Richard Cullen April 2021

A critical success factor for all businesses is how good they are at selling. Every business is selling something, a product and/or a service, but very few are actually trained in the profession of selling. Even more importantly if you cannot measure the performance of a salesperson then you will be blind to uncovering ways to improve that performance. 

Here are seven keys to selling to help you stay on track to even greater business success:

1. Ask more Questions

Questions are the answers in sales. Too many salespeople tell their customers the features and benefits of their product or service but never take the time to find out which of the benefits the customer actually has an urgent need for, and which specific problem needs to be solved first. So, ask them to tell you what they want.

2. Set daily targets

A common habit in sales – chase enough customers in the hope that one or more will buy. In reality this leads to salespeople only selling to the early adopters or price shoppers who would probably buy from anyone. However, by keeping track of how many customers buy on average from a given number of leads and then introducing strategies to convert a higher percentage will ensure your sales team learn how to improve their results. Set daily targets and assess your performance against these targets.

3. Use sales scripts

No one likes to hear someone read from a script, but customers do expect us to be consistent. So how do you ensure all your interactions with prospects are consistent and that you deal with objections in a professional way? By writing down what it is you say in any given situation and by training your team to use the same questions and language you can bring a lot more productivity to your sales process. 

4. Offer / Guarantee

Why should someone buy from you and not a competitor who can provide the same product or service at a lower price? What is it that you offer them or can guarantee them that will differentiate you from your competition? Your offer must generate excitement to get prospects to make a decision to buy now.

5. Ask for the Sale

One of the biggest common failings in sales is not asking the prospect to buy. A fear of rejection, that the sale will be lost, prevents many salespeople from actually asking the final question. Just do it and learn from those that say no so you can improve your conversion rate over time.

6. Learning

To be successful in sales there absolutely must be a habit of learning. Learn from other sales experts, learn from books, learn from your best customers and learn from past experience. Both your good and bad experiences can be a huge help in improving your sales success. You must record these experiences and build your knowledge over time. Write it down so you do not keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

7. Testimonials

We all need to be reminded of what we are doing right and why our best customers love dealing with us. Sometimes we focus too much on what is going wrong rather than what we are doing right. Focus on the good stuff and we will do more of it! Get your customers to write down or video their testimonials so you can use it in your marketing and attract even more great customers.

Q. When is the best time to make a sale? 

A. Just after you made your last one. Ever hear stories of football players who stop scoring goals and it seems they will never score again? Well generally they change something about themselves; their attitude or a superstition or a habit; and then suddenly they are back in scoring form again and they keep scoring. Make sure your sales teams keep on scoring by keeping the score.

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