No matter what industry you operate in, no matter how wonderful your products and services may be and no matter how long you have been in business, getting your items in the hands of those who need them and are willing to pay the price is one major challenge that many businesses face. What worked last year might become ineffective today due to the dynamic nature of our environment. Not to be mindful of competition is to operate in the realm of naiveté. Here are a few tips that will help you keep the sales coming no matter what.
1. Understand that selling is an art that can be learnt by anybody. There is really nothing like a born salesperson, all sales strategies can be learnt. When they are properly applied, the results are obvious. But also know that becoming a great salesperson is not an overnight success neither is it a one-off achievement. It is a skill that needs to be polished and improved upon on a regular basis.
2. Your target market must be well defined and you must understand where to find them. You must also understand their psychology: how they buy, when they buy, where they buy from, who makes the buying decision, how they prefer to pay and how much they are willing to pay.
3. Selling is about communicating, connecting and influencing. Selling is about building relationships period! People buy from people they like and what this means is that you must build rapport with your prospects before pitching your ideas to them. You need to show that you care and it is in doing this that you are able to identify the real needs of your prospects. A salesperson is a consultant who probes, diagnosis and recommends the right fit for identified problems.
4. You must have your elevator pitch handy. You should be able to tell a total stranger what you are about in thirty seconds without boring, confusing or irritating them. Your sales pitch needs to be captivating, it should be able to arouse curiosity and ultimately it should be able to get you audience.
5. Don’t fail to ask for the sale. Pay attention to your prospect’s body language and let it guide you on when to ask for a sale. Never ask for a sale when the body language indicates that there are things that need to be clarified or when there’s an obvious resistance. Ask open questions to understand the reasons for objection and deal with the objection before asking for a sale. Your job is to influence the decision but the prospect reserves the right to make the decision.
NB: If you’d like to add to this list, please do so in the comments.