The beginning of the year is a great time to start fresh. We can enjoy our successes, and put our failures behind us. Right?
Sometimes our best intentions are thwarted by the stuff that comes up in our pursuit of success. While we like to believe this year will be different, to achieve bigger sales goals, we often attempt new routines that are unsustainable. Three systems help us close more sales: Lead generation, appointment setting, and lead conversion. And yet, things like sales resistance, lack of a clear process, and procrastination sabotage our route to closing more sales. Here are some keys to help you kick start your sales in 2017.
What comes to mind when you think about salespeople? Loving, considerate, understanding? Or does the picture of a typical used car salesman come to mind? Fast talking, silver-tongued, manipulative, liar? If that is the case, you are not alone. We have been conditioned by the media and our culture to be suspicious of the sales profession. Our hesitance is subconscious. After all, we don't want to be talked into something we don't need!
Unfortunately, our resistance to sales affects our ability to sell. We act according to our beliefs. If we believe that sales people are untrustworthy, we might not tell someone how they can purchase our product. On the other hand, when we believe we are helping people, then we tell them how to solve their problems with our service.The trick is to change our beliefs to support the action we need to take to close more sales. Seems simple right? But, you may be wondering, how do I change what I believe? I have good news! We change our beliefs by changing our thinking and we change our thinking by changing how we talk to ourselves.
Napoleon Hill, in his book, "Think and Grow Rich", states "No thought can enter the subconscious mind without the aid of the principle of autosuggestion." In essence, to change your thinking you must tell yourself something different than what you believe. This is done through autosuggestion, or as it is popularly called today, affirmations. Affirmations like, "Selling equals service. I sell from honesty, integrity and compassion," help reshape our beliefs about selling and truly believe in the good we are doing. The key is to repeat the affirmations 10 times a day for 30 days. Say them with power and enthusiasm! If you commit to this one new habit, your confidence will soar, and you will be more comfortable selling.
When first starting in sales, I rushed into telling people about my services. I shared the features, gave them price, and never really found out what their true problem was! I hated sales because I wasn't very good at it. Upon learning a process for sales, I began to take more time with clients. I learned to take them through a process to reduce their own sales resistance, discover their true needs, and actually ask for the order without being ashamed! A critical key for my success was learning that each step of the process had its own purpose.
So here are steps to follow in your own process to lead your customer in a buying decision:
1. Lead generation: Keeping your pipeline full builds confidence. When you know you have lots of people to talk to, you are less likely to be desperate, and close more sales. What would it be like to have 5 or 10 systems in place, constantly feeding you leads to call? It's doable, a little at a time.
2. Appointment Setting. Getting in front of the customer is the goal here. Providing value in exchange for time is the key to effective appointment setting. With the internet, we can research what would be valuable to a prospect and offer that in exchange for a few minutes of their time.
3. Trust & Rapport: This is the cornerstone of the sales process. People buy from people they like and trust, so building rapport cannot be underestimated. We can be so eager to move along the conversation that we "skip" over this important step.
4. Identify Needs: There is only one way to find out what our prospect wants. Ask. Ask open ended questions. Use probing statements, (Tell me more). Have questions and statements ready to ask your prospect so they tell you what is on their mind. Only with this information can you . . .
5. Share the benefits: Benefits are what the customer enjoys by using your product or service. Many of us confuse benefits with features. Features are product oriented. Benefits are customer focused.
6. Ask for the order. My mentor, Eric Lofholm states, "The close is the natural conclusion to a well-delivered presentation." When you have established the customer's need and how you can satisfy that need, you MUST let them know how to solve their problem. Closing is about the customer, not the commission.
7. Answer objections. Objections are not stop signs. They are signals that that your customer needs more information to move forward with the sale. Agreeing with the objection opens the door for the customer to give you more information, so you can share the benefits again, and close the sale.
8. Follow up. Customers often need to be exposed to information 5 to 12 time before they will move forward with a sale. Wouldn't it be a shame to warm up a prospect for your competitor?
In selling, you only have to be a little bit better and different in each of the key result areas of selling for it to accumulate into an extraordinary difference in income. Brian Tracy
When you wake up in the morning, are you excited about meeting new people? Do you greet your customers with enthusiasm? During a live seminar, I will take people through an exercise. I begin by telling the attendees I will greet them at a level 6, and ask them to respond back at level 6. After we get warmed up, we take it up a notch and go to level 8. Finally, we get to level 10. It never fails. Everyone does it. But the truth of the matter is we often play at the level we are comfortable with. People go to level 10 because I ask them to, yet day to day, they approach their sales with mediocrity. Why? Because it's comfortable. We don't want to deal with failure.
The bottom line is this. You can say the right things to yourself. You can set up a process, but none of it works unless you do! And every new habit begins with one small step. This blogpost is part of a longer webinar where I go into greater depth in each of these topics. Would you like to learn more? Click this link to view the whole webinar. http://bit.ly/2KickStartSales