6 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Sales Results
Sales success is about doing basics well. People in your market need your products/services. Here are some things you can do to win more of them.
Salespeople generally know that they signed up for a job that requires sales activities (although, not always). They spend their time looking for referral sources, converting leads and staying in touch with their book of business, among other things. People who find themselves in business for themselves also need to understand that they have a job that requires sales activities. Just as important, these entrepreneurs should understand that getting good at sales activities is every bit as important to their success as it is to a salesperson’s. Often entrepreneurs don’t. So as suggestion to entrepreneurs and reminder to salespeople, here are six things that will help you get more sales.
1. Successful salespeople prospect regularly. For some members of my former sales team, it wasn’t uncommon for their sales volume to rise and fall like a roller coaster. The reason for this was that when they made several sales, they then spent all their time making sure the sales closed. Doing that, they stopped prospecting until their order pipeline was almost empty, at which point they started all over again. The way to keep sales results consistent and growing is to continually keep filling the top of your sales funnel, and that requires regular prospecting for sales opportunities and referral sources.
2. Successful salespeople follow-up after an initial meeting or call. A very common mistake salespeople make is to make contact with someone and then not follow-up. The prospect or referral source isn’t likely to call you back, so it’s up to you to make the follow-up calls to keep the relationship moving forward.
3. Successful salespeople establish next steps at the end of every meeting or call to keep the relationship moving forward. Don’t allow the relationship to stall because you tried to set up a follow-up appointment later and couldn’t reach the decision maker. Take care of that when you have the prospect’s or referral source’s attention.
4. Successful salespeople look for ways of keeping in touch with their customers and closed book of business. By consistently keeping in touch with your customers, you’re in a better position to anticipate their needs while making them feel valued. They will stay with you longer and likely buy more. By consistently keeping in touch with your closed book of business, you’re in a better position to discover a new need the customer has while also creating the possibility of referrals.
5. Successful salespeople focus on customer needs and not on their product or service. No one cares about your product or service except you. Customers and prospects care about what your product or service will do for them. Taking the time to listen to them and learn their needs allows you to position your product or service in a way that best meets those needs. Selling the features and benefits of your product or service before fully understanding what the customer needs can destroy what otherwise is a perfectly good sales opportunity.
6. Successful sales people ask for the order. That was the biggest learning some members of my former sales team received from a three day sales training they attended. They, and thousands of salespeople like them, would listen to the prospects and try to determine their needs and motivations, would craft the appropriate solution to help the prospect and then wouldn’t ask for the order. They would leave that part of the sales process in limbo because they were afraid of hearing “no.” If you’ve done the correct things throughout the sales process, although I know it might be stressful, have the confidence to ask for the order. The prospect will either say yes, which is a good thing. Or they will decide the solution isn’t for them and you can stop spending time pushing on a string. Or they will present you with an objection, which allows you to better meet their needs and explain points that might have been missed, giving you another chance to get to yes. You’ve done the work, ask for the order.
Most of being successful in sales is doing the basics well. The above are six things you can do starting today that will improve your sales results, be you a salesperson or an entrepreneur.