There’s a very strong correlation between the ability to sell and a business’ success. You can have the perfect product or service, the most expensive and effective marketing campaign, but if you can’t sell you’re going to struggle. The president of UnderArmour International once told me, “It’s all comes down to sales.” Sales is the lifeblood of your company.
That being said, how are your sales skills?
- Do you know how to ask for a client’s business?
- Do you recognize buying questions?
- Can you close a deal?
They don’t teach “selling” in business school, you learn it from experience, or if you’re lucky you’ll have a teacher who’s on every bad move you make, like I did.
I talk to people all the time who will come right out and admit that they don’t like asking people for business. I immediately assume that they sell a crap product or that they’re not any good at the service they provide. Why would I assume that? Well, if you’re selling a quality product or service that is in the best interest of your client, then you should be confident enough to tell them that. People can sometimes be afraid to promote themselves or their company because they feel that they will come off as “pushy.” What’s wrong with pushing a little if your product is the right solution for somebody? Some could argue that you’re actually doing them a disservice by not pushing them into purchasing what you’re selling.
Here are some basic tips for effectively selling:
- Ask questions. How can you solve peoples problems if you don’t learn about your client and their company? Ask your clients about their business and then be quiet. If they ask you a question, answer them and the ask them another question. Pause after your questions and let them respond. There’s nothing wrong with silence in the conversation.
- Listen. If your customer is talking 60% of the time and you’re talking 40% you’ll make more sales, and never talk over them. I can’t tell you how many times my first sales manager told me to shut the F*** up! That was great advice.
- Be diligent with your responses and your follow-ups, these days things move fast and people want things immediately. Call your client when you say you’re going to. Keep track of your activities with a CRM (client relationship manager), which will help you track your calls, emails and meetings.
- Always ask for the business, “We’d love to have your business”. Unless you wouldn’t – in which case you’re in the wrong line of work. These words come out of my mouth 10-20 times a day without a second thought. I really do want their business and I fully intend to earn it regardless of what it takes. People like knowing you appreciate them enough to tell them.
- Don’t lie! You don’t have to divulge much to win somebody’s respect and business, you absolutely never lie.
Like in life, you can never go wrong with the golden rule.
If you’re going to have a successful operation be yourself, be confident and you’ll close more deals.