Did you know that on average, a prospective customer says ‘no’ five times before they say ‘yes’? And most salespeople give up on the fifth time.
Success in sales takes a consistent, confident and informed approach but the rewards are well worth the effort. We’ve worked with many clients across multiple sectors over the years to help them increase sales. And whilst industry approaches may differ, there are some common stand-out skills that will help any business turn their leads into paying customers. Here are our top five tips for sales success:
- Know your audience
As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Selling will be much easier if you understand your target audience. You can get to know your customers and prospects in a number of ways; surveys and customer feedback offer a wealth of insight, as can mining for information online. Look at your competitors, what are their customers saying in reviews and social media? This will give you some useful clues to help you tailor your own sales approach.
- Sell solutions, not features
It’s more than selling a product or service. Successful salespeople tap into their customer’s mindset to sell them a better version of themselves. How? By understanding their hopes, fears, challenges and pain-points. This allows you to present a solution. Nowadays, customers expect much more than ‘My product features X, Y and Z’ – they want to understand how this will personally impact their life in a positive way.
- Answer the why
Think through all the possible barriers to a successful sale. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and consider the questions they may ask: Why should I stop what I’m doing to listen to you? Why is your product or service better than the competition? Why does it cost more? Why do I need your product or service? Why should I believe you?
Getting ahead of these questions will help you to respond with clarity and confidence.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is an essential tool for effective sales. There are lots of simple, automated systems that you can use for this purpose, all of which will help you to manage your interaction with current and potential customers. Consistency is key here. The more detail you include in your CRM the better your results will be. Use it to include notes about your conversations, set reminders for follow-up calls, differentiate warm and cool leads, and to feed into targeted marketing activity. Don’t see CRM as an extra chore, see it as an invaluable partner for sales success.
- Master the art of bouncing back
In sales, rejection is a given. Know this and understand this, but don’t allow it to get in your way. It’s not about you, it’s not personal. And by no means should it stop you trying. Have faith in your product or service and know that there are individuals and organisations who need and want what you offer. Timing, accuracy, and execution are your vehicle to success.
Ready to learn more about successful selling?
There’s lots more information and advice in our e-book Reflect. Dream. Do.