by Pat Hassett, President, SalesNow!
You may find some of these tips to be familiar. Maybe you practice some of them now. Or maybe they have slipped from your memory and your daily routine.
Others may even be new to you. Whatever your circumstance, they’re just as valid now as they ever were – and perhaps more relevant today than ever before. Put them to regular use and watch your sales, your profits and your customer loyalty increase to new heights.
1. Employ a consultative approach to selling. Learn about your customer’s business and find out how you can help them achieve their strategic goals. Propose solutions that will alleviate their “pain”, and allow them to realize reduced costs, higher productivity or increased revenues.
2. Offer what you know – not just what you sell. Customers expect more today than ever before. Share your expertise with them. The value you add to your relationship with your customers will come back to you in the form of increased sales and customer loyalty.
3. Find out “what’s in it” for your prospect. How would a successful outcome affect them personally? What do they hope to achieve by doing business with you? Sure, your proposal needs to make good business sense – to be a good business decision for your prospect. But dig deeper. Find out how they’ll personally benefit from doing business with you and make their “dreams come true.”
4. Work with your prospects to prioritize their stated goals. Whatever change to their situation your solution offers, it must align with your prospect’s priorities. Help them identify, rank and place a value on relieving their “pain points.”
5. Remember that you’re selling benefits, solutions and results – not features. Your customer doesn’t care how many bells and whistles your product boasts. They just want to know what it will do for them. Show them how your product or service will streamline operations, foster higher employee retention, increase sales, reduce costs or help them achieve their highest-level strategic priorities.
6. Become a trusted advisor. Demonstrate to your customers that you will serve their best interests by staying informed about their business and their industry, by offering only those products or services that will truly benefit them and by providing relevant, meaningful information to them before and after the sale.
7. Be disciplined. Move yourself to take action – plan your day in writing – use a database of your contacts. Make yourself do the things you know you should do.
8. Systematize your process. Script what you’ll say, when you’ll say it, and how you’ll say it. Practice until it flows naturally. Become the script.
9. Follow up. Implement and support your solution. Don’t become a “one hit wonder.” Stay in touch with your customer. Continue to add value to your relationship. Be in it for the long haul.
10. Adjust your mindset to be customer-focused rather than outcome-focused. This mindset will yield benefits to you during the entire sales process – from the early stages of prospecting to closing the sale – and beyond. It will ease performance pressure and allow you to become a strategic partner with your customers. Can you say “customer loyalty?”
11. Use success stories to illustrate the results your prospect can expect by doing business with you. Customers don’t want to be “guinea pigs.” They don’t usually want to be the “first kid on their block” to try something untested. They just want to know that your product or service will give them the results they want and need.
12. Quality beats quantity when it comes to prospecting. Working backwards, determine the number of prospects you need to talk with to reach your sales goals. Determine what characteristics are common among your best customers. Then contact the number of prospects required to meet your sales goals who also share those characteristics. By doing so you’ll be selling to a very targeted market.
13. Be ready to resolve customer complaints with a cool head. Actively listen. Find a mutually agreeable solution.
14. Selling is a high level of customer service. Customer service, when delivered properly, equals additional sales, higher profits and more loyal customers.
15. Welcome your customers to your business as if you were welcoming friends to your home. Customers are all we have. Treat each of them as if they were your only customer. Don’t be too quick to jump from customer to customer based on which one appears to hold the most promise at any given moment. You’re in it for the long haul. Be sure to bring your customers along for the ride as you travel the road to sales success.
Really knowing your customers, and treating each of them as if they were your only customer; focusing on their highest priority needs and helping them solve their problems; being a trusted advisor to them: these are the “stuff” of great customer service and of successful, professional selling. Practice these tips. Your efforts will result in increased sales, profits and customer loyalty.
© 2005 Patrick A. Hassett. All rights reserved.
SalesNow! helps businesses increase their sales, their profitability and their customer loyalty by teaching them customer focused sales techniques, high-level customer service and customer relationship management.
Pat Hassett, President and Founder of SalesNow!, draws on more than 30 years experience in sales, sales management and sales support in a number of industries. He specializes in helping non-traditional salespeople become competent and confident in their sales efforts.
• Visit www.salesnowonline.com/articles_list.mpl for more articles.
• Visit http://blog.PatHassett.com for more tips and advice to help you increase your sales, your profits and your customer loyalty.
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