Many business professionals begin their career in sales positions, and with good reason: Sales is a key component for a profitable company. In fact, “The caliber of the salesperson, in a B2B environment, is the most important factor influencing prospects’ decisions to buy,” according to Yahoo Small Business. Whether you are just beginning your business career or seeking advancement, an arsenal of effective sales techniques can help you on the path to success.
Sales Tips for Success: Getting Started
The following are some general sales strategies ideal for those new to the field.
- Be yourself. Try to be as authentic and genuine as possible to let your personality guide your approach to sales interactions. Your interactions with clients should feel natural, and most decision-makers can sense a false sales persona. Convey to clients that you care about their needs and their business, rather than focusing on just the end result. Being too calculated can turn potential clients off.
- Do your research. The sales world can be tough, with steep competition and a fast pace. That’s why it is important for you to thoroughly research both your competitors and your target clients. While sales techniques and strategies can remain consistent across many industries, it’s vital to get to know your industry. Inc. recommends making sure “you make note of something that you are doing that your competition is not. This is oftentimes the biggest selling point, so you don’t want to ignore it.” The more research you do, the better able you are to create personalized pitches that increase your chance of success.
- Have a plan. Always identify the type of sales interaction you will have and plan accordingly. Will your pitch take place over the phone, in person, or through video chat? You should also plan your discussion topics so that you can structure the conversation as much as possible. Your plan should vary based on each client’s needs, business type, and other factors. Think of it as optimization: You want to create specialized plans that are designed with a specific target in mind.
- Set goals. You should also set goals on a regular basis, both individually and with your supervisor and team. As with any goal, revisiting your sales goals consistently and adjusting based on progress are key. This process can be as complex or straightforward as you want to make it — a good starting point is to identify an annual sales target, for example.
Other Effective Sales Techniques
These more advanced sales tips are all about closing the sale. Experienced sales professionals can use these sales techniques to boost their outcomes.
- Find the problem or need. Your goal should always be to help the client identify the problem your product or service can solve. Your client may not be aware that there is a problem, but it’s your job to point it out if that’s the case. Help clients understand the need and how your team can help them fulfill it.
- Summarize three main points. Too much information at once can overwhelm potential clients, and your time with them is often limited. That’s why summarizing the product value into around three points is helpful. This strategy helps you persuade the client in a straightforward way. Yesware suggests identifying three pain points, listing out three positive outcomes, or mentioning three top customers.
- Learn how to apply pressure. There is finesse to applying pressure in order to close a sale. Too much pressure can turn clients off, while not enough pressure might keep them from signing on the dotted line. Researching potential clients can help you gauge how to do this, based on their personality and level of interest.
- Have an action plan. End each client discussion by setting up the next meeting in concrete terms, rather than leaving the next step up in the air. Identify the next steps while the client is in the room (or on the phone). New Breed Marketing suggests asking everyone to open their calendars and schedule a next meeting on the spot when possible.
- Follow up. Stay in contact with a potential client between conversations, even if you’ve scheduled your next meeting. This allows you to keep lines of communication open and keeps the client focused on your product. In your follow-up conversations, mention specific points that were discussed in a previous meeting. This conveys to clients that you were listening and are aware of their needs.
- Prepare for objections and field them. Clients will always have objections or reasons not to move forward. Work with your team to brainstorm examples in advance and prepare your answers. “Preparing the sales presentation to address and overcome potential objections can speed up any deal,” Inc. explains. This helps to reduce resistance.
- Practice your pitch. Ensure that your pitch is well-prepared through consistent practice. Leading up to your client meeting, get your team together to field potential questions and tighten up your approach.
- Create a sense of urgency. Employing a “now or never” or “limited time offer” mindset is an effective way to incentivize your client to commit. Whether you place a deadline on the deal or offer them a discount, take steps to foster urgency and help clients understand that they are getting a great deal.
Become a Strong Business Leader
With a strong background in business, you can learn advanced sales techniques to help companies increase their revenue. Concordia University, St. Paul’s online business and marketing programs teach you core topics that will help you advance your career while becoming an expert in your chosen industry, whether it’s sales, finance, accounting, or marketing. With our programs’ convenient online format, you will have the flexibility to study when it best fits your schedule.