Whether you call it winning more business, building relationships or closing deals, at some point you’re working as a salesperson. A good salesperson is always looking for ways to boost sales and increase their chance of making a sale. While you can find elaborate tips and tricks, we’ve found that almost everyone benefits from going back to basics and working on their fundamentals.
Sales are of course incredibly important for any business to survive. Cash flow is the life of a company, and when you run, out all bets are off. This is why when you search online for “how to increase sales” there are over half a BILLION results. Talk about a lot of homework! Oddly specific physiology of tie colour, all the way to suggesting you lie to your customers there is a lot of bad advice out there.
One thing we’ve realized over the last few years is that the biggest bang for your buck, and the what you can always fall back on to improve sales are always pretty simple. So instead of looking at “7 Reason’s why your shirt is decreasing your sales”, check out 5 simple ways to increase sales.
Some salespeople have this annoying habit where they pitch all day long and only stop to take a breath. They’ve got 1 big mouth and 2 little ears, aka Crocodiles. We all know a few of these, and maybe we’ve gotten into the habit ourselves. When you spend all your time pitching a sale, not only is it annoying, you’re missing out on crucial information that your client is trying to tell you. Winning new business is more than just going through all your talking points, clever antidotes and a great close. You need to build rapport, learn about a client and understand their needs. You can’t do that when you’re the only one talking.
“Selling is actually listening, it’s not talking. You shouldn’t be talking more than a third of the time max.” – Patti Pokorchak, How To Convert More Leads without Being “Salesy”
Instead, you should be listing more. No matter how much you think you are listening to your customers today, you can stand to listen more. By listening to your customers, you can understand them, react to what they tell you, change tactics and tailor fit a solution to them. When it’s time to pitch, instead of going through your standard spiel, boost your sales by highlighting, what pain points you can solve, bring up your greatest strengths and do it in the terms they will understand.
Focus On Helping
Finding the right amount of pressure to put on a client is tough. Don’t push hard enough, and a client may lose interest and go to a competitor. If you work too hard for the sale, you can drive a customer into an uncomfortable position, causing them to walk away from the deal. Customers are susceptible to thinking all salespeople are going to act like a “used car salesperson.” They are always on the lookout for a scam, even when they are the ones contacting you.
What’s worse, each person’s tolerance for “sales techniques” is different making the sales process that much more difficult. Approaching a sale like you’re trying to convince someone of something as if in a battle of wits, is precisely the wrong way to start. Instead, your approach should be to show how much value you can add so you can start in a position where a customer is on your side.
When the customer is not defensive or trying to catch you in a con, your conversation will be more constructive. Your case for why you’re the right business will be more pervasive, and terms more favourable. Whenever you meet someone, think about how helpful you can be for them. Start with simple, human gestures. Greet people over the phone in a friendly natural language and a smile. Make sure customers know that there is a human behind your emails some robot. Ask them how they are doing, and how has their day been. As the customer goes through what they are looking for, show a genuine interest in hearing about the pain points of your clients, and when it’s time to offer your services, position precisely how you can solve it.
Keep Things Simple
We’ve all seen the look of despair on a customer’s face as they realized what they were looking for isn’t so simple. Customers are looking for the perfect solution, but they aren’t experts. If you showed them a list of all the different things you do, they’re likely going to feel anxious and more often than not, walk away. Their decision has been made more difficult, increasing the mental costs. By keeping things simple, you can increase sales by lowering the mental cost for a customer as well as provide a more focused approach to your sales process.
Exclude exceptions, narrow options and streamline your services so you can show how you can solve their pain points concisely. Pay close attention to what the customer is saying. Make sure you understand their needs, wants, budgets and the reason why they are coming to you. Have a clear picture of their actual problem, determine their goals and work towards what is achievable. From here, filter out the solutions that you know are not what they are looking for or won’t be the best solutions. Only after you’ve narrowed down the list to a small handful, 3-5 options if you can, should you make your pitch.
Celebrate Your Successes
Some customers are going to be skeptical that you can help. They may feel that their situation is unique, that no one has the expertise to solve their problems right, or that the results aren’t going to be worth the price tag. You know you have a skeptical lead or customer when they are interrupting or question you every step of the way. In these cases, you need to work to prove that you’re trustworthy.
When someone feels secure in your business, and have trust in your abilities, they will be more likely to buy, let you do your work and ultimately end up a happier customer. One of the most effective ways to build this trust is to show off what you’ve done in the past. You don’t need to brag or boast. Celebrate your successes and show why you’re confident you can help.
This may mean that you build up a portfolio and call out cases similar to your clients. Get customer testimonials, or even better case studies with specific detail about your impact. If you don’t have these today, call up past customers you have a good reputation with and ask for an interview. Good customers want to help your business, and if you do not leverage this to the fullest, you’re missing out on new sales opportunities.
Ask More Questions
If you don’t know who the client is and understand their needs, how can you be sure that you’re going to make the right sales pitch? Or even if you should be? Knowing what a customer is looking for can help increase your sales because it tells you when to go for a close, and improve what you say during it, and even tells you if you should walk away. This, of course, means a higher chance of converting a lead but walking away from bad deals also helps by giving you more time to focus on better opportunities.
With your experience, you probably already have a list of great questions in your head, but we’ve found that this can lead to inconsistent sales processes. Consistency is one of the best ways to improve sales and to help with that we’ve discovered Daylite Forms to be an excellent way to systematize your questions and analyze them later on. A questionnaire using a Daylite Form allows you to quickly, and naturally, which you can fill in while on the call, or in person easily. With this consistent, and compelling information you will have all the insights you need to close more deals.
How to increase sales should be something that you are consistently reviewing and working towards improving. If you want to win more business, try these 5 simple things that you can start today. Start tracking sales and gain new insights on how you can boost your sales with Daylite.