We all know that running a business is not easy but anything is possible with persistence and determination. Some days are better than others so it is important to stay the course through it all. I enjoy listening to success audiobooks and podcasts, which are very helpful to see how others achieve their success in business. This helps me stay focus on my goals without going off track. Having a mentor who has done what you are trying to accomplish makes the process all that much better. With guidance, you can avoid many mistakes along the way and accelerate your knowledge. In the end, your attitude is what matters and enthusiasm is contagious. Be upbeat no matter what comes your way and success will eventually come to you.
2. Ask Your Prospects The Right Questions
As the sales expert, you must understand what your clients needs are. Most sales are lost because not enough good questions were asked. How can you solve their problem when you don’t know what is keeping them up at night? You can try to sell your product or service to people but if they don’t see the need for it then they won’t buy it. Get to the root of the problem by asking the right questions from the beginning. The longer you wait in the process to ask questions, the harder it is to get the sale.
Questions Not To Ask:
• “Have you heard of us before?”
• “What will it take to get the sale?”
• “What is your company all about?”
• “Did you know that we are the best?”
3. Educate Your Clients
They already know you are there to sell a product/service but go beyond that by teaching your prospects something they don’t know. This is how they gain respect for you and value what you have to say. Since people do not want to be sold to, give them information that can help take their business to the next level. Demonstrate the connection between their “problems” and why your solution is the answer to it. Show market data to visually show where the challenges are in the industry as a whole. In general, you want to establish a bond with your clients so they see you as the expert.
4. Hire The Right People
The interview is the best time to challenge your candidates. Ask the hard questions now! You are only looking to hire superstars for your team. This is not the time to be nurturing and caring about their feelings. This is a business that needs to meet the bottom line to stay afloat so the candidate should know your expectations up front. It is important to know how they handle conflicts like customer issues, rejection, and many challenges a salesperson would face on the job.
Questions To Ask:
• “How do you handle customer objections?” Give me an example.
• “How did get along with your boss at your last job?”
• “What 3 traits do you have that make you a great salesperson?”
• You can say: “It looks like you have good experience, but I’m not hearing top producer in your answers.” (See how they react to this…if they crumble, it’s a NO!)
5. Coach Your Team
Like the saying goes, “Practice Makes Perfect”. It will take more than one training class to elevate your team to the next level. Repetition is the key for team success. Create a training manual and have weekly meetings where you can teach your team what to do. Anticipate the situations they may encounter and teach them the best way to communicate the answer. Educating your staff will eliminate too many unknowns and significant loss in sales. It is critical to have a performance standard that everyone can follow to achieve the department goals. A few ways to track their performance is to tally up the number of appointments made each day, cold calls, types of customer responses, and types of follow-up actions with each customer.
Ways to enforce the knowledge after initial training:
• Role Playing: Play the role of the client and see what answers your staff give you. It is better to find out now what they will say before the real thing.
• Quizzes: Reinforce the knowledge they learned through quizzes
• Discussion: See if they have questions beyond the initial training and address it
• Table Top Exercises: Pick their brain with hard questions a client may ask them.
• One-on-One Meetings: Answer any training questions your staff may have.
6. Follow-up With Clients
So you did all that work to get your current customer but how do you keep them? There are some methods to follow up with your customers like sending them little gifts in the mail, funny emails, and touching base with letters. Creating the bond with your clients helps keep their loyalty to you. In this competitive world, being on top of their mind is critical to your business future. A customer that bought from you once may get swept away by a competitor waiting to fill your seat. Always follow-up!