While sales are the profit generator, improving sales is an age-old quest for every business. Since time immemorial the fundamentals of sales have remained unchanged:
Many business owners have great products, great intentions and great academic achievements but cannot sell. This could be to not having had formal sales training and/or being trained in-house by the owner or another salesperson. Many sales people lack the verbal skills required to gain attention and secure an appointment.
T Harv Eker, world famous trainer, said “You can never earn more than your self-worth”. Most salespeople do not have the self-worth to become over-achievers. Another world famous trainer, Bob Procter, said “We were programmed by the socio-economic environment we were born into and have an in-built ceiling to what we will earn”. Most salespeople stop when they get to a point where they are satisfied with their income. Most salespeople know exactly what they need to do to make more sales, but for some reason they don’t.
Many salespeople lack ‘edge’. They don’t have sass, enthusiasm or charisma. Having the edge comes from having a clear vision, a clear mission, a clear unique selling proposition (USP) and an inner knowing that your product or service blesses your clients. Sales people with edge are more persistent, qualify better, see more prospects, overcome objections better and more often, and close more sales.
Tom Hopkins, arguably the best sales trainer in the world, claimed many years ago that the key to sales success is, “See 10 people every day and tell them about your product. Belly to belly”. In other words, face-to-face. While we do not necessarily agree with the 10 per day, most sales people hide behind sending quotes, emailing, waiting on head office to send leads, and social media.
Take these actions to instantly improve your sales
Start a FRANCO list – names of Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbours, Colleagues and Others who could either use your product or service or who may know someone who would be interested in seeing you. Next, ask more. Ask for referrals, ask for introductions, ask on social media. Finally, call double the number of prospects you are currently calling.
When qualifying leads ensure that you are speaking to the decision maker who has a genuine need for your product or service. You should be clear on your unique selling proposition (USP) and ensure you are reaching out to your genuine target market and even better, your niche market.
You should construct a very edgy phone script specifically designed to get you an appointment. Ideally this should contain elements of the company vision, the USP and the benefit to the prospect. You should phone your prospective and not email them. Do not try to sell the product; sell the appointment.
Ensure that you overcome the common objections during the presentation and as part of the presentation. This way they won’t crop up during the close. You should add some humour to your presentation. Be yourself – people love authenticity. Role play your presentation with your upline (someone out of your comfort zone who will give you genuine feedback).
Make a commitment to handle just one more objection per sales pitch than you normally do. Get out of your comfort zone and don’t give up so quickly. Make a list of the most common objections you get and role play your perfect response with your upline.
Design your presentation to ensure the close, take your prospect on a journey and you decide the destination (the order).The close begins at the first contact and continues to the formal request. The entire sales process is part of the close. You should make a commitment to formally ask for the order every sales pitch.
Financial Director: What if we train then and they leave?
Business Director: What if we don’t and they stay?
While sales are the profit generator and increasing sales the quest, there is no doubt that skills development is an important part of the solution.