feel when you are do business with people you trust. Be yourself, don’t always feel sheltered by professionalism. I am more likely to trust someone if I can tell they are real with me. Sharing a joke or a story may not only put them at ease but allow for certain barriers to be broken down and allow them to open up to you.
My Sales Tip: Get to know your prospects. Beyond the sales workflow and pain points, try to dig deeper. Favorite football team, hometown, hobbies even favorite sales tumblr. Find that personal touch and build that trust.
Every Wednesday, I shoot over this video to my potential customers and they always get a kick of it. Make your communication unique and engaging.
6. Knowledge is Power
But seriously, I cannot stress this one enough. Study, learn more about your customer and what they do and what they will need prior to chatting with them about your product. You should always be craving to learn more. Know and understand the ins and outs of your industry. Biggest pains, puns, latest innovations, selling strategies, best practices. This will give a fresh and insightful perspective for your potential customers. Always try to be the best at what you do day to day.
Master the crap out of your sales market. Read articles on your target industries, join webinars, go to a sales Meet-up, or network events in the area. Follow the top twitter accounts, top bloggers and influence leaders in the field. And soak it in and apply it to what you are doing. You will only become more successful as a sales professional and leverage that knowledge to become a thought leader within your industry.
Sales is truly an art. One can never be perfect at it and there is always room for growth and improvement. It takes years to become a master of sales. Be persistent, be transparent, teach, listen, build trust and throughout it all have your own voice.
Just remember, a good salesperson takes their job seriously and wants to be the at the top of their game. They are competitive and do not want to lose. Have conviction that what you are offering will greatly add to the prospects’ life, belief that this is the best offer the prospect can choose, determination to communicate that you are right and drive to close deals on deals on deals.
P.S. If you aren’t already – start Touting, for crying out loud.