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successful sales people

10 Things successful salespeople always do

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10 things successful salespeople always do

 

There are always some high achievers in sales who, no matter what, always seem to be able to smash their targets, whatever else is happening in the world. So what do these individuals have in common and what can you learn from their behaviours to improve your own sales? Well here, in no particular order, are my top 10:

They believe in what they are selling – anyone anywhere would struggle to sell something that they don’t like or believe to be great (interestingly, it doesn’t actually have to be great – but the salesperson must believe it is). If there is no genuine belief, then customers will sense the insincerity and they will not buy.

Persistence – Top sales people keep going even when times are tough, because they know that hard work now will pay off later. So they just keep plugging away, doggedly. It might not be sexy, but it’s very effective.

Spend time planning – great sales people have a plan – they know their targets, their territories, their ideal customers and their products. Chances are your highly successful person has a tight diary and knows exactly what they are doing several days if not weeks in advance.

They ask really good questions – they know that it is all about the customer – what are their pains, their goals, their challenges? Once a salesperson knows that, they can determine whether their solution will help. Without this knowledge, they won’t know what really matters to the customer.

They  are prepared – when an over achiever has a meeting, you can bet they have a their business cards, laptop (with all the right data on it), a notebook, a pen, research about the client, examples, case studies, pricing details, order forms [insert or delete as appropriate depending on your situation]. There is a good chance they have spares too – extra pens, spare chargers, whatever they think they might need. There is no chance they are going to lose a deal because they forgot to bring the right document.

They are on time – actually they are early. If customers have given you their time to meet them, the least you can do is get there promptly or start that call when it is scheduled. When you arrive early at a customer’s premises, you can learn lots about them too.

They never stop learning – these are the people who are always reading the latest book, going on all the training they can and who invest in self-development. Although so much in sales is the same as it has always been, change is a constant, so they know they must keep up to date and stay ahead of the competition.

They have a mentor/coach – if you wanted to be a top Olympic athlete, there is no way you could do it without using a coach – well the same is true in sales – high performers always have someone – whether it is a brilliant boss, or someone you employ to coach you individually, constructive feedback and advice can enable you to continually get better.

They practice – by this I mean they practice scenarios, closing techniques, questions. Whether it is in the car, in the office, with other people, they visualise different outcomes and how they can respond to move the sale forward.

They are always truthful – if they don’t know something, they say so, if they cannot do something for a customer they will be honest about it. They do not ‘enhance’ the truth in order to win a deal. Instead, they will overcome any genuine objections with confidence and remain authentic and genuine.

I hope you have enjoyed this list. Is there anything you would add?

Happy selling!

Come and have a chat about how we can grow your sales. Here’s a link to my calendar

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selling the unfamilar

How to sell the unfamiliar (or “there is a reason people are afraid to buy”)

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How to sell the unfamiliar.

Research shows that customers are unlikely to choose an unfamiliar brand over one they know and recognise – even if there are clear or obvious shortcomings with the known brand. That can even extend to using a dangerous brand. In a fascinating article in The Harvard Business Review, it is explained thus:

Consumers in a recent study believed that airlines whose names they recognized were safer than unrecognized carriers. On the whole, this belief persisted even after participants learned that the known airlines had poor reputations, poor safety records, and were based in undeveloped countries. In other words, a lack of recognition was more powerful than three simultaneous risk factors.

There is a name for this interesting behaviour; Neophobia.

Wikipedia defines it like this:

“Neophobia is the fear of anything new, especially a persistent and abnormal fear. In its milder form, it can manifest as the unwillingness to try new things or break from routine. In the context of children the term is generally used to indicate a tendency to reject unknown or novel foods.”

So what has this got to do with sales?

Well, simply put, if your customers don’t recognise you or your brand, then you could face a harder sale. Let’s look at the airline example again. Even if the known brand:

  • had a poor reputation
  • a poor saftey record
  • was from a undeveloped country

Customers were more likely to use them. Now it doesn’t seem logical does it?

So let’s explore some practical things you can do if you are not as well known as your competition:

Do a comparison

Literally list, side by side all your features and benefits compared to theirs. This is useful for the customer, who, let’s face it, is probably not aware of what you can offer. It makes it easier for them to make a decision

Take the Long Term View

If the potential client doesn’t know you, then they are unlikely to just drop everything and go with your offering. This is where, as a salesperson, you should keep in touch, follow up, send samples, share reviews and make the unfamiliar much more familiar. Make sure you involve all the key decision-makers and stakeholders too, otherwise you will be back to square one. Remember that (depending on your industry) you may need to ‘touch’ your prospects at least 10 times before they are ready to buy. This figure could be higher if you are completely unknown. Check out this post on following up

Build Trust

If you say you will do something, then do it. If you can prove a great statistic, do it. Have fabulous customer reviews ready.This blog will help you: Are you using the power of case studies in your business If it fits your offering, can the customer ‘try before they buy’? Do all you can to show that you can deliver.

So don’t let neophobia stop you getting the sale!

Happy selling.

Come and have a chat about how we can grow your sales. Here’s a link to my calendar

5 star tadpole training

Are you giving good follow up?

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Are you giving good follow up?

I ask because you don’t have to be a sales expert to use this very simple strategy to increase your sales.

If you take a look at this chart* then you will see that the majority of sales are not closed on the first, second, third or even fourth contact with the customer – rather they are closed somewhere between the fifth and the twelfth. Although this statistic will, of course, vary between sectors and markets, it’s not a bad average to be working with.

So what counts as follow up? Well the main choices are: Read More

Why you need to understand procurement professionals better

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Why you need to understand procurement professionals better.


Have you ever really sat down and thought about some of the pressures your customers are facing, particularly if a key part of their job involves the procurement function? Come to that, do you treat them like proper human beings or just ‘problems’ to be overcome or sold to?

 

If you don’t, not only are you being unprofessional, but you are genuinely missing out on sales opportunities. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment – and see how you, if you were buying, would like some of these scenarios:

 

1. Day after day you meet with salespeople who range from wonderful to downright obnoxious.

Unfortunately, many salespeople have egos the size of a small country and think you are just some sort of obstacle to be ‘got round’. So you have to spend your working day talking to arrogant, self-centred and just plain unpleasant people. And that’s not taking into account Read More

Sales training - helping customers to say yes

Make it super easy for your customers to say ‘Yes’

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Make it super easy for your customers to say ‘Yes

Is it possible that you’ve been making things too complicated for your customers? If so, you might be stopping them from buying. That’s because all of us humans like easy decisions rather than hard ones. So what can you do to ensure that your customers are going to find it easy to buy from you? Let’s look at some really simple things you can do straight away.

 

KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Whatever you are doing – demonstrating, presenting, or just explaining, don’t overwhelm your customer with information. Simplicity is the key here. So instead, do your homework and find out what they are likely to be interested in and then, through effective questioning, get to the core of their issue Read More

Are you talking yourself out of a sale?

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Are you talking yourself out of a sale?Don't talk yourself out of a sale
Michael ran a design business and believed passionately in what he did. He was versatile and so had a good base of potential clients. However, because he was foremost an artist, he struggled with the business transaction side of his work, much preferring to discuss the design and creative elements.

When a potential client was interested in engaging him, he would talk passionately and with knowledge about what was required, taking trouble to understand the requirements of the project. Although he never seemed to directly ask for the work, he often got jobs because he was so clearly a good fit and because people loved his enthusiasm and his obvious skill.

One day he did just this – he met a potential client, who liked him and his work and the project was his!

Michael should have concluded the deal, shaken hands and arranged the start of the job right then. Instead, because he couldn’t quite believe his luck, Michael continued to talk about design, previous clients, his working techniques and anything he could think of. It was during this nervous chatter, that he revealed a previous job he had worked on. His new client was familiar with it (he was in the same industry) and it turned out that he didn’t think much of the final result. To make matters worse, he knew the person who had been in charge of the project and had heard from her that the designer had been difficult to work with – rather too fussy and had missed some important deadlines.

The new client quietly made his excuses and left. Michael never heard from him again.

A hard lesson was learned. 

If you find yourself in a similar situation, there are some simple things you can do:

Once the customer has definitely confirmed they want to buy, then stop talking and deal with the practicalities

In other words, sort out the payments, the order form, the invoice or whatever, and conclude the transaction.

Don’t try and fill the silence

It is human nature to try and fill uncomfortable silences with words, especially if you are nervous. Resist the urge. If you must talk about something, revert to small talk – the weather, the traffic, anything harmless and uncontroversial.

Your customer doesn’t need to know everything

If your customer has decided to buy on the basis of what you have told them already, then they don’t need to know the other 101 features of your product or service. Everyone is slightly different and what matters to one person may not matter to another, so trust that you have said enough.

It can be hard to get customers to say ‘yes’ in the first place. Don’t do all the hard work and end up losing the sale once you’ve won it.

 

Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more. She has recently reached the final of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s national awards (BESMA 2016) in the category of Sales Trainer of the Year.

If you enjoyed this article and you would like to receive a free download: Janet’s 8 Proven Sales Tips, please click on this link now.
Click Here for 8 Proven Sales Tips

The best sales people know when to shut up

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The best sales people know when to shut upclosing sales by knowing when to be quiet.
Have you ever been in conversation with someone, there is a lull, no one speaks and you have the strongest urge to fill that silence with something, anything? We human beings don’t like uncomfortable silences and it is a natural reaction to try and fill this void with words or noise of some sort.

Have you noticed the way that time stretches in moments like this? A few seconds can feel like forever. It makes us feel uneasy and we don’t like it. 

Sometimes we take this to extremes. Who hasn’t chattered nervously about the most inane things because we feel we should? And it can be even tougher when we are in front of a customer. I was talking with someone at a business exhibition a few weeks ago and he was telling me how frustrated he was that he could think of several occasions where he had won the deal and then gone and talked himself out of it again! Read More

5 Reasons Your Customers Will Not Buy From You

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5 Reasons your customers will not buy from you.Sales trainer - men walking away from a sale

As a sales trainer, I spend a lot of time trying to help people sell more. But it’s also useful to know what things you shouldn’t do – the sort of things that will have your customers running for the hills (or at least hanging on to their cash). If you are doing any of these, please stop now – it’s costing you money:

1. Talking too much. It’s a cliché that a good sales person must have ‘the gift of the gab’. You are never going to persuade anyone to buy from you by talking them into submission. So ease up and, to use an old sales maxim, remember that you have two ears and one mouth and use them in that proportion. Read More

wrestlers from Pixabay

Closing Sales should not be like a wrestling match!

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Closing sales is not a wrestling match!

     When I started my sales career it was with a well-known Financial Services organisation who shall be nameless. My manager, who I can now see was the cliché of the crooked salesman, was much worse and delighted in teaching his team of young, inexperienced sales people how to close.

 

     I can’t remember all the names now of the closes, but I think it says something that the closing techniques all had quite combative names. For example, there was ‘the double arm lock’, ‘the right angle’ and a particularly unpalatable one that my boss loved where he would fill out an application form and then tip his clipboard towards the potential customer, allowing his pen to roll towards them – the idea being that they would pick up and sign. Yes really!

 

     Young as I was, I could sense that these closes that seemed to relate more to a wrestling match than helping people choose the right sort of life assurance! Moreover, they seemed designed to ‘trick’ people into signing up, which probably explains why the cancellation rate in our team was so high. It also went some way to explaining why I felt so uneasy about working there. I left, miserable at the situation. It was only later, when I had been on some really good sales training that I was able to understand exactly what the problem was.

 

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