Top six ways to improve sales
Going above and beyond
You know a good salesperson when you see one, and “good” to me doesn’t just mean the salesperson closed the deal. It’s easy to recognize when a salesperson has gone above and beyond to make sure the sale was great and the customer satisfied.
A good sales experience for both the salesperson and the prospect is something that everyone can relate to and hope for. So what is it that makes for an amazing sales experience?
Because of word-of-mouth and social media, companies can’t afford to have less than stellar salespeople. Whether you’re in B2C or B2B sales, the following tips are tried and true and will help your company reap the rewards that come with exceptional salespeople.
- Ask questions upfront. From the very beginning of a potential customer relationship, it’s crucial to know exactly what’s expected, from both sides. This allows the salesperson to manage expectations and also gauge what your prospect will consider a successful meeting. I call this a verbal “upfront contract” that allows everyone to set the “ground rules” for the meeting in order to be on the same page, speaking the same language with agreed expectations for the meeting and the outcome of the meeting.
- Listen to your customer. When a customer speaks, you should be listening. Bad salespeople don’t listen. They are what I call “I-centered”, focusing on themselves and their agenda. No salesperson ever listened themselves out of a sale. This is when you’ll discover their reasons for buying, not yours, and identify whether you’ll really be able to make an impact and move the needle for their business.
- Communicate regularly. Once you’ve landed that deal, a good business practice is to always be ahead of your customer. They should never be wondering when they’ll be hearing from you. Make it your practice to establish regular communications. And if there’s a particular situation that needs tending, make sure you’re on top of the need and communicating accordingly. Remember, you’re there to make their job easier and solve their problems.
- Be sincere. This should go without saying. Your efforts and communications with your prospects and customers should be nothing short of sincere. Take a moment and put yourself in their shoes. If it’s important and pressing to them, then make sure they know you understand their concerns and needs and truly care about them.
- Request feedback. Prospects and customers like to be heard – and why shouldn’t they? Insist that they rate you and give their feedback so that you can better service their needs. This is mutually beneficial: You’ll grow as a professional, and they’ll likely continue to do business with you.
- Keep a long-term mindset. Don’t look at a prospect or existing customer as that quick sell to make a buck. That’s a short-term mindset to meet the salesperson's needs rather than the customer’s. It also violates the “be sincere” point above. Companies that thrive invest in long-term training of their salespeople that tackles behaviors, attitudes and techniques that are essential to successful selling. Sales has often been called the “frontline” of an organization. When executed properly, a happy customer will share their positive experience which will ultimately lead to referrals and positive word-of-mouth marketing.