If you're company is not reaching its goals, it may be time to actively search for ways to increase sales effectiveness. It's easier said than done, but with the following three tips, you can make measurable progress toward reaching your goals.
1. Personalize Your Approach
This is a strategy that is often used in marketing but not used often enough in sales. When you send out a marketing communication, you personalize it as much as possible based on the audience. For instance, if the company you're targeting needs a solutions provider with overseas experience, you'll list every single overseas client you have serviced. If they're targeting an organization with lots of custom work, you'll skip the overseas experience and emphasize the time you spent developing custom solutions. By tweaking your pitch, you emphasize what you have in common with the company, hopefully inching toward building a lasting relationship.
It's the same process with sales strategy, but you have to do your homework. Let's say you find out that a potential customer is in the market for one of your services. When you call with your initial pitch, emphasize that particular service and spend less time on other services that may be of lesser importance to that particular prospect. This kind of more specialized approach takes a little more up-front planning than traditional cold calling. But you'll see that the results pay off. In the end you'll boost sales and have to make fewer unsuccessful sales calls.
2. Ask Questions and Listen, Listen, Listen
When you talk with a potential client, spend less time thinking about your sales pitch and more time finding out what your potential client needs. This can be difficult. You have so much to say about your excellent products and services, and you may feel as though you have to relay as much information as possible before they have a chance to hang up, but slow down, ask a few key questions, and listen very carefully.
What kinds of questions should you ask? Ask about their preferences, their needs, their successes and their roadblocks. Do your best to avoid asking yes-and-no questions; they're conversation dead-enders and they don't give the client a chance to open up. If you ever get stuck in a sales conversation, ask "you" questions because people like to talk about themselves: What do you think is working? What would you like to see in the way of improvements? Take copious notes. This is yield the most important feedback and insights for sales success.
3. Be Firm in Your Closing
If you've done a good job with the first two suggestions, the closing will be much easier. You've gleaned all kinds of information so far, and now you need to emphasize three main points:
- You have the solution to their problems
- You will be there to make sure they are successful
- They'll be glad they bought from you
By the end of this solid sales conversation, you should have landed a new relationship. Make sure that your new client knows that you can be trusted and counted on. This will help with word-of-mouth referrals and will support the development of a long-standing sales relationship.