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Sales tips to improve effectiveness

Sales tips to improve effectiveness

Generally people buy to make themselves feel better or to solve a problem.  People buy for the ‘afters’ ie  they go to University because the ‘afters’ can give them better job prospects.  What ‘afters’ are you giving?  What do you ‘leave behind’ after you have made the sale –  a better lifestyle?  more sales/profit?  Really important to identify and communicate it.

How will you sell each product/service? – (to your already identified target market)

  • Where do you get your best results?
  • Where do you spend your time and money?
  • Where should you be spending your time and money?
  • How does your company sell, eg field sales,  channel via partners, resellers, e-commerce – or a combination?
  • how are territories structured?
  • what’s the sales process?
  • what specific tools will be needed to support sales objectives?
  • Or do you rely on Word of Mouth? Is this robust enough to carry you through?

Remember, motivating away from is a stronger feeling than moving towards, ie giving up smoking because otherwise you will die.  

What is your sales journey?  Buying is a six-stage process where you:

  1. Raise awareness of your business and/or your product – through press coverage and social media
  2. Generate interest in your business – with blogs, how to guides and or email newsletters
  3. Evaluate your business – via case studies or web seminars
  4. Trial your products/services – using demonstrations, free trials
  5. Promote adoption/sale – involving contracts or personal selling
  6. Provide loyalty – giving more of the same and shouting about it to others

For each of these stages, there needs to be a marketing tool in place.  Start gaining interest in your business by writing useful blogs that aren’t ‘salesy’ and sending email newsletters.  To pass the evaluation phase successfully, write case studies demonstrating how your business has helped others – the more the better.   Contact must be maintained.

Three rules of winning value propositions.   A collection of reasons why people would want to buy from you, potential buyers would have to:

  • Need what you are selling. It has to resonate with them;
  • See how you stand out from the other options. What makes you unique/special/different?
  • Believe that you can deliver on your promises. You have to substantiate and build trust

What are the barriers in your business for effective selling?

  • Bad use of or lack of time, appropriate systems, tools and techniques’
  • Lack of desire to make it happen
  • Too many new ‘latest strategy’ where it’s not properly tested/relevant
  • A feeling that selling is somehow ‘dirty’- not my job!

What qualities should you show when in the sales role?

  • Listen & respond accordingly. Two ears and one mouth, use in that proportion
  • Build a relationship of trust – never give half truths
  • Do what you promise and by the date you promise, or sooner
  • Consider the type of person to whom you are selling eg DISC personality profiling
    (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance) and communicate in a way they would like, ie if a FD – just bottom line figures and few words; no waffle.

Asking the right questions

  • What’s important to you in your … And what’s important about that?
  • Tell me three things you like about your current supplier?
  • And the three things they could have improved on?
  • How will you know when you’ve found the ideal service?
  • What would be even better than outstanding for you?

 Becoming the problem solver

  • Engage with the right people
  • Make prospects comfortable with you and find out what they want
  • Show them how your offering gives them what they want
  • Agree on the next step in your dialogue process
  • Follow up and check satisfaction
  • Find partners you can work with
  • Create systems for this journey and improve all the time

 And the definite No-Nos…

  • Criticising the competition 
  • Not knowing your product/service inside and out and failing to answer questions
  • Bad-mouthing your company/clients or anyone really. What ‘quality’ would that show?
  • Failing to deliver/send into by the promised date.
  • Telling lies, being ‘economic’ with the truth.  Guaranteed NOT to build that trust.

What to include in your Sales Proposal

  • Focus the proposal on your prospect and show what they will gain from using you/your service or product and spending time, money and resource with you.   What ‘afters’ are you leaving behind for them?
  • Include an Executive Summary giving key points
  • Be Specific with your recommendation. Don’t leave it up to the customer to try and work out what’s best.
  • Be clear with costs. If you can’t,  then the prospect can’t get approval for the funds or they will assume you don’t know what they need
  • You must demonstrate your commitment to your prospect  and deliver on time
  • Finally, yes finally, the bit about how wonderful your company is and that it’s been going since XXXX and if you’re going to ‘manage’ the account, then a paragraph about you

You’ll need a Process

  • Break it down to simple steps
  • Engage your organisation
  • Keep it simple and focus around the client, not to your convenience
  • Test until perfect
  • Use some specific milestones that will guide
  • Test and Measure

Persistence – remember as a child?

“Persistence is what makes the impossible possible, the possible likely and the likely definite”. Robert Half

New products and fresh ways of doing things will always meet with resistance – the liability of newness, the brain rejects the unfamiliar. So don’t give up until you get to the yes.

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”  Michelangelo 1475-1564