There are many hundreds – maybe thousands – of books written on “selling techniques”. From obscure philosophical texts about the “mindset” needed to sell, to the “process” books that detail how to get from here to there, in terms of sales. But what do you really need to know improve sales performance in today’s business environment? How do you increase customer loyalty? That’s what I hope to answer in the following pages…
Sales as a discipline is essentially the same whether it is selling plastic cards or selling advertising space in an upscale magazine. The strategies may change, and that’s where your creativity comes in, but the principles are the same across all industries. There are many ways to improve sales.
I’ll cover some very basic principles here – as well as advanced selling techniques. Everyone can find something useful here. I suspect some salespeople may stumble across this site and think they know all they need to…but everyone can learn to improve their job performance. Smart salespeople will embrace the challenge get their sales increased and try new strategies – even if they are skeptical at first. Sales managers will wonder how to motivate your staff to increase sales. Read on…
There are a number of pages on this site dedicated to increasing sales, but here’s a tip to start things off: learn the difference between saying something and meaning something. Do you really understand what that means?
Have you ever gotten a call some evening and someone with a very thick foreign accent was reading to you from a script? Did it convince you to buy something from them? Likely not. Scripts are not necessarily bad, but unless you really believe in, and understand, what you are selling, that will come through very clearly to your prospective clients. They can see through your half-hearted effort and will not be convinced to spend money with you.
Passion has a lot do with selling. If you go into a meeting and recite a bunch of statistics and memorized “factoids” to a potential customer, you’ll come across as exactly what you are: an un-convinced person. And if you aren’t convinced in your own product, you sure can’t sell me on it!
Selling with passion means putting your emotions into your job. Believing in your job. Believing in your product. Believing that you can really help someone if you can convince them to just try your amazing product.
If you really cannot convince yourself that what you are selling is worthwhile, you’ll never convince anyone else with any consistency. Move on. Find something that you truly believe can make someone’s life, or job, or relationship easier. How often is your time spent on the phone or in meetings spent just filling time with the sound of you own voice spouting words you don’t believe or understand? Are you really making the most of the time? Are you persuading anyone?
The Fear Of Sales
Salespeople can be afraid of failure, rejection, looking stupid, etc. But fearing “No”, trumps all the rest. Many salespeople will go out of their way to avoid “No”. To others, salespeople often look lazy, but that is often an excuse, or cover, for not wanting to face up to “No”.
Additionally, selling “against” the competition is no way to earn sales. Sell yourself, your product, and your company. Attempting to badger a customer into buying or tell them why they shouldn’t use a competitor’s services does nothing to add to your own reputation. You may convince them that their current vendor is not good…but you haven’t convinced them that you are better.
Sales Rewards Ideas
A properly set up commission structure will help to motivate your sales staff. If, however that is something you lack, consider coming up with some sales reward ideas, sales incentive contest ideas, or other sales incentive ideas.
Like they say, when all else fails – read the instructions. Get good sales training for yourself or your team. The best way to increase sales is by being the best salesperson. You may have a million ideas how to improve sales, but without good sales training, you may still not succeed. Learn how to improve your sales skills first. Understanding what you don’t know is the first step in increasing your future sales.
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