A lot of people do not realize the importance an art called “sales”.
Yes, it is important and yes, it is an ART.
The beauty of sales lies in its very basic concept “to deliver a product or service to people who need it”.
Before we had the concept of money, we had barter system. In barter system people would pay for thing they required by trading off things they had in access. In some way our ancestors were concluding two sales in a single transaction or you could possibly say that the barter system was a primitive B2B sales concept.
Today we will learn 15 best sales tips and techniques that can be incorporated in your sales strategy.
1. Do Not Miss-Sell
This is a very common mistake that inexperienced salespeople make.
While they are trying to convert a prospect, they have a tendency to convey a quality that the product or service does not possess.
This gimmick hardly works in the internet age. Brands face a lot of heat, online as well offline, from dissatisfied customers.
Before you sit down with the prospect, you need to know how your product/service will impact his or her everyday life.
Your research will make it easier to tackle difficult prospects and their questions, ultimately increasing conversion rates.
For example, if you are selling a security solution to a business, remote access to CCTV footage in and around their office could be a USP that makes all the difference for them.
Changeups can be really effective when used properly, especially during lengthy PowerPoint presentations.
Changing pitch, asking questions, an engaging activity or some humor(when appropriate) will keep prospects attentive and interested in your pitch.
My Biology teacher used Changeups very effectively. She would always speak with a reduced volume while talking about important things and surprisingly it always worked.
If you notice I slipped in a personal story above as a changeup :p.
Changeups can be subtle but are one of the most effective sales techniques you will ever encounter.
Go the extra mile, this proverb is nothing less than a magic spell taken out of a Harry Potter movie.
Providing the prospect with some value proposition over and above the terms of contract will earn you a customer that is faithful to your brand. A happy customer will not only come back later with additional business but also promote your brand.
Faithful customers have made Apple Inc, Microsoft Inc and Amazon.com some of most recognizable brands over the years.
Apple takes user privacy seriously. Microsoft windows continuously brings in additional features, bug fixes to enhance customer experience.
5. Understand Your Product
Gong analyzed 519,000 recorded discovery calls and the outcomes showed that asking questions about your customers’ pain points and goals are more likely lead to sale success.
A good salesman should know about their product than anyone else.
Sales people should have immense belief in their product and its usefulness. Whenever possible, use your product in daily life.
Possessing knowledge about the product will give you an edge over competition while aiding you in getting more conversions.
Prospective customers can ask difficult questions , but you will always be prepared to answer them satisfactorily.
Also it prevent that awkward moment when prospect know a tiny piece of information which you did not know beforehand.
6. Know Your Competitors Product
Imagine the number of persons trying to convince the same decision makers to buy what they are selling.
It is completely possible that the person you are meeting had just met your competitor. Moreover the possibility of him meeting another person as soon as you leave is quite high.
How would deal with such a situation?
Firstly, try to read as much as you can about your competitors.
Now make a list of positive and negative differentiators.
Positive differentiators are the advantages you have over them whereas negative differentiators will be feature your product lacks.
Armed with this knowledge you can push.
7. Don’t Rush the Pitch
Sales teams are always under tremendous pressure to complete their targets.
We all want to squeeze a greater number of buyers in the shortest possible time, this results in a rushed up sales pitch.
This leads to prospect trying to make random excuses or assuming that they are being sold a product they do not want to use.
Prospects are put off by this aggressive behavior and will have a negative association with the product and your brand.
We have all heard the proverb: Slow and steady wins the race. This is one of the B2B sales tips that a lot of people need to learn.
8. Making a Difference
Your product should have make a significant difference for your prospects organisation.
People will not even notice what your product / service has to offer, unless they are made aware of tangible benefits.
In fact, a research by Hub Spot also states that buyers want to know about how product works in their first sales meeting.
Jill Konrath proves this with an example stating that if she approaches a VP of Sales mentioning that she sells sales training, she would immediately get thumbs down. But if she changed her focus to the tangible benefits that they’d procure from her sales training, opportunities just lined up for her since they were interested in “shortening their sales cycle, reducing the ramp-up time for new hire sales reps and driving revenue growth.
9. Practice Empathy
Before you meet a prospect, put yourself in their shoes.
Try to emulate their thinking process. When you put yourself in their shoes and think like them, you would be in a position to argue with yourself. This will drastically improve your arguments and make your pitch even more convincing. Empathising with prospects will ensure that you have a dynamic approach to sales as opposed to having a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
10. Use Social Proof
By using this tip, you make your customers as product promoters.
Conversion of a prospect into a customer is a significant event, it not only means that you had a product that works for the customer but also symbolizes the success of your sales strategy.
Utilizing social proof as your strategy ensures that your efforts are multiplied by the number of customers. This will lead to more sales which will start a positive cycle growth for your company.
11. Use a Story
David Ogilvy said “the worst fault a salesman can commit is to be a bore.’
We all find stories to be interesting. In India there is a collection of stories called “panchtantra ki kahaniya” these were stories based on anthropomorphic animals that try to impart moral values to the reader and also make them aware of human virtues and vices.
An interesting story will have a good recall value for the prospect, they will remember you and your product for a long time after the meeting. If nothing more, this story will earn you another meeting with them or even their superior. And at this meeting you might finally close the deal.
12. Start Sales With a Bang
A particular study wanted to figure out a technique that increases the room service tips for waiters in hotels.
They figured out that all the waiter had to do was to start with a positive comment. When guests were attended to, all the waiters had to do was say “good morning” followed by a positive forecast for the day which resulted in a 27% increase in their tips.
They same concept can be implemented in sales calls. Try to avoid starting your sales calls by talking about bad weather, traffic or your busy day.
Always begin with a positive comment or even a compliment. Think great weather, fun, favorite sports team winning, rainbows and marshmallows! Think positive, be positive.
Kick off your sales calls on the right foot and maintain that positivity.
13. Zero In on an Outreach
Choosing the right medium to contact your clients plays on closing deals.
Try to find a mutual contact who could introduce you to your prospect. This mutual contact could be a friend, a former colleague, or a distant LinkedIn contact . After getting acquainted you can set up a meeting and begin your pitch.
14. Follow Up with Offer
People who have bought from you once are more likely to do business with you again. In addition, people are more receptive to offers immediately after purchase.
Offering another product or service relating to the immediate purchase turns out to be the correct way to up-sell or cross-sell your products or services and then it is the best to refer a friend program.
An acceptance of such offer by the customer produces an easy sale for you.
A great example of this follow-up technique would be the McDonalds’ hitting you with the “do you want fries with that?” during purchase.
This is a simple yet effective technique for upping revenue. You can apply this tip to your business by thinking of ways to relate your products and services to each other.
A study by Harvard Business Review shows that 5% increase in customer retention rates can lead up to 25% to 95% profit.
15. Stress on Key Benefits
The 80/20 rule holds true from the customer’s standpoint as well.
It is said that 80% of the buying decision is made based on 20% of the product information. This means that the key benefits are your key selling points.
Every brand, generally, has a key feature(s) that appeals the most to the prospect. This requires you to do some homework about the prospect and also stay attentive.
If the prospect seems to be interested in a particular benefit during your pitch, make sure to keep touching on that point. Remember that you are selling to the prospect so sell to the prospect!
This sales tip has proved to be a top closing technique in maximizing the odds of making a sale.
16. Offer fewer choices
Many businesses disregard this concept and look at this to be impractical. Yes, having more things on offer is a great way to increase sales but not necessarily as in many cases, offering variety has lead to indecision on the customer’s part which has led to lost sales.
If you do have a heavy offering, structuring it in a way that offers fewer choices is suggested. This reduces the loss in sales and helps the customer decide better. This structuring can be done by having your products come under narrow categories or providing greater emphasis on fewer products.
They take away from this sales tip is that the more choices you offer, the more likely a customer is to bounce and go elsewhere.
17. Focus on Targeted sales
Sales Prospecting has become an essential part of the sales cycle. This does take up a lot of resources and often times many businesses end up burning up their resources in this process. Salespeople often cast a wide net while prospecting with the intention of catching anything that comes their way.
Marc Wayshak recently published their sales study which stated that at least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell.
Instead of cold calling a hundred companies trying to get the right business, running a targeted lead generation campaign will help save time and effort. You need to understand your ideal customer which can be done by studying your existing customers.
A simplified way to tackle this would be using advanced lead generation tools that help you generate qualified leads that best suit your target audience. You can also opt for lead generation services that can offer you a list of qualified prospects generated within 48hours as per your requirements.
To frame an effective sales strategy, you need to understand your business and audience first. And through great storytelling and social proof, you can make your customer remember your product/services.
So, which of the above tips and techniques you like the most or have helped you achieve a customer. Let me know your views in the comment section below.