Build a Solid Sales Foundation
Are you in sales? Who are you are looking to sell to, and do you have a niche market? Most people think selling is easy, but I’ll bet most of these people have never been in sales. In today’s world, so many salespeople think they can skip over particular “old school” sales methods. In a world of eCommerce, zoom meetings, and virtual sales, it’s crucial to engage your customer more than ever before.This week I’m going to talk about making a sale- in today’s world.The internet isn’t scarce of tips, articles, videos, and professional development for sales. So why are so many salespeople not getting the results they want?It comes down to the sales foundation they have built for themselves. Read on to see how your sales foundation measures up.
Foundation #1: Listening Skills
As a salesperson, you’ve heard it all before: The fears, the objections, the needs of your customer- but if you want a solid sales foundation, it’s crucial to listen to your customer, no matter how much you think you can anticipate or predict. Customers don’t want robots; they want you to hear and see them. They want someone in their corner. They will give you vital information to help them, but you have to listen first. When you listen, you don’t only make a sale; you improve your business and your customer’s business. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Use them accordingly!
Foundation #2: Have a process
There is no reason to recreate the wheel. Do you have a sales process? Sales processes help you, the salesperson, stay organized, but it also helps you set expectations and understand your customer’s needs and expectations. It helps you have a duplicatable system to serve your customers with the best customer service, all while saving you both time and energy. Your customer will be happy because you answer all their questions and connect with them often- but not too much!
Foundation #3: Be Ready to Follow Up
Make sure you get your customer’s questions answered promptly. No one wants to wait when they have a genuine interest in something. When you’re ready to answer questions and quickly respond repeatedly, too.
Foundation #4: Test and Walk in Your Customer’s Shoes
If you are ahead of the game with some of these foundations, it’s time to test the process. Experience the sales process from your customer’s perspective. Click on the website or read what your customers are reading. Create a faux-scenario and pretend you are new. How will the process make your customer feel? Do the decisions make sense? Find out if there are sticking points. Break down the cycle and see what speaks to you and what might not make sense. Are there common questions or themes with a lot of your customers? It might be time to make some tweaks.
Foundation #5: Customers for life
Sure, it’s great to make a sale. But if your goal is only to complete that one sale and go to the next, you aren’t last long in the sales world. You want your customer to have massive success. When they have success, you get repeat sales. So, focus on helping them the best way you can. Ask questions. Please get to know them. Find out if they are using other vendors. Find out how to form what I like to call a “partnership .”When you become more than just a salesperson to your customer, you will be happy and prosperous. It’s a win-win.
Foundation #6: Ask Questions
Foundation #1 talks about listening, and this foundation talks about asking. It would help if you learned a lot about your prospective client. Learn about them, understand their needs, why they are in business, what drives them, and even things like their location, and what they like and don’t like about their business. Anything you learn and can connect with will be valuable for you. Ask questions and listen. Know their budget and their expectations. Participate in the conversation, but if you are using “I” when you talk, it’s time to shift the conversation back to them.
Foundation # 7: Be a Problem Solver
Sales are all about solving problems. Whether you create products, sell wholesale, or sell various things to consumers, make sure you are solving a problem. Solving problems helps you connect to your customer. You are no longer just a vendor; you’re in a relationship with your client.When you are in a relationship, you gain trust, and you must earn your trust. Once established, you also become the first person your customer reaches out to when having an issue. You can conquer a lot with open communication and trust with your customers.
Foundation #8: Don’t Overwhelm Your Customer
You might offer a catalog of options and products. But if a customer has too many options in front of them, they just get overwhelmed and freeze up. One way to avoid overwhelming a customer is by using Foundation #6. Ask the right questions and learn about your customer. When you ask questions, you’ll know what they want and need and will be able to present to them the best options for them. When the customer has custom-tailored options, they will be able to decide faster. When your customer is not overwhelmed, you’ll spend less time on follow-up and nurturing the relationship. When your customer is not overwhelmed, they focus on their business.
Foundation # 9: Be a Team Player
Within my company, our sales team has a daily check-in call. We swap ideas, address issues as they arise, give company announcements, and ensure we are all on the same page. Even if you aren’t part of a sales team, there are many ways to do something similar. Join a Facebook group, get a coach, meet other salespeople at live events, etc.You can learn a lot from each other and help each other spend less time on the sales process.
Foundation #10: Focus on Base Hits
Most salespeople pay more attention to the significant opportunities and less attention to the ‘boring’ everyday sales. When you focus on a healthy sales funnel and stay consistent, you will have more home runs than if you got one golden grand slam. I’ve talked about this in previous blog posts. Focusing on base hits might not be super glamorous, but it will make you a robust and valuable salesperson.
Closing the sale
Give your customer a reason to commit to you and the product you’re selling. Use the tools your company gives you to help you. Maybe there’s a sale going on, and maybe there’s an exciting new product that perfectly fits your customer’s needs. Create a sense of urgency and give the customer reason to do business with you. They should like you and trust you, and feel ready! Be the expert they need you to be and show them why now is the best time to execute.
It is an online world, and there are competitive options out there. Use all the tools you can to prove why YOU are the best salesperson with the most to offer. Put your customer and their needs first. Build a long-term relationship with them and lay these sales foundations down. Now more than ever, people want to feel natural and not like a number or brick in the wall. There is no need to re-invent the sales wheel. Just be genuine and take an interest in your customer. Your unique selling point is that you are YOU. They can do business anywhere, but they won’t get YOU: Someone who cares, listens, helps solve their problem, custom tailors the order to them and makes it a priority to help them succeed. Engage your customer and find yourself in the top percent of salespeople. You can do it!
Originally published at https://aaronbouren.com on February 19, 2022.