How To Improve Your Salesmanship
Here are some steps to help you increase sales and revenue:
1. Qualify Your Prospect – Maximizing your time is important, so the faster you can determine if you’ve got a potential customer the better. Determine who the “Decision Maker” is, do you have a good rapport with him/her, is their a problem you can solve or do they know there’s a problem? You may have the greatest hammer in the world, but if all this prospect uses is screws – you can’t sell your product.
2. Gain Trust – Price and product benefits are obvious buying factors, but less obvious ones are intuition, impressions, and rapport. Prospects are just as apt to buy for emotional reasons as practical ones, so you need to show them you are most like them, you’re sincere, you keep your word, and are honest. If you say you’ll see them on Tuesday, make sure you keep your word. Don’t make a promise you don’t intend on keeping.
3. Define Your Unique Position – Your product or service provides your customer with a specific benefit or group of benefits. Make sure it isn’t the same as your competition. Why does your company stand out? Let them know the difference.
4. LISTEN! – Most salespeople are guilty of “overselling”, and often miss the sentence from the prospect that says, “You’re right. We’ll take it.” Listen to your prospect as he answers open-ended questions, and even listen to his tone and inflections of speech. Uncover the problem, and then provide the solution and stop talking.
5. Stay Focused – Too many small business owners spend all their time putting out fires instead of making sales. Spend at least 60% of your time trying to produce revenue. The sales window of 9am-5pm is small, so plan your selling time accordingly. Schedule non-sales generating duties outside this time.
6. Polish Your Presentation – Don’t take your sales presentation for granted. Practice your pitch. You’ve spent a lot of money perfecting your product or service so take the time to develop a comfortable, confident, effective presentation.
7. Do Your Homework – Research your prospects so that you can ask better questions, show better under-standing of his business, and be more prepared and confident before your meet.
8. Learn From Success – Many entrepreneurs have success in one industry with one type of client, and then don’t focus on getting more of the same type. If you’ve been successful selling to doctors and publishers, call on other doctors and publishers and refer to the successes you’ve had. Prospects will trust you more if they know you have previous experience with others in their field. You also spend less time establishing your credibility with them.
These are just a few of more than 50 or more ways to increase your sales revenue, but they are valuable in helping you to accomplish one very important goal – TO SELL THE MOST PRODUCT OR SERVICE IN THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME. Remember, the only difference between an average baseball player and an All-Star is just one more hit in every 10 at bats. Step up to the plate and sell, sell, sell.
Guaranteed To Increase Sales!
As an entrepreneur marketing for myself, I’ve spent years studying the art of selling. The techniques that follow aren’t difficult to learn, but they require discipline and practice.
How Do I Improve My Salesmanship
Your most important skill as a business owner is your salesmanship. Having the best product or service means nothing if you can’t get anyone to buy it, so to ensure the success of your business you must develop the ability to generate revenue – “salesman-ship”.
Here is a brief outline of techniques I’ve developed for increasing sales:
1. USE THE PHONE –Absolutely the cheapest, most effective, and efficient way to find customers is by phone. Yes, “cold-calling”. Write out a script for this before you call, so you don’t sound vague. Introduce yourself, your company, the purpose of the call, and give a brief “benefit” of your product/service to the client. ”What will you do for his/her business?” Be brief, to the point, and have 10 possible objections you might get, answered in your script. This way you’re prepared for the customary “brush-off.” Always try to get a firm commitment to a meeting. This call is not to “sell” the client, it’s to get a face-to-face meeting to establish credibility – and then to sell him/her. Would you buy from a voice on the phone? No. You want to see the vendor and listen to his offer.
2. SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOP – You should always be looking for new customer, and I’ve found that giving seminars, teaching, guest speaking at trade shows and organizations, or writing an article for your trade magazine or business journal establishes you as an “expert” in your field. People like to buy from experts because it reduces their fear of making a bad decision. Everyone can overcome their fear of public speaking, so find the method that works best for you and do it. As a desperate step, join a Toastmaster’s group near you or take a night course at a nearby Adult School.
3. ASK QUESTIONS – Most salespeople think that the first meeting with the prospect is the only chance to make a sale. WRONG! Before you go into your “pitch” ask questions, take notes, what are your prospects goals, challenges, etc. Helping a prospect solve a business problem creates a “win-win” relationship and closes more sales than you think.
4. AVOID “PRODUCT DUMPING” – Telling your prospect all about your product/service before you know their needs is a mistake made by 95% of salespeople. This is an inefficient selling method and upon reflection, your client will lose faith in you. I’ve met with clients on several occasions and left them with some advice and good feelings, but no sale and that’s alright. Because in the future I’m apt to get “word of mouth” referrals from them, which will outweigh what I might have made if I’d simply “sold” them a service that wasn’t an answer to their problem. Remember – nothing adds more to your credibility than a referral from a satisfied prospect.
5. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS – Selling is a numbers game, and you need to learn your “selling ratios.” How many prospecting calls do you need to get a meeting, and how many meetings to get a sale. This allows you to manage your cash flow by forecasting your sales. It also tells you how many calls are needed to increase your sales revenue.
Guerilla Marketing vs. Big Bucks
Many entrepreneurs, who market via outreach events, be it trade shows or presenting seminars, and budgets to schmooze clients and impress friends are finding such methods are getting tight.
Now that the economy is back in the spotlight, with gasoline dropping, big companies announcing layoffs, and prices rising across the board, the time is here to tighten our belts and squeeze that marketing dollar until it squeals. Believe me the rhetoric that the economy is getting better is just that – political rhetoric, and isn’t coming from the business community in the trenches. We know better!
Even though lavish budgets are history, the creative entrepreneur can still use events as a marketing tool if he/she rolls up sleeves and goes into “guerilla marketing” mode. Creativity is the key! The time for promoting an event and waiting to see who registers within 6 to 8 weeks is past. The first’s thing to remember is that no amount of cajoling, marketing, or freebies will compel attendance at your event if it doesn’t offer real value to the attendee.
People expect to be exposed to valuable content, and aren’t attending just for the networking. With that as a given, let me give you some guerilla marketing tips.
1. Save the expensive advertising you usually do 6 to 8 weeks before the event and use “referrals”. Many of your pasts attendees are either employees of companies or in business themselves, and have contacts and friends they talk with regularly. This source is often overlooked, and you’ve got direct access to them. Send them an invitation as if they were customers, and ask them to pass it on to one or two people they know that might be interested. You could even make it more enticing by having a form at the door for attendees that asks who referred them, and providing some incentive for the person that referred the most attendees.
2. Don’t overlook clubs, associations or other local groups. Many not-for-profit groups have charters that state their members will be informed about opportunities that will enhance their membership, career and education. Put together a promotional kit announcing your event, an agenda, and offering a discount to the group’s members. You can also offer the association something for free – a full registration, print ad, magazine rack, exhibit space or a sponsoring logo on your Website – whatever is feasible in you line of business. Don’t miss the opportunity of offering your services as a speaker at some of the group or association meetings, and even bringing some event brochures with you after you have the leader’s approval.
3. Local business – the bookmark brigade. If your event relies heavily on local participation, then work through the businesses used every day. A most successful and fun outreach program is to implement a Bookmark Brigade on behalf of the businesses. These are special announcement bookmarks printed with the name of the event, dates, location, and Website on one side and the local business name on the other. Make them big and bright, and get a team loaded with bookmarks to visit every business shop, coffee shop, bookstore, grocery stores, newsstands, cleaners, music stores, and libraries all over the area. Some stores may even let you hang a poster. Give something to the manager or in-store sales personnel as you do this. Maybe a free T-shirt, or pass to the event. The printing bill is bound to run less than half or full-page ads in the relevant weekend newspapers.
4. Your event sponsors and exhibitors are your best allies, as well as a support network of resources for recruiting attendees. Twenty percent of them will support your event because they can the rest won’t due to limited resources or conflicting agendas. Use any of the tools already mentioned with your partners, or trade a contact database of theirs to be used for telemarketing for promoting the sponsor in the telephone blitz. Offer this database a discounted rate and attribute the discount to the sponsor for their client. Everyone wins!
5. Offer your sponsors tools like posters or tabletop signs they can post in their lobbies. Visitors can learn about the event while waiting for their appointments. This expands your word of mouth, and may even draw additional sponsors. Of course, you’ve already negotiated an event logo and listing presence on your sponsor’s website – haven’t you?
Some key points to remember in any outreach promotion are to build in a tracking method on each marketing piece, such as unique URLs and/or codes on registration. Be ready to offer incentives such as discounts or gifts to gain access to clubs or sponsors members, lists or audience. Lastly, have the appropriate marketing tool kit ready before you start. It should contain such things as Web banners, email templates, sample sales copy, and special offer announcements packaged for easy access.
In good times or bad, these tips will help any entrepreneur draw more interest in their activity or event. A good outreach program promotes special relationships with your sponsors, community and attendees better than any other marketing activity can before the event. Using guerrilla marketing tactics in lieu of bucks takes creativity, elbow grease, and luck. You have to learn how to work your sales process and that takes time.
Ok folks I hope you will take a few tips and advice away from this article and put them into practice.
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Enjoy the rest of your day and be successful.