What you can do to become a better sales person:
1. Understand your product/service offering. Before you are ready to sell what you have to offer, you need to be an expert in it. What problems does it solve? How does it work? What are its features and benefits? What alternatives exist and why should someone choose your offer over the others?
2. Be well prepared. Before meeting a prospective customer, you need to do your homework. Try to find out as much as you can about their company, their position and why they might be interested in what you have to offer. This is so much easier nowadays with the internet.
3. Arrive On Time. Confirm address details well in advance. Make sure you are well rested. Leave for the appointment early. This avoids being frustrated by traffic delays or taking wrong directions. You arrive to the appointment relaxed and ON TIME.
4. Dress to impress. Personal presentation sounds easy and it is. Unfortunately many people don’t follow this basic guideline. Your presentation reflects how professional you are and is a sign of respect for your customer. The general guide is that you are dress a little better than your prospects. Please ensure your breath smells fresh and your personal hygiene is A1. This is a huge turn-off for prospects in face to face sales. Also don’t overdo the cologne/perfume.
5. Always maintain a long term perspective. Treat each customer interaction as if you are dealing with the customer forever. Satisfied customers are your best source of future sales. Not only could they buy from you again, they will recommend you to their network.
6. Ask good questions. We all hate people wasting our time – the same applies for our prospects. Show genuine interest in them – this helps build rapport. Use OPEN-ENDED questions such as When, Where, Why, Who, Which &What etc. which allows the prospect to provide expanded answers. It is amazing what you learn when asking questions like these. Remember to take clear notes.
7. Listen actively. It follows that after asking good questions you need to listen to the answers, but this is not every customer’s experience. Be listening for their “hot buttons” and try to uncover the real issue/s they need to solve. Active listening will help you ask better questions too.
8. Act with integrity. Everything you do and say needs to reinforce that you are a genuine and reliable person and that your word can be trusted. If your offering can’t meet their needs, don’t be scared to say so. They will work it out eventually.
9. Hold off on presenting your offering. A common mistake of sales people is that they jump into ‘presentation mode’ shortly after meeting the prospect. Until you have followed the previous steps, you haven’t earned the right to ‘present your offering’. Unless you have made careful diagnosis of your prospect’s situation, you cannot tell if your offer can help or how best to present it so the prospect can appreciate that it will benefit them.
10. Follow Up. ALWAYS do what you say you will. One issue I have is that people do not return phone calls or emails (I’m not talking about unsolicited ones here). In sales, returning calls is essential. Fix customer problems quickly. The transaction isn’t over when money changes hands – the sale is complete when the customer is completely satisfied with your offering.
11. Be committed to continuous learning. The catalyst for my early success in sales was the investment in training materials and workshops. Any investment in personal & professional development is the best you can make for a successful and rewarding career in sales.
12. Attend Sell More Than Ever Before. This course will change how you approach all your future interactions with customers. It will help you diagnose and solve your issues with your more difficult customers so that you can relate with them more easily, and make dealing with your customers you already enjoy, even better. For more information or to download a brochure, go to Sell More Than Ever Before.
Sales Performance Coach and Trainer