Sales is an area that almost all companies will invest in at some time or another. With most products, you can do all the research and product design or marketing but, at the end of the day, whether or not it will sell is the only thing that really matters. This is true to the extent that there are a lot of products that look nothing like they were meant to when conceptualized, but upon selling, were invested in anyway.
But, with everyone trying to make sales, it can be challenging to know how to get ahead of the pack and make something extraordinary out of the product or service that you are offering. Sales is complex and often relies on the randomness of human interaction, something which troubles a lot of sales experts.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot of opportunity for experimentation within the field and for you to make the most of your skill sets for finding sales success. It can be challenging to find your own pace in such a complex, fast-moving field, so here are a few tips and ideas that you could try out and see what works for you.
1. Avoid Cold Calls (in the traditional sense)
Let’s face it—cold calls are annoying. The medium has already lost its appeal in the current generation. If you are using this technique, then you need to at least shoot less from the hip. Invest, instead, in time for research and for client comprehension, so that your calls stop being quite so cold and become, somewhat warmer. Find any possible concrete link between you and the person you are calling and play that up the second they answer the phone. For example, you might both like the same sports or enjoy the same types of movies, you may even have a similar business situation and so on.
2. Do Your Research
Bravado, confidence, and charisma can only get you so far in the sales world these days. Ease of access to information about companies and their products and services means that potential clients already have a whole lot of knowledge on you. So, you have to spend a lot of time on research. “A well-researched sales team is so much more likely to make a success of themselves. You have to have an answer to everything, and if you’re caught short, you’re almost guaranteed to lose a customer,” writes Jared Linton, marketer at WriteMyx and NextCoursework. So, study up!
Research your target audience first. Understand who they are and then visit all channels where they might share information like social media, forums, and blogs. Then you can use what you gleaned to connect with them and understand what benefits they are looking for. What you should research is their problems, their needs, and how they would ideally solve them. Then you can apply your products to all three.
3. Avoid Mentioning Other Companies
Some marketing campaigns and sales strategies attack competition head-on. For example, they say bad things about their competition in sales calls, advertisements, and other media. Unless you are the undisputed leader in your market, that approach could be risky. Bringing up other companies can seem a bit childish to a consumer and might make you look weak. Even worse, bringing up the competition is a bit like making sales on their behalf. Any publicity is good publicity, so don’t help out the competition, make it all about you.
4. Get To Grips With Your Product
Just like researching your target demographic and the market itself, you have to know what you’re selling. And this means understanding the product inside out. A salesperson who checks, even for a second, the details of a product during the sales pitch could lose the confidence of a potential client. Sales teams often aren’t directly related to product design and management, so it’s highly possible for a salesperson to not really have in-depth technical knowledge. Ask for seminars to know more about the products.
5. Focus On The Key Plus Points
“As a salesperson, you’re going to run into a lot of occasions in which you might have a lot of data to convey and not much window in which to get it done. The rule is always leave an impression. Pick the key, punchy ideas and hammer them home, ignoring all of the fluff,” says Standard Chavez, project manager at BritStudent and Australia2Write. The key plus points will allow you to simplify your pitch, thereby making it memorable. This is all a potential client really wants anyway. Too much detail, and they’ll likely get lost in it all.
List all benefits of your product and why that person needs it. That’s very important.
6. Be A Storyteller
A good salesperson will always engage the audience. The level of engagement dictates, to some degree, the memorability of the pitch. A dry sales pitch full of platitudes, statistics, and generic approaches will not create the desired impact on a potential client. But, tell a story, entertain and engage a potential client, and you’ll be embedding the experience of the pitch in their minds for a long time.
To tell a story, put your client at the center of it and show them what they can be and what they can do once they have your product in their hands.
7. Zero In On A Few Options
If you bombard someone with an enormous range of products or services, it could become confusing, overwhelming, and might even seem unprofessional. Giving limited choices makes it seem like you have put a lot more thought into crafting the product. It’s why a diner will have 150 options, whereas a 2 Michelin star restaurant might only have a single set menu. Don’t overwhelm them, just make it simple and present a greatest hits selection, as it were. First, do proper research, so you know exactly what they need, then offer specific products that can solve their problems.
8. Deliver A Good Closer
Closing the deal is the hardest part, naturally. But it’s also a good test of how successful the other parts have been. A good closer could mean anything, it’s not as simple as getting the signature or the bank details. A good closer, ironically, will leave the situation open for more business and more interactions. Similarly, a good closer will look to prove further to the client that you’re not only interested in their business, but in them as well. In fact, a good closer could be a failure but a failure with such grace that a second attempt proves fruitful.
You absolutely have to find your own pace and style with all of this, there isn’t a right answer. But hopefully, by using a few of these steps, you will unlock some sort of a path to success and find a way to make the sales happen.