Sales Advice For Entrepreneurs
Activities to Keep Your Sales Numbers Growing
Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures
The challenges in sales tend to be progressive, especially if you are new to sales. The first challenge is simply how to make a sale. The second and usually tougher challenge is how to keep your sales numbers growing. This article will give some insight to some of the habits you must form to keep your numbers on the up and up.
The key to selling is having the opportunity to actually sell.
If you are in sales the one thing you must master in order to be successful is keeping a steady list of appointments booked into your calendar.
Keep your calendar booked
The first thing to understand about developing the ability to book your calendar on a week to week basis is that it is a skill. It doesn't take talent to book your calendar every week but it does take time and effort to hone the necessary skills.
Sales numbers will inevitably start to drop if you don't have appointment numbers that are consistently growing.
Just based on the law of averages, every sales person knows that you will get more people saying no to the purchase of your product than saying yes any given week. So in order to be efficient with your time you have to make sure your calendar always has a plethora of appointments.
Initially you will find that you are just sitting down with prospects that show a little interest in what you're selling but with time the quality of your prospect list will improve and so will your success ratio as well. Remember this important tip: if you have five appointments booked this week for example, it is because of the work you did last week, not this week.
To book your calendar in advance you must do the work in advance. This is the fastest way to gain momentum and boost your sales volume month to month.
Have a script and go over it daily
This is very vital when making phone calls to book appointments as well as when you eventually sit down with your prospect. In the world of Sales there are two main reasons why prospective clients will not buy: one if you, the other is them.
The goal is to absolutely eliminate any mistakes from your end so at least you know you did everything you could to make the sale. Have a script that is pretty generic and can be used to call anyone with reference to your product. Go over this over and over until it becomes second nature that you can eventually say it with your own personality and style.
Scripts keep you guided and help keep the phone conversation flowing. Most people are busy and if you call them and start stuttering or fluttering with nervousness they will grow impatient and hang-up the phone. Make sure to include in your script a plan of action if they say no to either the purchase of your product or even to sitting down for an appointment.
Prospects can only give a variety of answers and usually ask the same questions. Master how to respond to the questions on the fly so you do not get flustered and come across as not being confident in your product. You have to sell your confidence too, and if you have a script and memorize it you will appear very confident. The prospect wants to know you've done this before so if you haven't mastered your script get to it!
Personalize your calls
The script is important, very important, but make sure to remember that you are not acting here for a movie. The goal of the script is to give you a professional guided blueprint for how your phone calls, appointments, and meetings should flow. But the ultimate goal is to connect enough with your prospect so they eventually want to purchase your product. This will only happen if you find out what it is they are looking for and try and relate to where they are.
A lot of times prospects want you to have done your research so they don't have to. Study their industry before giving them a call so they know you put some time into trying to help them fill a need they have. They will greatly appreciate this. Also make sure to let them know if you have helped other people or companies in a similar situation they find themselves currently in. People like to know that you have a proven success record with a competitor or even a non-competitor of theirs.
The bottom line: relate, connect, pull and then close the sale. Prospects don't want to be sold a product from a sales person. They want to buy a product from a friend.
Ask for referrals
This is the single-most dropped ball by so many sales people. It is staggering how much more a sales person could bring in monthly sales in whatever industry if they just form the habit of turning the answer no into a yes by asking for referrals.
The challenge in asking referrals is this: people don't ask! The assumption is that most people would be offended if asked for a referral in the light that they are not going ahead with purchasing the product. In reality they really don't care. They can either say two things: yes, or no.
If they say yes that still leaves the door open for you to come back to this prospect at a later time and is a clear indicator that the prospect recognizes the value of your product.
If they say no, at least you still asked! If for every no response you got from a prospect you got three to five referrals, how big would your list be at the end of the week of people to call? And how much less work did you have to do just because you had the guts to ask them if they knew anyone who they would refer you to in confidence that you would service them just as well as you have the prospect. Ask, and you shall receive.
Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to Gaebler.com.
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