Being a salesperson is too hard of a job to earn $30,000 – $50,000 a year. The key to earning ten times that amount is by being the best in your field. Using these Five Fundamentals of Sales, you’ll be quickly on your way to being the best.
If you ask an average person to describe someone in sales, unfortunately, “honesty” is one word you’d never hear … unless someone was being sarcastic. Being honest, straightforward, and having integrity in a field where it’s not expected will not only make you stand out in a good way, but will make such an impression on clients you’ll immediately earn something much greater than a sale–their trust. Sure, you might lose a sale once in a while, but you’ll eventually gain many more clients and referrals because of your solid, trusting relationships.
When communicating with prospects, never tell them you’re not trying to sell them something, and don’t focus on small talk included in some scripted sales pitch. People will know it’s insincere, causing them to NOT want to do business with you. Instead, be up-front, honest, and helpful.
2. The Seven Magic Words
Before you try to get any information from someone, use these words: I wonder if you could help me. Scientifically, humans feel the need to respond if someone asks for help. It also makes someone good to help another. In conversation with a client, it might sound like this, “Hello John, I wonder if you could help me. I need more customers like you. Who do you know that I might be able to call?” Get into the habit of throwing it out in daily conversation so it becomes natural to you. Try this and you’ll be amazed by how such a little change can yield such large results.
3. Actively Listen
Active listening involves your whole body and all of your senses. You listen with the intent of learning. If you actively listen and respond naturally, without waiting to go into sales mode or overcoming objections, you’ll learn all you need to know–what challenges they’re having, the solutions they’ve tried, the pain it caused, the service they’re getting now, and whether they could benefit from doing business with you or not. Make sure to ask deep and probing questions to get them thinking about the state of their business.
Once you learn more, if you come to the conclusion your service won’t benefit them and you’re honest with them, the prospect will not only appreciate you for looking out for them, but they will also look for other reasons to do business with you.
4. Follow Up
More sales are lost due to salespeople not getting back to their prospects in a timely fashion than any lack of skill or training. They simply don’t have a good system for following up with all of their prospects and clients on a regular basis. Really successful salespeople in every industry are experts at automating their follow-up sales process.
Here are a few rules to keep in mind:
- Use your CRM to its fullest.
Use it to schedule follow up calls so you don’t have to remember to do it.
- Communicate with your prospects and clients for referrals every week.
Everyone needs to be “touched” somehow regularly.
- Create a “milk route” for contacting your top 25 clients and prospects every week.
Every salesperson has dream accounts they’re shooting for. You want people who work at those places to expect you to pester them every week. For example, if you staple your business card on a bag of cookies and drop them off every week, they’ll look forward to your visits, and when they develop a need, you’ll get the call.
- Take notes from every encounter and have a reason to call back.
Jot down notes under their account in your CRM after every conversation. … right away.
- Be a valuable asset to your customers’ businesses.
If every time you communicate with a prospect you leave them tips and ideas to help their business, they’ll look forward to your communication and will eventually choose to do business with you.
5. Planned Prospecting
You need to be constantly prospecting for new business, setting time aside for it every day. Even if you have steady customers, you never know when one of them will go out of business, when you’ll get a new competitor, or when you might mess up. This is why prospecting is the lifeblood of your business. So, pick a certain number of new people to contact every day, and then stick to it. Not only will that help you continue to grow and keep a steady stream of business, but in the process of prospecting, you’ll get better at it. Your prospects will teach you what works and what doesn’t work.