As business advisors working with dozens of companies every year, we see firsthand what separates winners from everyone else. One success factor that shows up over and over is effective selling. Here are 5 things successful companies do that might help improve your company’s sales.
1. Ask questions: Asking more questions is often the answer to increasing sales. Way too many sales people rattle on and on about all the features and benefits of their product or service without knowing what the customer is interested in knowing. Ask customers what they are looking for and why. Then you can focus on what they really need to know to help them make their buying decision.
2. Set daily targets: A common approach in sales is going for quantity, chasing enough prospects in the hope that one or more will buy. This generally leads to selling to shoppers who would probably buy from anyone or are price shoppers. To increase your conversion rate, keep track of how many customers on average buy from a given number of leads. Then introduce strategies to convert a higher percentage. Set daily targets and assess your performance against these targets.
3. Use sales scripts: Salespeople should not memorize a sales pitch. No prospect likes to listen to a canned presentation. But how do you assure that your salespeople are making the strongest presentation? The answer is to put it into writing. What are the critical points, the critical questions that your most successful salespeople insert into every prospect meeting? Armed with this information, your sales people will be more likely to remember all the features and benefits and how to handle customer objections.
4. Ask for the sale: One of the most common failings in sales is not asking the prospect to buy. Fear of rejection prevents many sales people from actually asking for the sale. Studies show asking will gain you sales and won’t lose you any. If you get turned down, try to learn from those who say no so you can apply that knowledge to future prospect meetings.
5. Testimonials: We all need to be reminded of what we are doing right and why our best customers like dealing with us. Sometimes we focus too much on what went wrong. Concentrate on the good stuff and you’ll probably do more of it. Ask customers for written testimonials so you can use them in your sales process to address prospect objections.
“The power of testimonials cannot be denied. Testimonials make your reputation. They make sales when you can't.” ~ Jeffrey Gitomer, Little Black Book of Connections
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