2016 was the year of the ‘disruptive’ and it looks to continue in 2017. The profession of sales is moving at a brisk pace. Before you bat an eyelid, new competitors will emerge and create products similar to yours. If you don’t keep up, you’ll be engaging in a race to the bottom.
This holds true for most industries in the world today. What may have worked in the past will not work today. The best way to keep up with changing times is by engaging in selling.
Here are a few tips that can help you improve your sales performance, reduce selling costs and ensure business survival.
1. Clarify your business mission
First, understand your business niche thoroughly, your unique selling point (USP). What do you do, who is your primary and secondary demographic, how to approach prospects and how much will customers pay are some important questions you need to answer. Unless you answer these questions, you cannot be successful in sales.
2. Break your mission into specific goals
Write down all your key performance indicators (KPIs). These are activities which you control (calls pitches, decisions etc). Make sure to set goals for results so that you can measure and track your progress. Also, increase your activity and measure your results. Setting goals will help you focus attention and will energise your actions.
3. Keep customer needs in mind while selling
Assume that your prospective customers will buy only what they need. So, you must convince them that they need your products or services. Emphasise on any of your features that can solve customers’ problems and reduce their costs. You’ll need to be creative and engage in some marketing alongside sales. And keep in mind the one thing the customer will be asking – “What’s in it for me?”. It’s your job to answer this.
4. Create and maintain favourable attention
One key strategy to sales is creating and maintaining favourable attention. This can be achieved through effective marketing, strategic/penetrating questions, sales skills, referrals, follow-throughs and exceptional customer service.
5. Sell purposefully
Always sell on purpose. You need to be sure of yourself at every step of the sales process. Ask yourself who you are targeting, what you’ll tell and ask them and why you’re doing all this. If you’re unsure of anything, don’t hesitate to get help in the form of guidance or training.
6. Ask, listen and act
By and far, these three words will determine your sales success. Ask creative, relevant, direct and planned questions. Develop your listening skills, actually listen to the client, only then respond and take action. This will prove to a customer that you are the right choice.
7. Take responsibility but not credit
Understand as the team lead, you need to build a strong sales team who’ll go the extra mile for you. Give your team credit when things go right and take all the responsibility if anything goes wrong.
8. Work on basics
You may be very experienced in the industry. However, you could have got lazy on the basics. Work on your strengths, improve your weaknesses and revise the basics. Set goals, force yourself to complete tasks and do the ‘ugly’ things. Be creative and innovative in prospecting, presenting and fact finding.
9. Develop attitude
You must change everything that limits your success and conquer your fears. Your thoughts control your enthusiasm, commitment, persistence, confidence and resilience. Decide on what is unproductive for you and commit to changing your attitude. Your attitude and how you feel are the things only you can control.
10. Maximise time
Everyone has 24 hours in a day. Difference is, some people use their 24 hours betters than others. Time is of the essence, focus on goals and test your activities to understand your ideal schedule. Make sure to act daily – ask yourself if what you’re doing right now is going to help you achieve your goals.
About the author:
A founder of multiple startups Hader Ali is an innovation & business consultant.
Hader Ali Consultancy works with startups, SMEs, and large organisations. Specialising in business strategy, product/service development, sales & marketing.
To future-proof your business. Hader Ali Consultancy will work with your company to create an innovation portfolio by providing a framework for structured innovation. All while creating an ecosystem of ideas and a culture of innovation.