June 25, 2015
Perfect Sales Advice from Nine Of The Best Sales Pros
Learning from the best
When it comes to sales, you want to be able to learn from the very best in the field. Here at KarmaCRM, we’ve taken the time to curate together some of the best sales advice we’ve seen from some of the best sales professionals out there.
Kevin Catlin, the owner of two businesses that rely on client sales, got this piece of sales advice from a surfer who managed to convince him to drop $250 on a backpack.
It hearkens back to the core of good salesmanship: don’t sell. Listen.
“Good sellers often set sales conversation agendas in advance.”
Mike Schutlz, the President of RAIN Group and best-selling author of Insight Selling urges preparation and review of an agenda for sales meetings.
“When you start a sales conversation, review and confirm the agenda and then ask the following question, ‘If we left this meeting and someone in the hall asked you a) if you got everything out of it that you wanted, and b) if it was worthwhile, what would we cover – and how will the conversation play out – so that you do, indeed say that?’”
This gets to the original cardinal rule of sales: find what your customer wants, and deliver it. Spend time preparing your approach and it’ll pay off in spades.
Anthony Iannarino, the author of Sales Management, maintains that every successful sales organization has a level of process behind it. Boiling down this standard for people who are solopreneurs, or a “sales force of one”, Anthony goes into how you can tie in the qualifying, discovery, proposal and acquisition steps of the traditional sales process and adapt it to your own line of thinking.
The important takeaway is that you should ask your customer for their commitment before passing from one stage to the next–and you should have an organized and delibrate method to do so, a respected process you can go back to time and again. While Anthony’s advice is meant for solopreneurs, it can be used by everybody in sales.
Ian Brodie, noted as a top sales influencer, brings up an important part of any sales process: qualifying and finding out exactly who you are selling to.
As he puts it:
“Most people have an idea of who their target clients are – but they haven’t really got under their skin. They don’t really understand them. They maybe did an exercise at a workshop for 20 minutes once, and that’s it. Or they “just know”.
But the truth is that unless you really put work into it, you don’t know. Not enough.”
Ian spends hours upon hours thinking about how to solve problems for his clients. The amount of work pays off because he really is on their side when he wants to make a sale, he isn’t just pretending. This level of research and conviction leads to the right type of enduring client relationships.
Mark Hunter, the founder of the Sales Hunter blog and the author of the book High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price emphasizes that you should segment your customers based on their different needs.
Clients will differ from what they want from you to how they like to be approached. By listening to their needs, you’ll be able to differentiate between groups of people who may seem similar at first glance but may prove to be anything but.
Use those differences to tailor customized approaches and you’ll see more sales.
Mike Weinberg, the best-selling author of New Sales. Simplified: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development brings up an uncomfortable reality.
“The truth is that we spend significantly more time preparing for internal QBRs (quarterly business reviews) and meetings with executives at our own company than we do for presentations to customers.”
The truth of the matter is that in order to close deals, you need to have practiced how you’re going to do the crucial sales pitch that will make the difference between success and failure, something too few salespeople think about.
Come armed with objection busters, customer testimonials, and a killer presentation. It’ll be worth your time.
In that same vein, Jeff Shore, the founder of Shore Consulting underscores the importance of following up on meetings without the usual nausea that comes with the word “follow-up.”
Instead of being lost in a wave of automated emails, Jeff tailors a very actionable piece of advice: send a video email.
He notes that
“I remember exactly two things from my last birthday: a card from my mother-in-law (there was a check inside) and a personalized video email greeting from my friend Mike Lyon.”
This piece of advice isn’t something that remains static with time. His point is that you want to follow up and show that you care, but also that you should do it in a way that makes your response stick out.
Nancy Nardin, the foremost expert on using sales tools and the president of Smart Selling Tools brings up the notion that you need sales tools and you need them to perform well in order for you to create and nurture a strong sales pipeline.
There is no tool more central to the modern sales process than customer relationship management software or CRM, a centralized data warehouse where you can store all of your company’s contacts and information about each time there has been an interaction with them. 58% of customer loyalty is based on sales rep activity.
She advocates using a CRM system that helps salespeople record data and remember to conduct followups and build lasting relationships. With data indicating that 50% of CRM systems are failing to deliver on that premise, the right CRM for your business can mean all of the difference.
Jill Konrath, best-selling author of Agile Sellingis filled with sales insights and advice. She harkens back here to a time when she committed her first act of sales bravery: convincing a sales lead to sign a contract before they had received a final okay from corporate HQ by marching back in after a demo.
The natural response of the mind to potential failure is to bring stress hormones flooding into the body. The only way to overcome that is to act.
As Jill puts it,
“It’s like we have a sales grit muscle – and the more we use it, the stronger it gets.”
So get outside your comfort zone, enjoy this sales advice and put it into action to get more sales.