The drawn out recession has snapped many salespeople back into reality. Regardless of the industry, the days of fast and easy sales are over. So-called sales professionals who have forgotten or never learned basic proven selling techniques are now realizing that they better ramp up their efforts if they're going to hit their goals or even keep their jobs.
There has definitely been a shake out of ineffective salespeople in the last two years, and organizations are choosing to function with streamlined sales teams that are lean, mean, and focused on effective selling.
Instead of dwelling on what used to be or complaining about the current tough economic climate, successful salespeople are going back to the basics of selling. These techniques work and really should have been used even when times weren't so tough. Now, they're not only useful, they're absolutely essential. Here they are:
Why should someone choose your product or service over another? More than ever, you need to be able to communicate the value in what you're selling. No one is going to buy from you just because you're a nice guy. However, they will buy from you if you've effectively communicated why and how you can save them money or time or improve their current situation.
In this new economy, you just can't expect that clients or prospects will call you. It's your job as a salesperson to stay in close contact before, during, and after a sale. And, with so many communication tools now available, there simply is no excuse for not staying connected and being accessible if they do happen to call.
To be successful, you must be one step ahead of your competition, as well as your customers. There are many ways to accomplish this. Stay on the radar screens of those who are buying from you. Cross-sell, up-sell, and offer any help or assistance that you can provide. Keep current with industry happenings, and keep your eyes open for new opportunities and what your competitors are doing.
Give Something for Nothing
The art of selling requires give and take. Customers are quick to identify salespeople who are hot to make a commission and care little about offering anything in return. The best way to establish long-term relationships that will deliver repeat sales is to be generous and show appreciation. No, you don't have to break the bank and give pricey gifts, but do take the time to offer well-thought out tokens of your appreciation. Everything from invites to industry events to sending links to articles of interest are ways to show that you care.
Patience for slow service has worn thin in this economy. With increasing competition and everyone stepping up their marketing efforts, there simply isn't room for service or response times that are slower than a snail's pace. If you want to hang on to the business you already have, it's essential to find every way possible to be as fast as you possibly can.
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