October 25, 2010
5 Tips to Help Increase Your Sales Today
Whether you like it or not, as a salesperson, you’re judged almost exclusively by your numbers. That means if you want to keep getting that paycheck every month and enjoy the free donuts on Fridays, you better keep those numbers as high as possible. Not everyone sets out to have a career in sales. Entrepreneurs and many employees in smaller companies find themselves wearing many hats; and one of these often includes some form of sales. With massive unemployment rippling through the economy, many people have had to take on sales responsibilities in a new or redefined position. No matter whether you chose this path or fate tied you to a horse and dragged you down it, you’re going to have to put up some numbers and make some cash to keep your bosses, mortgage company and bookie all happy. If you’re looking for a leg up, want to work more efficiently or simply stop drowning in a bathtub of your own professional self-loathing, then we’re here to help. Here are five simple tips on how you can increase your sales today!
Benefits Not Features
Of course, you have to let your customers know why they should buy your product over the competitor’s, but that doesn’t mean rattling off a bunch of technical features of the product. With very few exceptions (information technology people I’m looking at you), customers want to be told what benefit they will get from your product. Quite simply tell them what’s in it for them if they buy from you. Humans are selfish creatures by nature and appealing to how your product will make things run smoother, faster, better and improve their lives is the way to sales success. Relay what the end positive effect on their lives will be and you’ll see those sales numbers climb.
Know Your Stuff
Even if you’re not a full time sales person, know your products backwards and forwards. Knowing the benefits and features of the product or service you are selling might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of sales people don’t bother to dig past the standard company literature and really know the product and market. If you come off looking like you don’t know what you’re talking about to a customer, you can kiss that sale goodbye.
Once again, this seems like a no-brainer, but many salespeople see the customer as an enemy that they must crush and dominate. Others just have poor attitudes and think it’s OK to speak to people however they want. Instead, put yourself in the shoes of your customer and treat them as though they would want to be treated. Let them know what product is best for them and if you truly don’t have what they need, tell them that and recommend the product they need. The hit you will take on missing one sale will come back ten fold when you build a reputation amongst potential clients for being honest and helpful.
The more people you meet, the more you will sell. People like to do business with people they know, trust and like (see the above point if you forgot that one.) Go to professional luncheons, trade shows, conferences and other place your customers might be. Get on the phone and call up some new prospects. Call your existing customers and ask them if they know anyone who might need your product or service.
All of the product knowledge and networking in the world isn’t going to help if you can’t find your prospects numbers, lose a sales order or miss an important conference call. Information comes at you like water from a fire hose these days, so make sure you have a system in place to process everything. David Allen’s Getting Things Done is an excellent resource for this, as is CRM software. A solid CRM platform is an essential weapon in your battle for more sales and it will help you keep everything from prospecting to following up for repeat business in order.