Successful salespeople adopt certain behaviors, employ helpful tips and learn to tell the right stories at the right times to transform prospects into clients.
Behaviors that Matter
These three behaviors can help generate sales when used correctly in conversation with prospects:
- Labeling – Studies show that labeling another person in a specific way and then requesting behavior that supports that label can prompt action. For example, people who are told they are outstanding citizens and are more likely to vote than their peers have stronger long-term voting records. The same applies to sales. Label prospects as informed and insightful and it’s likely they’ll respond.
- Reactance – This is a natural human behavior that prompts rejection when a sense of urgency is forced upon people. Successful salespeople understand reactance and develop tactics to overcome and work around it. Rather than using pressure to close a sale, they make it clear the decision is in the prospect’s hands.
- Tag questions – This conversational behavior is excellent for sharing the central value proposition of a product or service without being overbearing. Rather than assert a specific benefit the client might receive, pose the central value propositions as questions. For example, instead of telling the prospect a product would save them money, show them the benefits and then ask them if they’d experience cost savings.
Tips to Drive Sales
Beginners in sales and those looking to develop their abilities may find these tips helpful for generating the closing numbers they’re after:
- Understand the mission – It’s important to have a keen understanding of the business niche, target clients, how to approach prospects and how much they’re likely to spend. If these points aren’t abundantly clear, request information from the top.
- Set specific goals – Breaking the mission into specific action goals (such as calls per day) and results goals (such as sales per month) can provide an easier way to track progress.
- Pay attention to customer needs – Approach prospects by assuming it’s likely they will buy only what they need. Frame products in a way that emphasizes reducing costs, adding value or solving problems for the prospect.
- Aim for favorable attention – Strong sales skills, effective marketing and referrals create favorable attention. Maintain this with outstanding customer service and follow-through.
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- Know your purpose – Before attempting to make a sale, make sure you understand who you are targeting and why, what to say and why, what to ask and why, and when to ask for the order.
- Be an active listener – Strong communication skills go beyond delivering the perfect pitch. Be sure to listen to the client, respond and take actions that demonstrate the client was listened to and understood. This helps demonstrate a genuine desire to earn business rather than simply close a sale.
- Be a smart leader – Salespeople depend on their support teams more than they realize. Develop a strong team by going the extra mile when it’s required and giving the team credit when things go right. When they don’t go right, shoulder the responsibility.
- Start at the beginning – Constantly hone basic sales skills such as prospecting, fact finding and presentation. Even seasoned pros have room for improvement. Never forget that.
- Develop the right attitude – Successful salespeople are confident, enthusiastic, persistent and resilient, among other things. Develop the right attitude and work on changing any beliefs about yourself that limit success.
- Use time wisely – Focus on goals and develop a schedule that supports activities that build toward those goals. Prioritize by urgency and importance. Test scheduling regularly to make certain working hours are focused on the main goals.
Tell a Great Story
Storytelling is an art form that helps salespeople make themselves and their products more memorable to customers, as well as helping to close sales. Stories can create memories in prospects’ minds while winning them over in the process. Spinning a great yarn in the sales arena calls for an understanding of the client, the language the client uses in their industry, and the industry itself. That knowledge is then used to frame a sale in a way that makes a product relevant to the prospect. A salesperson might share stories of the item in action and how it helped a company achieve a goal, save money or set itself apart from the competition.
Maybe some people are born great salespeople, but the best often develop their skills over time. Focus on the goals at hand, sharpen the skills necessary to attain them and learn how to tell a good story to make those sought-after closings happen.