So you want to become a sales success?
You have read sales books, set goals and attended the best training courses.
But your performance is average at best.
What could you be doing wrong?
How come a colleague succeeds while you struggle?
Sales Success is EASY, when you know HOW
The best salespeople make what they do, look easy!
They have mastered skills and strategies the average salesperson struggle to take on board.
Sales skills and strategies that make a huge difference!
14 Sales Skills and Strategies That Separate The Best Salesperson From The Average Salesperson
Implement diligently and see your sales rocket.
1) Contact every lead as quickly as possible
This is obvious, isn’t it?
Yet many salespeople “sit” on leads and fail to respond promptly.
Perhaps they think the longer they leave a lead the hotter it gets?
That is not how it works.
“Following up with web leads within 5 minutes makes you 9 times more likely to engage them.”
Interestingly when I challenge salespeople about slow response times the most frequent reason given, is that they don’t want to appear to pushy. In the meantime the professional salesperson will have been in contact and closed the sale.
In a competitive marketplace where prospects are reaching out to multiple suppliers at the same time – being the 3rd or 4th company to respond doesn’t look good.
According to InsideSales.com – Research shows that 35–50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
It is never too soon to contact a new lead!
2) 33% of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone
No matter what they say, people do judge emails by their subject lines.
Even those of us who do face to face selling must send email.
So make your emails interesting, starting with the subject line.
5 Tips for attention getting email subject lines
=> Keep it short and sweet.
=> Create urgency
=> Make an offer
=> Use their name
Remember: only 23.9% of sales emails are opened
All the more reason to make sure you take the time to craft an email subject line that will get opened!
3) You can only be as successful as the pipeline you have.
There is no point in being a top sales closer if you have few leads in the sales pipeline. Keep adding leads to your pipeline, good leads, average leads, bad leads – – all types of lead.
4) For long term success in sales you need to be both a hunter and a farmer!
It is said that sales people can be divided into two categories – Hunters and Farmers.
Hunters are salespeople who love to chase new leads and new sales while Farmers prefer to generate sales from their existing leads and customers.
My view is that you need to master both!
According to Marketing Donut – 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least 3 months – and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy.
If you are a hunter chances are high you will never sell anything to the 20% that take 12 months or more to buy. And you probably won’t fare that well with the 63% that take 3 months either!
Sure the right sales approach and positive follow-up will improve on those percentages but it doesn’t change the fact that buyers often have a different timescale in mind for buying compared with a salesperson.
If you are only concentrating on the 17 – 20% of hot leads right now, you are going to miss a lot of sales. Just accept it, some leads will need to be farmed, nurtured and grown into hot leads.
These leads will take more work and they may frustrate you, but once you build your pipeline and many months have passed you will be glad you are also a farmer!
Some other thoughts…
When you make a sale, you’ll make a living.
When you create a relationship you can make a fortune.
Average salespeople focus only on closing the sale.
Professional salespeople focus on both closing the sale and creating a long-term relationship.
5) Just because someone does not return your call (or email) does not mean they are not interested
Assume nothing – people are busy and need reminding.
6) It is not the prospects job to do the follow up.
Use multiple forms of follow up – call, text, WhatsApp, email, even write to them in the post. Send them a personalised video.
Connecting deeply with people, makes closing the sale easier.
Don’t give up after a few attempts.
For Sales Success: Persistence and patience go hand in hand.
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No 2: Drop the enthusiasm.
7) If You Want Sales Success – Stop Procrastinating.
Everyone procrastinates. The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on. Since you must procrastinate anyway, decide today to procrastinate on low-value activities.
Low value activities such as making the coffee, gossiping and reading the sports pages at work!
8) In sales the questions you ask are far more powerful than anything you can say
One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is to give information before they get information.
They talk too much!
* Sales is an investigation not an interrogation.
* Selling is asking – not telling.
* Ask questions that create conversations.
* We tell stories because we want to be understood.
* Buyers never complain about salespeople who listen.
* Make prospects feel emotionally significant.
* Sadly too many sales people are thinking about their next question rather than listening.
* Ask questions that get to the heart of the issues your prospect is experiencing.
9) The best salespeople don’t just build relationships with customers. They challenge them!
Do you believe that your prospects have to like you in order to buy from you?
Sure, it is nice if prospects like you but if you think that is all that matters, you are missing out.
Help your prospects to think and question their assumptions.
That is what professional salespeople do.
They don’t just build relationships with customers. They challenge their customers!
This leads to RESPECT, which leads to TRUST, which leads to SALES!
Recommended read: The Challenger Sale
The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship-building is the wrong approach. Every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average performance, only one – the Challenger – delivers consistently high performance.
Instead of bludgeoning customers with facts and features, Challengers approach customers with insights about how they can save or make money. They tailor their message to the customer’s specific needs. They are assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale.
10) Practice active listening!
There is no point in asking QUESTIONS if you don’t LISTEN
What are you listening for?
=> What problem keeps your prospect awake at night?
=> What are the implications if they don’t fix this problem?
=> How does this problem affect their life or business?
=> What do they think the solution is?
=> How would their life improve if they fixed this problem?
Be completely present when you speak with the prospect.
Do not be thinking about another sale, sending emails, making jokes with a colleague or doing anything that distracts you from serving your prospect.
11) “Always Be Helping” is the same as “Always Be Closing.”
You succeed by helping people make decisions that are good for them.
If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.
~ Zig Ziglar
12) For continued Sales Success work as hard at keeping the business as you did in getting the business.
Professional salespeople understand that closing the sale is not the end of the sales process, rather it is the beginning of a sales relationship. Follow through and make sure your customer is happy. If there are any issues help them to resolve them.
Too often salespeople make promises and benefit statements while trying to sell a new prospect. Don’t be one of those salespeople. Getting an order on false pretenses always ends badly. In any case most of today’s sophisticated buyers have in-built BS Detectors!
Remember: Most people like to buy, but don’t like being sold to. Act an an assistant buyer with your prospect, not a salesperson.
Even in what appears to be a one-time sale, serve the customer just as much after the sale as you did before. Do that part right and a satisfied customer can become a regular source of new leads for your sales pipeline in the form of recommendations and introductions.
13) Energy + Focus = Sales Success
When you learn how to focus your energy, amazing things happen.
Every single encounter and connection matters.
All successful salespeople will have had that experience of a SALE that appeared to drop out of no-where. For example you meet someone in the queue at Starbucks and they turn into your next best customer!
A positive energy makes this more likely.
Some might suggest this is a bit on New Age Woo–woo – but it is not!
Actually I would go as far as saying that having a positive energy and focus is even more important that a set of written out goals!
Scott Adams – creator of the Dilbert comic strip has written a wonderful little book that I recommend called: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big
Two of the Big Takeaways from it are:
=> Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.
=> Passion is bull. What you need is personal energy.
Remember, energy flows where attention goes…
Personal Energy + Sales Focus is a System for Sales Success .
14) Persistence in Sales Follow-up still RULES!
Arguably I have left the most important fact to last.
Tenacity in follow-up and asking for the order will never be replaced – not even by AI!
According to this infographic:
44% of salespeople give up after one “no” or one “follow-up”
22% give up after two “nos”.
14% give up after three “nos”.
12% give up after four “nos”.
That totals up to 92% of sales people giving up after four “no’s”. Or to put it another way only 8% cent of salespeople are still in the game when it comes to the 5th time of asking!
When you consider that it is often quoted that 80% of prospects say “no” at least four times before saying “yes”, the conclusion has to be that 8% of salespeople generate 80% of sales.
Refuse to attach a negative meaning to the word ‘no.’ View it as feedback. ‘No’ tells you to change your approach, create more value or try again later.”
~ Anthony Iannarino
Done correctly, sales success can be yours.
Master the above skills in particular and you might even make it look easy to others.
Wishing you all the sales success you can imagine!
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No 2: Drop the enthusiasm.
Barry Dunlop is a lifelong Entrepreneur, Sales Turnaround Expert and publisher of the The Sales Turnaround Report. To request your free copy CLICK HERE. You can also connect with Barry on LinkedIn
Helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and make a positive change in the world.