For sales professionals, nothing beats the rush that comes with closing a sale.
Every handshake, every signed contract, every sales receipt is a milestone worthy of celebration. Perhaps even a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
The reason is simple: Salespeople know all too well the hard work that comes with closing a contract. They’re familiar with the arduous tasks that come with the sales process.
Selling is even more difficult nowadays, thanks (or no thanks) to an even more dynamic business environment.
So what’s a modern salesperson to do?
Listen to the experts of course!
As a sales professional, you have the opportunity to use the momentum of change to your advantage. But before you can do that, you have to stand on the shoulders of giants.
Speaking of giants, here are the most powerful selling tips straight from the mouths of prominent sales experts.
Before you ever sell anything to anyone, get comfortable listening to people and their issues, opening up and getting vulnerable.
People want to deal with others that are human, approachable, fallible and have gone through the same pain they’re facing and the process to solve it.
My greatest successes in sales have been through this approach.
There was basically no selling at all, just listening well and telling my story in the relevant language and with the psychology of my audience, then showing the benefits, not features, of what I offer.
When you look at add value first, especially through your story and process, that’s when you don’t have to sell, just help the person.
Sit up, lean in, and actively listen to the customer. Try to get underneath their first answers to discover what is really important to them. Then, help them however you can.
By leading with value and building trust, you can earn their business when they are ready to act.
Our philosophy is based on our FOCUS Business Model:
- Focus on strategic prospecting
- Operational process excellence
- Customer-focused staff
- Utilization of platforms to promote products/services
- Systematize profit-generating activities.
There is no such thing as too “high priced” for a qualified prospect, only lack of value.
It’s all about relationship. I don’t believe in selling. People don’t want to be sold things. People want to be heard. People want to be understood. People want to be loved, connected with and empathized with.
When we connect with people deeply and authentically we are able to see what they need without attacking them with what we want them to have.
When we provide value and create a relationship from that place, the sale takes care of itself.
Sales are the process of building a relationship of trust that can be repeated over many years and many commodities.
Provide a “sense of urgency”.
People want what they can’t have. Putting a count-down timer on your sales page will let the customer know they have a limited time to make a decision.
8. Dr. Aikyna D. Finch, Social Media Consultant & Speaker, Finch and Associates LLC
Build a demand for your Supply. Make sure that people want what you sell and how that you have it for sell!
9. Dr. Alan Jones, Director, Inspire MLP
The old ideas of “Always Be Closing” (ABC) and defining what “You” (as a provider can offer) are just that, old ideas!
Become a Resource.
Becoming a resource for your potential clients (suspects and prospects) is the first step in establishing a relationship.
10. Scott Messer, Mad Wizard of Sales, Sales Evolution
Courtesy counts. Always ask “Am I catching you at a bad time?” and carefully listen to the reply before launching into the conversation.
Remember to not tell your prospects what makes you “better.”
A more successful approach is to tell them what makes you “different” and explain how your points of differentiation are really benefits that will equal an improvement in their current situation.
Prospects will get cynical and defensive if you stress “better” because after all, what salesperson will say that their service or product is worse than the competition?
Seek to understand what your prospect really wants and approach them with the mindset of helping them solve a problem. You can do this, and quite effectively I might add, by asking a few really good questions.
The questions will differ depending on what you sell and where the prospect is in their decision making journey but any question designed to find out what the customer really wants is a good place to start.
When customers believe you are there to help them before helping yourself, they will trust you and they will buy from you.
13. Calum MacRae, Business Consultant/Mentor, Blue Momentum Coaching
It is never about you when you are selling so make sure 100% of your attention is on your client.
14. Bruce King, Zone Master & Director of UK & English Speaking Operations, iZONEN
‘The Gatekeeper” and “The Door Opener”
Do you have a problem getting past the gatekeeper? If you do, the solution to the challenge has as much to do with your attitude as your sales skills.
The challenge is in the use of that word, “gatekeeper”, because the moment you encounter them, you may think of them as the enemy, the person who is going to stop you from speaking with your prospect.
So when the Gatekeeper answers the telephone, your mind goes into a negative state and impacts on what you say and how you say it, even if you are trying to be pleasant.
What you are thinking consciously and subconsciously comes across, and the gatekeeper doesn’t like it. And then they probably get difficult.
Let’s be clear – Gatekeepers are not hired because they are horrible, nasty people whose sole function is to ruin the livelihoods of salespeople.
If they were horrible and nasty, they wouldn’t get hired in the first place. He or she is probably very well qualified, often with a university degree, they are personable, sociable, frequently have a background in sales, and often run their boss’s office for them along with handling their diaries.
They do however have various responsibilities, one of which is to prevent their boss from being disturbed by irrelevant and unnecessary telephone calls and, this is important, to put through calls that they think their boss would possibly benefit from taking.
So, from now on, instead of thinking of them as Gatekeepers, think of them as Door Openers. Be polite, respectful and professional. Don’t try to avoid answering questions and don’t tell lies, or even half-truths. And don’t be over friendly.
Treat them as The Door Opener; have something intelligent and interesting to say, that their boss is likely to want to know about, and more often than not, they will open the door for you!
15. Nigel Temple, Sales and Marketing Consultant & Trainer, The Marketing Compass
Get the customer talking by asking a series of open questions.
For example, “I wonder how you found us?” and “are there any specific things that you are looking for?” Customers can reveal a host of information, if you let them.
Once you understand what their requirements are, you can start to talk about specific benefits which are relevant to them.
Salespeople need to develop an intense focus on their customer.
We must seek not just to understand what our customers want and need, but also how to sell in a way that guides them through their buying journey and into a confident buying decision that they’ll feel good about.
In other words, we must serve buyers not just with what we sell, but also with how we sell.
Always take your buyer’s perspective when thinking of your sales approach.
Think of their needs, their context, their possible barriers with your product or service. This way your prospective clients will be more receptive to what you have to say.
Every great sales is a sales consultant. I sell advertising, however, I often talk with new clients for 20 minutes about their sales process during our first call.
By understanding what happens to the leads are generated from advertising on my website, I can make better suggestions on what type of advertising the client should buy.
Even if the conversation does not lead to a better recommendation, the potential client almost always appreciates the effort and the chance to talk about their company.
19. Jim Ackerman, Marketing Master & Licensed Certified Marketing Coach, PCMarketingCoach.com
Prospects care about WIIFM (What’s In It For ME), so focus on speaking in benefit language. Of course, sales trainers have been saying that for years, but few have explained how to do it.
Here’s a tip. Begin your statements with a verb, or the word “You”. Try “watch response to your advertising soar.” or “You’ll see an immediate increase in profits… and you may even get a promotion.”
Even features can be stated in benefit language, “you can choose between 3 easy payment plans.” 3 easy payment plans is a pure feature, but when you say “you can choose” you put it in benefit language.
The more you use benefit language, the more receptive to your message the prospect will be.
My number one tip for successful selling is don’t sell.
Pushy, outright selling is a high-pressured technique that automatically turns off many prospects. Forget outdated transactional selling and focus on building relationships that nurture a certain level of trust and add real value:
- Learn about the customer’s situation
- Give personalised recommendations
- Resolve objections, find a win-win solution
- Remain honest and authentic
- Continue to provide consistent value
Long-term success hinges on your ability to leverage relationship selling and effectively align customers with your offerings, making for repeat customers, a strong network, and a top reputation.
Know your audience. As a sales professional, you must prove to the prospective customer that you have done your homework, and you are presenting a solution that benefits them in copious ways.
While this sounds easy, many sales professionals fail at proving relevance over and over. Stop sending generic emails.
Use Ryan’s 3 Elements of Email Relevancy Subject Line Specificity:
- Your subject line presents a solution to a particular problem that the prospects is obviously facing. For example, “Reducing -insert name of prospects company – Office Supply Costs” If you do not know of a problem, take an educated guess.
- Keep the body relevant: First, personalize your email. Mention the recipient’s name and avoid the generic “Hello Friend.” Then, keep your body relevant, short, and sweet. Show the prospect you have done your homework, and briefly explain what solution you offer to their particular problem.
- Include Samples. People will not nip at something that they cannot see. To pique interest, include a link to a promo video or entice them with an introductory discount so that they have a reason to follow through.
My best tip is to listen.
Listen to the clients needs and desires – what is it they are trying to move away from? How can you help them get there. Then demonstrate the number one biggest result they will get by buying from you.
Usually, if you just have a normal conversation with them, they will tell you exactly what you need to know. Don’t try some canned elevator speech. Really ask them what it is they want and you will know what to say.
I think asking questions is massively important. You have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason.
The more they talk, the easier your job is.
You can use question softeners like “can I just ask..?” or “can you explain further…?” but basically you’re just playing dumb and digging deep. Keep asking questions until you get asked a question back – that’s when they’re ready to buy.”
3 ways to increase sales in 3 words.
Be more courageous. Communicate to percolate. Try new things.
Understanding tonality in your prospect’s voice, and the difference between a question and an objection can lead you to say the right things at the right time.
Once you understand the difference, it becomes easy to tell whether a person is looking for the back door or trying to get more information because they’re subconsciously interested.
Start with premium offers first. Increase your cash flow by selling high ticket offers first, and then expand into selling lower ticket items to increase your cashflow and increase your time.
The best known secret in sales is that on average most salespeople are average!
You can spend a lot of money on sales training, but a better investment is to develop a great sales pipeline and then even average salespeople will become great.
Be focused on incremental improvements every day, reflect after every meeting and every engagement and ask yourself how could you have done that better, what value did I add to the person or company.
A simple and powerful way to strengthen your connection with a prospect or customer is to mirror their language back to them.
When they describe challenges they have or goals their trying to achieve, use the same words that they do when referencing those areas later in the conversation.
It might not match the exact terms that you use, but it will resonate with them more powerfully because it matches what they are already thinking internally.
I’d rather see you make a connection at the expense of a sale than a sale at the expense of a connection.
I tend to look at sales more objectively and pragmatically in the years I have trained teams.
I think the best advice is for sales people to really understand who their prospect is, understand where you can impact the prospect’s business, and then align the sales approach to the way they buy, not how you sell or rely on company collateral.
It helps to understand the numbers that impact your efforts as well. Numbers can’t lie.
32. Liston Witherill, Sales Trainer & Coach, Liston.io
Serve, don’t sell.
The thing most people get wrong about selling is that they think there’s a winner and a loser. Not true. When done right, you’ll be helping your buyer and that takes the pressure off of everyone.
If you believe people wh0 buy from you are better off when they use your product or service, focus on helping them and your sales will follow.
33. Mark Davies, Sales & Marketing Consultant, MD Sales Pro
My biggest tip when it comes to selling is actively listening to the client, keeping quiet and being able to outlay the information they give you succinctly and in your own words to demonstrate understanding, and gain trust.
For each proactive call, a salesperson should prepare a written tactical plan.
They should not just “show up and throw up”, but prepare what they will say to start, what questions to ask and how to word them, what benefits and value they will be ready to present, and how they will ask for the order, commitment, or next action.
I call this “The SELL Process”: Start, Evaluate, Leverage, Lock. This is fundamental to consultative selling!
35. Mark Wyngaard, CEO & Head Coach, MW Coaching
How do you know how much activity you need to do to achieve targets when you do not understand your closing ratios?
Sales is like baking, use the wrong measurements and no rising takes place!
Once you understand your closing ratios you will know exactly how many calls are needed to get x appointments. x appointments will get you x quotes/proposals.
How many quotes/proposals do you need to submit on average to get a deal?
The one thing all successful sales techniques have in common is the need for execution; everything else is just talk!
Many people think selling is about talking. In reality, the most important selling skill is listening. If you ask the right questions and listen carefully, prospects will literally tell you how to sell them.
While that’s my best tip about selling skills, there is one thing that is more important than all selling techniques combined, and that’s offering the most uniquely valuable product or service in your market.
If you offer a product or service that is clearly better than your competitors in a unique and relevant way, selling skills become secondary.
Ultimately, product development is the most powerful sales tool. And there is nobody better positioned to inform product development than the sales people on the front lines who, if they’re listening closely to prospect’s pain points, know exactly how to beat the competition.
Succeeding in sales requires an incredible amount of grit, resilience, and smarts. If you want to be great at it, you have to be willing to put in the work.
More importantly, you have to pay attention to what other people in the sales industry have to say, even more so to those who have achieved tremendous success in the field.
Do you have other helpful sales tips you can share with our readers? Do any of you utilize a BPO company to help your sales efforts? Let us know your tips in the comments