Your sales strategy and the selling techniques you use to generate sales are the foundation of your business.
And just as a building without foundations will fall, so to will a business without sales.
To be in business is to be in sales. Whether you do all your own selling or build a sales team.
Good selling techniques must be practical and in place at all times if you are to successfully grow your sales and your business.
Sales and Selling Techniques
The owner of a successful small business will often spend up to 60 percent of their time on sales and marketing.
That’s at initial business start-up, from then on you will need to spend at least 40% of your time on your sales and marketing ? and that’s forever.
Focus your efforts on sales and learning refined selling techniques will not be difficult.iDex7.com
Considering the time you need to spend on sales and marketing to be successful, it’s a fact that many new businesses spend too little time on selling or really only market and sell when they become desperate. And; that’s just wrong, you will never succeed if you only sell out of desperation.
Being in business means making time to sell. Selling must become a major part of your business day.., every day of your business week.
In most cases, with a small start-up company you are your only salesperson. As you grow and recruit a sales team your selling days are still not over. You merely become the coach to your sales team.
You can never leave sales until you leave your business.
How to be an effective sales person.
Your Business and You as the Sales Person
To get started lets take a look at sales and the selling techniques required to succeed.
Despite any indications to the contrary, everyone can sell, even if they believe they are unsuited to selling and hate the very idea of selling.
First; you should prepare and understand, that to sell you must …
- Relate to your customer as an individual.
- Listen to their needs.
- Ask questions and make suggestions to meet the customers needs.
- Ensure that both you and the customer come out of the transaction satisfied.
In fact as the owner of your own business you are better positioned to sell than anyone else.
You know more about your product or service, your production and delivery times, the products use and the care it needs. All you have to do is learn the selling techniques to make you a good sales person.
Good preparation makes good sales people, so be prepared, if you want to sell successfully.
You really must understand the following …
Most products or services are not unique; they are similar to many other products already being sold.
- So what would make you want to buy the product you wish to sell?
- Once you are convinced that it is a product worth owning, you are ready to answer that question.
- As a selling technique, it is essential that you have faith in your own product.
What makes your product different from your competitors?
- Is it better packaging, customer after sales service , better delivery or more competitive pricing.
- There are any number of different ways that you can make your identical product stand out from the crowd? You need to know and understand the differences.
- This will then be your ‘unique selling proposition’ or USP. Tha thing that makes your identical product or service different?
Decide on your potential customers and who you are going to sell to.
- It should be obvious that you should sell to those people who are most likely to buy.
- They must be interested be able to afford the product.
- Sell where you have the best chance of making sales.
- Common sense but often overlooked.
Remember to sell the benefits of your product or service, not its features.
- People want to know if your product will provide a solution to their needs, and if so, how.
- If you can get people to desire your product, you will sell it.
- Price is often overcome by desire.
Always try to understand why your product is selling.
- Ask your buyers. What is it about your product or service that made them buy?
- Some market research would not go amiss here.
When you are new to sales selling is not easy as you haven’t yet closed many sales.
So check out your competitors to see how they are selling and why people are buying from them. Good preparation is the basis of all successful selling techniques, whether you are cold calling or making a presentation.
Adopting an Effective Sales Strategy …
There are tried and proven sales strategies that work and have worked for many years.
No matter what you sell most of these will work if you adapt them to suit your selling techniques and product.
- Get to know as much as you can about your customers business, they will expect it and it shows you are interested.
- Always talk to the decision maker. Is the potential buyer the one who will give you the order or do they need further permission?
- Always have your notes with you, that make your sales presentation relevant to that potential customer.
- Your first task on meeting a potential customer is to build a rapport. Have you anything or anyone in common? Can you compliment them on some aspect of their business. Rapport is built through sincere interest not false flattery.
- Always begin by asking questions and listening to their answers. What are their needs, problems and motivations. Note their responses and listen carefully.
- Ask questions and get answers until you are sure you understand the customers needs. When you get objections, understand and point out how you have dealt satisfactorily with similar objections from other customers. Jointly find answers to any objections. If you can provide a solution to a problem you generally have a sale.
- Explain clearly the cost of your product or service. All the costs – hide nothing.
- Always listen for that one principle need, that, if you can satisfy it, will clinch the sale.
- Once you are convinced that the customer wants your product, never forget to close the sale. The decision to buy needs to be reinforced by stating the worth of the decision and how it will benefit both.
- Selling is always a lot easier if you believe that your product is good and you show that you have confidence in it.
Remember that the best of all selling techniques is honesty.
Sold it, now what? … After Sales Service
The sale is made, the product delivered, end of story. Not if you want to remain in business.
After sales service is as vital as obtaining the sale in the first place. A fact you should never forget.
Keep your customers satisfied and coming back by …
- Contacting them after the sale and thanking them for their business.
- Letting them know that you are always available to solve any problems they may have.
- Responding to any complaints promptly.
- Always Remember to ask about any problems or complaints and make sure you rectify them.
If you have a great product, great after sales service and a satisfied customer, you have a live word-of-mouth referral service. Remember that most sales come from good referrals.
Selling Techniques and Your Sales Team …
You have now grown past the days when you did all your own selling. You now have a sales team but you are still the coach.
Don’t forget to pass on all those great selling techniques that you took you here, and that are relevant to your business.
Let’s take a look at starting and building that sales team and the type of people you need.
What you need for your sales team …
The best sales people you can afford and to get them you are going to have to poach.
One small caveat however, don’t poach from the companies that you do business with, they will remember it and it will cost you business.
The best sales people are already in employment, so you will have to track them down by asking for referrals from the best, or by anonamously calling your competition and asking to speak to their best salesperson. Check them out well before you hire. Are they:-
- Confident in themselves – Self-esteem makes a good salesperson.
- Go-getters – Do they strive to achieve goals
- Good listeners – Customers like being listened to by someone caring.
- Passionate about your product
- Experts in their field. Customers like expertise.
- Persistent – Can they wade through the no?s to get to that yes
- Adaptable – Can they adapt their selling techniques to meet the needs of your business
These are the sales people you want in your sales team. They are what you need.
How do you coach your sales team?
Okay, you now have a good sales team, but actual sales are not what you expect.
You have heard of management haven’t you, well who is managing them? You can’t; your business is too big to allow you to manage your sales team full time. So if you can’t, who is?
- Sales people need good managerial leadership to perform well; a manager who will be able to look at the whole market, who can train the new members and guide the veterans.
- Without that day to day management, your team will drift.
- A sales manager is not a salesperson, so never promote your best salesperson to manager. You lose a good salesperson and gain a bad manager.
- Always hire a good professional sales manager.
Good sales people are never clock watchers, so make it worth their while to get that sale.
- Pay your sales team well, a basic salary plus good commission, or no commission but a really good performance related salary
- Motivate by measuring results. Competition between colleagues can make for healthy profit margins
- Train your team constantly. Pass on new and proven selling techniques. Ensure they understand everything about your product
- Set goals and offer incentives. Goals agreed by the sales team and management. Goals must be tough but incentives achievable.
A good sales team, with sound selling techniques, can mean the difference between profit and loss. Make sure that everyone else in your business appreciates them.
Getting your selling techniques right is essential for your business success.
So spend the necessary time on both your own selling and that of your team.
Put a strong selling system together and you will have one less worry in business.
Whether you do all your own selling or use a sales team, good selling techniques must be practical and in place at all times if you are to succeed in growing sales.