In business, selling is much more than simply dollars going toward the bottom line. Sales create a bond between your business and your clients. More importantly, they create trust. There are certainly forces that exist in the economic world that are beyond your control and that can negatively impact your sales. However, there is a lot that you can control that can have positive effects on the quest to hit, or exceed, your quota.
There are characteristics that many over-achieving salespeople have in common and these characteristics are difference-makers. Salespeople that always meet or exceed their quotas often engage in thoughtful and creative behaviors that impress, and ultimately convince, their clients.
- Assume You Got the Sale
Though this is a hugely important psychological component to selling, it does not mean acting like you’ve already got the sale while you’re engaging with clients. Rather, it’s giving the clients credit for doing research on their own and coming to the meeting as prepared as you are. In short, they need your product and if you present yourself as a knowledgeable, honest representation of the business, they’re likely to buy from you.
- Be a Good Listener
The hard sell is a thing of the past. Clients usually don’t want to hear bombastic rhetoric from a sales rep who doesn’t isn’t really interested in listening. On the contrary, listening shows respect. That alone is a good reason to do it. It also facilitates a conversation, in which you can ask salient, and impressive, questions.
Listening reinforces the trust element. There could be sales meetings where clients show up with a chip on their shoulder or questions related to products, pricing or deliveries that they feel are important and need resolution.
- Be Overprepared
You could know all you think you need to about your product, the market and your competition. However, what if a client asks you a question about something that you weren’t expecting to discuss, like channel sales. You’d better know your business because clients are capable of recognizing the difference between studied, conscientious replies and somebody who’s scraping together some kind of reply. The point is that a good salesman never wants to be asked a question that they cannot answer fluidly. Learn everything you can about:
- Your product
- The state of the market
- Your clients’ needs
- Your clients’ buying history
- Your competition
- Your business
- Be Visual
Though you may be able to sometimes weave gold with your words, visuals have long been leaned-on aids for salespeople. You can employ whiteboards or more impressive technology to show how your products will solve your clients’ problems or meet their needs. Many people catch more information when they can both see and hear it as it is delivered. It also gives clients placeholders for questions or comments that they can easily circle back to without breaking your pitch.
- Know Your Clients Well
Take the time to understand your clients’ needs as well as their wants, their concerns, their hopes and anything else that becomes a salient part of your discussion. By understanding their challenges, for instance, you can use information to influence future potential sales.
It also helps to add a personal touch. Everybody’s aware of the bottom line, of course, but these days, clients have a lot of expectations for the brands with whom they engage. Show them that you’re more than a sales machine. Short conversations about personal (pleasant) things, like family, can go further than you might think when it comes to sealing loyalty and landing sales.
If you’re not selling to your potential, you’re missing opportunities that extend beyond lost capital. If you’re struggling to hit your numbers, it could be that you’re unintentionally eschewing some critical elements that many over-achieving salespeople engage in. Effectively, approaching sales in a holistic manner, in which so much more than stock and prices are discussed, can lead to more sales.