It seems like most of us are so busy, stressed and overworked in an effort just to keep up. In spite of the demands and pressures we face, professional growth and development is not something that should be neglected. In the spirit of providing readers with helpful ideas and resources, I’ve compiled a list of activities to improve your sales effectiveness.
Coaching tip – Review the list and select one or two things that you know, if applied, would increase your success. Commit to improving these areas over the next several weeks and watch your effectiveness and results improve.
Remember – it’s better to move several things ahead by a step than try move one thing forward by a mile.
- Be prepared. Always have samples, technical data, pricing information, endorsements, positive social media, and anything else that will help you build a strong case for what your offering or help improve your presentation;
- Know your product/service. Understand all aspects of how it works, know what it does, warranties, replacement policy and technical information. If you can’t answer the question don’t lie. Find out the answer and get back to them.
- Be on time. Certainly don’t be late but also don’t be too early. Sales people that arrive for appointments 30 minutes early can actually put off the client. You may appear desperate or like you don’t have anything else to do. Ten to fifteen minutes before is enough unless you have to set up a presentation or samples relating to your meeting.
- Follow up! Call and email as a follow-up to a meeting within 24 hours unless a specific time is agreed upon by both parties. Provide additional information, samples, pricing, and answers to any requests for information discussed during the meeting on a timely basis.
- Be honest. If there is something you don’t know, don’t be afraid to say it – it will benefit you in the long run. Whenever you cannot answer a question you have just discovered an area of learning and development for yourself.
- Be aware. Look for areas that you can improve your own products and services and those of your client. Become an innovator and someone that is seen as leaving things better than you found them.
- Be presentable. Make sure that your dress is appropriate for the client/customer that you are visiting and the type of business you are in. Don’t under dress as you may be viewed as not caring, indifferent or even sloppy and not worthy of trust.
- Build relationships. People make their final buy decision on emotions not logic. Once you have demonstrated your competence, knowledge and skills focus building a relationship. Sales people who focus exclusively on the technical aspects of their product or service run the risk of being viewed as a nerd or geek who is unable of carrying on a conversation.
- Be conscientious. Pay attention to the details, add value whenever you can and represent your company with integrity and pride. Sweat the details! If your gut tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. Figure out what needs to be done and do it!
- Ask before you give. Everyone likes to get something and be acknowledged however gifting policies can differ from one company to another. Things such as tickets for sporting events and concerts or even lunches and dinners may be viewed as an attempt to influence the outcome in your favor.
- Smile. Your face and demeanor can influence the outcome. Be positive, pleasant and have a smile on your face.
- Ask questions. Use open ended questions to engage the client. The better the question, the better the response and information you’ll get. Also create opportunities for the client or prospect to ask you questions. Prompt them if necessary. Trust is created through two way dialogue.