Want to know how to be more successful in sales? This column should help.
I had the pleasure recently of attending a seminar by Dave Behr. Dave, a 17-year veteran of Competitive Edge Seminars (one of Tom Hopkins’ firms), filled his 60-minute session with some of the best sales advice I’ve heard in a long time.
Scribbling madly, I managed to take some great notes from that presentation. Here are my 8 tips to help you become more successful in sales. Some may be familiar, others are new. All are valuable sales techniques.
1. Put the 80/20 Rule to work for you. Knowing that 20% of what we do makes 80% of the difference, concentrate on that 20% portion. “It comes down to activity,” Dave says. Several ways to become more successful: Make more sales calls, prospect more efficiently (for example, targeting higher quality prospects), or both.
Dave cautions against getting too aggressive with your new activities. Incorporate them over time. If you try to do too much in a short time span, you’ll become frustrated and stop.
2. Deal with price objection head on. Admit up front that your price is the highest or one of the highest. (Behr says he freely admits that the Hopkins programs are the most expensive.) Then quickly move into the benefits. Once you lay out the value your product or service delivers, the prospect is less likely to complain about price.
If you still get a price objection, Dave says you should agree with the person, then ask:
“Can you tell me about how much too much you feel it is?”
3. Have at least 3 responses for objections. Start with the most common objections you hear. Develop responses, and rehearse them until you have them down cold. How many closing techniques do you need? “However many it takes,” Dave says, adding, “Don’t let your competition put you on the sidelines.”
Always build value into your presentations. “We get paid in direct proportion to the value we offer the marketplace,” Dave says. And, keep in mind that people generally prefer to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. “Find a way to take away their pain, and they are less likely to stall.”
4. Set a goal for the next 6 months, and write it down. Writing your goals commits you to taking action. As you view your goals, ask yourself, “How am I going to accomplish that?” If you ask how, you might come up with an idea or a plan. That plan will cause you to take action.
5. Related to that, change your attitude. Change your thinking, and you change how you feel. Change how you feel, and you change your results. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that over the years. It is one of those fundamentals of success that stands the test of time.
6. Seek out new information regularly. Dave says he tries to learn something new every quarter. His goal is to learn the material better than the person who taught it. I really enjoy blogging, and am trying to master the strategy. I purchased a program from Ray Higdon, Pro Blog Academy, to get me on the right track. Could I someday become more knowledgeable about and proficient in blogging than Ray? Maybe not, but that’s a heck of a goal, right?
7. Use the 10-point program for prospecting. First, identify how strong of a salesperson, on a 10-point scale, you are. Think of 10 things that make a great salesperson (let’s say, for your industry). Assign a value to yourself based upon that scale.
Next, think of 10 qualities that make a great client. Assign a value to each prospect before meeting that person, and add up the two scores (what you give yourself and assign to the prospect). If the total is 10 or more, you should be successful.
Let’s say you feel you’re an 8-point salesperson. The person you’re meeting with is a 3. You should make the sale. If, instead, you’re a 5 and the prospect is rated a 4, you probably won’t make the sale. You’ll need to ramp up one or more skills, or target higher-quality people.
8. Ask for referrals. One of the easier ways to enjoy more success in sales, but one technique that is rarely used. I have been working on this, as it’s a natural when talking with people during networking events and other functions.
Your request can be as simple as, “Can you think of anyone who could benefit form or use my product/service?” Another one I heard was along the lines of, “I know you’re not interested in this. Can you think of anyone who might be?”
Whatever approach you use, make asking for referrals a part of your discussion with clients and prospects.
Do you use these sales techniques or different ones? What has worked for you in building your business? Please share your advice. And if you found this column valuable, please share it by clicking on the buttons below.
For related reading, see “Business networking events vital to your success” and “Ingraining the 7 habits of highly effective people.”
Is there anything you’d like to add to this list? Feel free to comment below. If you liked this post, could you do me a favor and share it with others? You may use any of the buttons below. To contact me, send an email.