As a sales manager, you commonly hear sales pros asking, “How can I sell more?” While there are numerous ways to close more deals, or get in front of more prospective customers, what these salespeople are really asking is, “What can I do NOW, to write more deals?”
Here are some useful actions you can take NOW to elevate your sales skills, and sell more TODAY:
Make your goals as short as one day, then start to lengthen into monthly, quarterly, annually, and even further out. The next steps is to apply whatever effort it takes to reach that goal.
Role play and practice with another salesperson or your sales manager:
This is a VERY overlooked area. Most salespeople are embarrassed to do this with coworkers, but have no problem fumbling through a live sale with a prospect; which is where the true money is on the line. Think of it as batting practice. You need to commit your skills and scripts to memory through practice. Working with the sales team helps everyone get better. All the cool kids do it. And by cool, I mean closers.
Review and study sales books and materials:
There are many great sales professionals groups on Facebook. These are great ways to learn and bounce ideas off other pros in your market, or others. The largest one is “Sales Talk with Sales Pros”, and that’s administered by my mentor Ryan Stewman.
Know You Inventory:
If you are in an industry with physical stock, such as retail or cars, know all your inventory on hand; especially what’s aged, in low supply, or brand new. Report any problem units to your sales manager. In a non-physical stock industry, know what new, as well as, the hottest seller, or most benefit rich plans or services.
When you are not in a sales or service sall, make sure you are available to be the first one to answer the phone, or greet the up. There is no reason to stand at the back of the lot, or be slow on the phone trigger. The top salesperson at each firm is usually the one that talks to the most prospects. Simple math there.
See EVERY Lead as a Buyer:
Assuming they are at your store or on the phone to buy, is one of the most powerful techniques in all of sales. As a kid, we heard the cliche, “Assume is making an ass out of U & me!” Those idiots that said that were probably not closers. That prospect contacted you because they felt a pain point, and your product or service will ease or eliminate that pain. Proceed accordingly, knowing that they didn’t just show up on your lot or at your office to get out of the rain.
Stick to the Basics:
Once you establish your sales process, stick with it, and keep it simple. Use simple language and keep it concise. Talk to prospects as you would talk to your family (minus the colorful language, but that’s your call). You don’t need a lot of moving parts to work your deals, and you don’t need long form emails & messages to get your point across.
Your sales presentation should be value based. Features don’t build value, they only cost money. The benefits of the features have advantages, and that builds value. Start by stating the benefits, describing the advantages, then naming the feature.
Keep Great Notes:
Use your CRM for what it’s designed to do. Taking great notes on leads will lead to more sales in the future, and make it seem like you’ve got a super memory with your prospect. This also makes it easier to rewrite a deal on the next plan cycle.
Ask for Referrals:
Always ask you prospects to refer you to their friends & family. You have very likely just worked with a person you would wish to have more clients of the same like & kind. Chances are high that they associate with other like minded people, and with similar incomes and professions. If you are in a field that asks for references during the application process, then those references are also referrals.
Pass Out Business Cards Everywhere:
Leave them all over town. Put them in the restaurant bill when you are leaving the tip. Leave them on the bar counter. Take the opportunity to leave them at a place that allows stacks of cards to be put out, or tacked on a board. Setup a digital business card to keep on the lock screen of your smartphone. And make sure your business card has a link to your internet bio page.
Setup Referral Partnerships – AKA “Bird-Dogs”
A bird-dog shows the hunter where the game is, and flushes them out. In sales & business, as bird-dog is a referral partner that will send you leads. Set them up in as many industries as you can that will help send leads to your business. Unless otherwise restricted, compensate them as well. People love to have “a guy” for their needs. If you can be the trusted professional for your bird-dog, then they will send you every that even whispers needing what you sell.
Look for ways to partner with your competition as well.
I purposefully work with as many brokers as possible in an agency that sells a competing insurance plan. I do so because their plan is incredibly selective. I can work with the prospects that get declined. The lead is happy that I’m able to help them, so my close rate is high. Plus the referring agent is happy because I took care of the referral, and they were still able to make some money.
Send Letters to Neighbors of Your Buyers:
What if when your neighbor came home with a new car, then a week later, you got a letter or card from the salesperson that sold it, showing you where you can get a look at one of your own? It is not a turn-on for everyone, but there are many people in America who are trying to keep up with the Joneses. I know if my neighbor pulled up with a new luxury car, I would want to take a look and a ride. There is always peaked interest in getting a new toy when someone you know gets one.
Become a Beast on the Phone:
Practice like crazy on your phone skills. Even if you are in an industry that has a showroom like cars or retail, many customers call in ahead of time. Those are leads that can be very easily turned into appointments. When I was selling musical instruments, many customers would call ahead to make sure the product was in stock ahead of time. By catching that call, I was able to set the items aside, and get the commission on an easy pickup sale.
If your company records your calls, set a small bit of time each week to work with your sales manager on listening to recordings to dissect what went good and bad. Don’t be afraid of criticism. I’d rather work through getting better at my craft than work through a tight budget or a bankruptcy.