In the world of sales there are too many tips and techniques that rarely pay off.
The end point is usually a confused student with a sea of information they cannot apply. The following are five ways to increase sales. These are ideas you can use no matter what you sell.
Practice the art of Listening
Listening is a key part of any sale. There are two types of listening, passive and active. If you are passively listening, you are probably multi tasking in your head, or worse actually doing something else while you should be paying full attention. This happens most commonly while in a phone call. Less than 20% of the information can be recalled when passive listening. Active listening is an exercise in focusing your attention in the moment and being fully engaged in the buyers speech and body language. Don’t let outside sounds, interruptions or people distract you while listening. This type of listening is key to understanding and is a great compliment to the buyer. The following are ways to let the buyer know you are engaged; nod in agreement, use verbal acknowledgment like hmm, I see, I understand, interesting, etc.
Gaining Buyer Perspective
Look through the buyers eyes. Gaining a buyers perspective increases your emotional intelligence and your sales. Think about the challenges your buyer is facing in their business. There are universal business concerns, find the issue your solution can solve. Here are some typical business challenges: operating costs, regulations, supply costs, taxes, technology, competitors, reputation, downsizing, global competitors, safety, locations, customer satisfaction, employees, etc. The more you visualize their problems, the more prepared you will be to help solve them.
Making a plan
Why should the buyer see you, why should they care? The more you ask yourself these questions before you begin a call, the more prepared you will be to bring relevant value for your buyer. Write your answers and review them to define your value. In todays sales “winging it” is not a good option. Failing to plan is like planning to fail. When you plan the sales process, it is like having a GPS to help guide you through the sale.
Look to the past to determine the future
Who has bought from you before and why? Having an idea of how past customers have determined your value can help in developing a plan for future buyers. Think of a customer who is an advocate, take them out for lunch or coffee. Ask them what they like about working with you and the company. Let them know you are trying to determine the best way to help other customers. Don’t forget to ask if they know anyone who might need you. The customer you have a great relationship with will be happy to refer others.
Up selling with current customers
Have you ever had a customer throw you a bone and give your competitor the steak? It may be time to revisit these buyers. The timing could be right for them to buy more. You never know unless you ask, and it is much easier to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one.