Several thoughts have passed through my mind this week in anticipation of writing my weekly sales article. I've wondered how many sales articles I can write and still deliver both profound and new content.
However, maybe it doesn’t really matter, if the material is not applied. Every day I learn something new about selling and every day I consciously seek to apply what I have learned. Having spent forty-three years in the saddle of sales, I have learned and applied a lot. I have searched for that secret of all selling secrets which will give a salesperson an obvious advantage in selling their products or services. I’ve looked high and low and in every industry known to man, to no avail. I have discovered there is no secret, or magic bullet to selling. I’m also convinced that all the principles and skills necessary to be successful have already been revealed. The real secret lies in the application of multiple skills and principles in the proper sequence, applied in the right way at the right time.
Selling is fundamentally the same for every product, service and industry. Everyone wants to believe his or her world is different and unique. However, adapting the principles and skills of selling levels the playing field, allowing the salesperson to be successful selling any product or service. The key is found in creatively massaging the skills to the unique characteristics of the market. Learn from experience and look for new and better ways to apply sales principles. It is just as important for sales success to be creative, as it is to be structured and disciplined. Here are five things you can adopt, fine tune and apply to improve your sales this week.
- Manage your time through daily planning and scheduling. The average salesperson spends less than four hours each day selling. Double the time you spend in the sales arena and double your sales. A simple and effective way to monitor your planning and scheduling is to break the day into thirty-minute increments. Fill each thirty-minute increment of time with meaningful sales activity. You will be surprised with the impact daily planning and scheduling will have on your sales performance.
- Become a referral-based salesperson. Use your happy satisfied customers as a source of referrals. Most salespeople receive occasional referrals, but the truly great salespeople use referrals as their single source of new customers. Every day they ask for and receive new referrals from their existing customers.
- Discover the need, before you ever open your mouth to discuss your products or services. Once you know their problems, present your product or service as the solution. You will lose credibility if you present your product without first discovering the need. In presenting your product or service, be specific in identifying how your product will resolve each aspect of their need. The secret is to uniquely demonstrate how your product will solve their problems.
- Ask for and resolve all concerns and objections. Know the mind of your prospect and present your product or service in a way she/he will appreciate it the most. Revealing concerns and discovering objections is a necessary aspect of successful selling. Unspoken concerns and objections are a hidden cause of sales failure. Get it all out in the open. When you understand the buyer’s point of view, your success will increase.
- Become diligent and fearless in your sales activities. Learn something new you can apply each day. Learn from your own experiences and apply daily, those things you have learned. Remember, knowledge applied is one of the keys to success. Work hard at working smart and watch your sales increase.