6 Knockout Tactics For Sales Success
As a sales executive, you have huge plans for your business. Your goals may include providing the best possible product and service for your clients, selling more than your competition, hiring highly qualified employees and someday making it on the Fortune 500. Okay, well, maybe not the last one (especially if you’d prefer to stay small), but, regardless, all of these dreams will only come true if you employ the best possible sales tactics.
My hope is that with the help of the following tips, your business will be on its way to new heights.
1. Follow through
It seems obvious, but following through is often overlooked. If, during your last meeting, you promised to send an email, fax a brochure or touch base with additional information, do it. You are only as good as your word and following through will give you the credibility you need to secure future sales.
2. Foster an ongoing relationship
Making a sale can be exciting for you and your company, but things shouldn’t stop there. Repeat business is an excellent way to build and this is done only through the nourishing of ongoing relationships with your clients. A few weeks after your sale is complete, call your customer to see how things are going. The conversation doesn’t need to revolve around business matters; if you have a common interest in sports, for example, talk about how your favorite team is doing.
Another way to foster a relationship is by sending a post-sale thank you card. Taking five minutes to hand write the card will show your client that you genuinely appreciate their business.
3. Stick to deadlines
Let’s say you have a sale going through Saturday. A customer tells you that they're interested in purchasing but can’t close until next week. Do you extend the sale to accommodate their needs? Nope. I recommend sticking to your sale deadlines to build credibility and increase a sense of urgency around the purchase decision.
This policy can be altered on a case-by-case basis, especially if you believe that your customer will not ask for a sale extension again. Talk to your sales staff about individual situations before taking action.
4. Don't rush for referrals
Referrals are an incredibly effective way to build a business, but it is important not to ask too soon. Before asking, get a pulse on how your customer is feeling. You need to know that they are overwhelmingly happy with your product or service before requesting a referral.
Try talking with them on the phone a few weeks or months after the beginning of your relationship/post-sale. Ask them how things are going and if they respond favorably, it might be the right time to see if they know someone else who may be interested in your product. Don’t be scared to do this; you’ll be surprised with how generous people can be.
5. Practice active listening
Think back to the last time you spoke with your best friend. Chances are good that she or he actively listened to how you were doing and you came away from the conversation feeling refreshed and loved. The best sales people recreate this feeling by asking their prospects probing questions about their business and then letting them explain their needs in detail.
Actively listening will show your customers that you care and aren’t focused on the hard sell. Make the conversation about what you can do for them and you will likely have a client for a long time to come.
6. Be cordial when discussing the competition
Bad mouthing competitors (as much as you may want to) is never a good idea. There’s nothing wrong with discussing competitors with your clients and explaining your opinions on advantages and disadvantages, but try to stay away from saying outright negative things. This type of behavior will reflect poorly on you and your company. It’s always best to take the high road.
Looking for more information on what sales winners do differently? Download the free ebook below.