Seven Secrets to Sales Success

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Seven Secrets to Sales Success

People mistakenly think that effective sales involves convincing people to buy whatever is being offered. Exceptional sales people however realize that’s not the case. They utilize these sometimes counter-intuitive approaches to distinguish themselves from the herd.

1. Focus on doing the right behaviors

Understand which sales behaviors drive your business. Is it cold calling? Cold walking? Warm calling? Asking for referrals? Speaking for visibility? Advertising? Attending trade shows? If you’re not sure, you need to find out. Keep track of the activities get you “closer to the money” the most often. (Hint: it’s probably not organizing your files.)

Do those activities consistently. Set goals based on behaviors you can control rather than hoped-for results (e.g. number of sales) that are under someone else’s control. Keep your attention on the right activities and the results will naturally follow.

2. Act like you don’t need the business

There’s nothing worse than a desperate sales person. Even if you’re dead broke, never let a prospect sense that. Act like you’re in demand and sought after. Play hard to get.

If someone is stringing you along tell them know you sense they’ve lost interest. Offer to return any documents they’ve given you. They’ll either quickly exclaim their interest or bow out gracefully. Either way, you win.

3. Make sure you know what your prospects want & need.

Many sales people feel they have to convince prospects they need what the sales person has to offer. Before you start touting the benefits of your product, find out what’s important to them. Everyone does not need what you have; most people won’t even care.

Focus on identifying their needs first. Keep reminding them of what they want to accomplish then help them understand how your product meets those needs (if it does). If it’s not a perfect match, acknowledge that and move on to someone who needs you more.

4. Have a customizable script or outline.

Anticipate the likely concerns or problems (not objections) different prospects might have for which your product is a solution. “I help business owners who are frustrated by… fed up with … and concerned about…” By customizing your conversation, your prospects will feel like you really understand them and their situation and will be more open to what you have to say.

5. Always know what the next step is.

Don’t ever end a call or meeting without knowing exactly what’s going to happen in the next two steps. If they’ve asked you to submit a proposal (step 1), find out exactly what happens after the proposal is in (step 2).

6. Sell to the highest person possible

While it may be more comfortable talking with people lower in the hierarchy, they are rarely the decision maker. Your sales will go a lot faster if you start at the top. Even if the CEO doesn’t make decisions about products you offer, it’s still better getting introduced to the VP of Widgets by the CEO that trying to convince the VP that he or she needs you.

7. Never give up

According to the National Sales Association:

  • 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
  • 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
  • 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact

Now go out there and close more deals!


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