By Colleen Kettenhofen
Successful selling strategies are more important than ever. Start with boosting your confidence, your attitude, and time management skills. Then work on outside factors such as knowing your customer, competition, and your company. Here are some examples, or 10 tips to increase sales:
- Talk less, listen more. Ask questions. Listen for subtle cues as to what your customer wants. For example, when they say, “What I’m looking for is… ” That’s a buying signal. Listen and take notes verbatim. Put quotes around what they said so that when you talk or write to them again, you can use their exact words, provided your product or service meets their need. Nothing helped me more in becoming a top sales producer than the above mentioned tip to increase sales.
- Target those individuals who are your best prospects. Is there a commonality among those people who have purchased from you in the past? What were their needs, similar circumstances and greatest challenges?
- Make yourself well-known as an expert in your field. Write articles. Post them online. Contact editors and get published in newspapers and magazines. Ask your clients for recommendation letters praising your services as a testament to your integrity, customer service and expertise. Nothing speaks louder than others singing your praises for you!
- Start with selling yourself. It’s a fact: people buy from people they like. People buy from people considered trustworthy, credible, and honest. Present yourself professionally. And regarding attire, remember the 3 T’s: tailored, tasteful, and traditional. Practice a positive attitude. Show up on time. Further educate yourself about your product, your competition, and any possible objections.
- Practice failing forward. When you don’t make the sale, or you lose the business, find out why. What needs to be improved? What could be done differently? If you or your company made a mistake, admit it, and learn from it. Then move forward. Don’t dwell on it and dig further into defeat.
- Communicate your competitive advantage. Like it or not, your potential customer is thinking, “What’s in it for me?” And, “What am I going to get out of this?” Mention both the features AND the benefits to them.
- Master and study your core competencies. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. What areas do you need to improve? Do you need to improve time management? Do you need to improve technical skills? And, what areas must you absolutely master? For example, maybe you need to spend more time getting to the decision maker. So, work to improve your deficiencies, and master those areas you must excel at to increase sales.
- Ask for specific referrals. This is one of the biggest tips to increase sales. Once your client has complimented you on your product/service, ask them who else they know who could benefit. Tell them the kind of clients you’re looking for and get specific names, phone numbers, and email addresses. See if they’ll talk with that person or make a phone call on your behalf and introduce you.
- Practice professionalism and integrity to increase sales. Be a problem solver. If you don’t know the answer to their question, admit it. When you lie you die. Let them know when you’ll get back to them with the answer and do! People will look to see if you practice what you promise.
- Give samples. Give something away free to increase sales. Or, offer something extra as a bonus. Outdistance your competitors.
When the time is right, ask for the order. Practicing silence while your potential client is deciding is often when they say yes! They’re uncomfortable with silence, and often end up talking and making a decision to fill the space. This is a technique I used frequently when I was honored as the “Number #1 sales producer in the history of the company breaking all previous records in the U.S. and Canada” for a major Fortune 500 company. That technique and a lot of hard work. Good luck! November 24, 2008
You are free to reprint or repost this article for use in your newsletters, association publications, or intranet provided Colleen Kettenhofen’s contact information (name, website, and email) is included with the article. Colleen Kettenhofen is a Phoenix, Arizona motivational speaker, trainer, & co-author of “The Masters of Success ,” featured on NBC’s Today Show, along with Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield. For free articles, video clips, and e-newsletter, visit http://www.ColleenSpeaks.com. Colleen’s area of expertise are leadership, managing people, life balance, difficult people, presentation skills. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions and seminars.
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