In professional sales today it is easy to get confused or diverted in the complexity of the job. Things don’t need to be complex; the best salespeople solve problems for their clients in a simple and direct way. When you really understand that, you can see the ways to improve your career.
Consider these questions:
- What problems are out there today now to solve in your industry?
- Can you solve those problems better than your competitors? If so how?
- Do your customers or clients know that they have a problem to solve?
Three simple questions like this can lead to opportunity and business growth providing you really know the answers.
The sales opportunities open up for you when you can deliver a logical solution that helps your clients in some form or another. ‘Logic’ supports the sales process in business today. That could be in:
- Shorter turnaround times
- A better market share
- Cost savings in processes or raw materials
- Quality improvements in product or service
- Deliverable strategies that help with customer service
Here are some valuable marketing ideas and concepts to help your sales positioning:
- Specialise more than you generalise. When you specialise you create more value and lessen the impact of competitors from your market. When you really are the ‘best of the best’, clients need you more than you need them. That’s a great concept don’t you think?
- Have the best market information to use in your sales pitches and presentations. Use comparisons and stories from the market to attract and drive the interest of your clients. They like to know that others in your town or city have similar challenges; then they like to hear about successful outcomes.
- As a general rule don’t discount your prices unless absolutely necessary. The only thing that should drive a discount is a client with repeating orders or large orders. You can assess that when you strike a high value client.
- Take a strategic approach with your market so you connect with higher value clients or those that can be over time.
I go back to the point that a successful salesperson is generally a person that solves problems in a comprehensive and beneficial way for their clients. Revisit your personal business plan to see if that is your focus.
Have you ever come across a salesperson that really seems to have ‘their act’ totally together? You know the type; they are obviously successful in converting more prospects to clients, and the market share for that salesperson is strong and forever growing. They sell more and earn a very good income.
In any industry you can be a ‘good salesperson’ or you can be a ‘great salesperson’. Greatness doesn’t come easily; you have to work very hard for it and to keep it. The difference between the two salespeople is largely because attitude and action. Great sales people have a system of thinking and action that constantly focuses them on the right things that must be done. That then helps them build the momentum on the business that they require. They move ahead with a plan and focus of high quality.
Now it should be said that many of us want to be ‘great’ at what we do; the question is do we have the required mental stamina and the drive to work really hard on ourselves and improve our skills and knowledge. We all have choices.
Many things have been written about the mental concept behind ‘selling’ but not all of us ever do much about it in an consistent way. Discipline is the key. A well-known ‘business’ writer Og Mandino in the 1960’s and 1970’s put together some very well written simple stories around the process of discipline in sales.
If you are new to the ‘sales profession’ or if you are struggling with the processes that come with the job, may I suggest that you source out a copy of ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’ by Og Mandino. It tells as simple and yet powerful story; not only that, it continues beyond the story to give you some specific tools to shape your thinking and action.
If you are new to the sales profession, welcome to a great and exciting career! That being said it is time to take the action needed to build your sales business and income in a big way; it is a personal thing and you have the keys to the process. Start the ‘engine’ and build your massive sales success.
When you start work as a professional salesperson you will soon know that your income is driven from your success rate. Over time the success rate must be established and driven. There is no room for salespeople that cannot sell. It can also be said that salespeople that are constantly struggling are of little use to a business.
In the average business today, the sales team is at the front line of building market share and customer satisfaction. Without those two things working well, the business fails to survive and those employed in the business will lose their jobs.
So everything hinges on the salesperson and the team in getting their act together and bringing the business some solid results. There is a simple process to producing the new business and the market share that you need. Every part of the simple process has to be optimised and practiced. When you understand the elements of this you can soon see the things that are critical to building your business.
Selling anything is a simple process of communication. That is communication in stages. Here are those stages:
- Researching the right people to talk to. When you get the research correct, every other stage of the process is quite easy.
- Prospecting in a consistent way so that you can find more customers and clients that need your services. Prospecting has to occur every day.
- Qualifying those clients and customers so you know the value that they can bring you and just how you could service them.
- Creating meetings should be a daily event. From your prospecting model you should be generating one or two new meetings per week.
- Categorising the customers into groups such as Key Accounts, Ordinary Accounts, and Basic Accounts. Each level will receive differing levels of attention and service. Key accounts are of the highest value to you over the long term.
- Presenting your services is something quite special. Your presentational style and sales pitch should be of high quality and relevant to the customers that you approach.
- Handling objections is a special process. There will always be some objections and you have to be ready for the common ones.
- Closing the order should not be hard if you have done everything else correctly. Be prepared to close at the right time and in the right way.
- Servicing the customer through the order and to final supply is really important. You want the client to stay with you for the long haul.
- Referral business has to be asked for. It is always available if you have done a good job on the sale and the supply.
Every salesperson should consider just how effective they are in each of these stages. Practice is required to improve the overall result. Professional selling is today one of the most exciting professions to pursue.