7 Best Practices in Sales: How To Succeed In Sales And Beat Your Competitors
This content is aimed at pointing out the best practices in sales. Contrary to what many believe, which is, the idea that to become a competent salesperson, you have to possess a special superhuman inborn trait such as the ability to convincing people at a go, the ability to make friends easily wherever you go, and so on.
In practice, this is not true. To become a successful salesperson in any niche, you have to make the sacrifice of mastering the techniques and knowing the key factors that help to advance the buying and selling process, and therefore becoming an outstanding professional in closing deals
The below-listed features would help enhance your ability to becoming a better you in the sales world.
How To Become A Salesman With No Experience
Do you know that, in one way or the other we sell every day, no matter who you are?. From selling your product to the services you render or even selling yourself to a potential boss. Therefore, in my opinion, you’ve gotten some experience in sales somehow, you’re just yet to harness it, to exercise best practices in sales.
In a world filled with competitions and several competitive products and services, how do you hope to thrive, despite your low experience in sales?. Do not stress, I’ve got you covered.
Here, I will be making a list of six (6) compulsory areas you need to put in check and you are on your way to excellence as a great salesperson.
1. Continuous Learning
It’s intentional for this feature to be the first on the list. Perhaps you’ve heard that he who has the information has the key. Ignorance is never an excuse. Companies and organization make thorough research online before daring to choose the product or service that suits them. This is an added advantage to a wise and ready salesperson.
A salesman must have an undying and continuous love for learning. He/she must have full knowledge of their product services, organization, and the customers they serve. A salesperson must be capable of reading and predicting the market trend that would eventually affect the company’s growth either positively or otherwise.
One of the most effective ways to stay abreast of your market is to learn continuously.
2. Investigation And Research
As you are just starting in the industry, you need to investigate and run different searches on your leads and prospects, so you can prepare and make a first good impression.
During the course of the research, endeavor to identify what your competitors are doing currently. Yeah, this matters a lot. When you do this, you tend to know more about your competitors and how you can beat them. If you’re not aware of what is obtainable in the market, you can’t come up with a product or service that has an existing need, waiting to be satisfied.
A platform like Linked In will help to provide information on how companies operate and delegate their tasks
3. Be A Good Conversationalist
An outstanding salesperson understands that people buy from who they trust and like. How do you make your prospect trust you? It’s simple, follow feature two (2 above). Make proper use of every piece of information you’ve searched about your prospect.
Begin your discussion with their area of interest ( sport, habit, money, lifestyle e.t.c). This will show that you are genuinely interested in them, as Dale Carnegie wrote in his book ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People‘. Your prospect will be more open to hearing you out.
Lastly, while you discuss with your prospect, make sure to decipher your prospect’s needs by throwing in the right questions, without sounding interrogating.
This is of course a continuation of the previous step. Listening attentively to your prospect is the real deal. There is no point interrupting your clients while they are still pouring out their heartfelt needs. You don’t want to do that. You are bound to lose track of the prospect’s needs if you aren’t attentive and end up ruining your chance of a conversion.
Bear this in mind, there is a problem if you are talking more than your prospect. Stop and reflect on how you are guiding the conversation and evaluate what information comes to you from the lead and then, ask follow-up questions.
5. Enlighten Your Prospect/Customer
You don’t have to rush into proffering an instant solution to a customer’s problem. It is better to educate more and straighten every crooked path for the prospect. A good salesperson builds trust by helping the company to avoid problems and making them understand, in all aspects, how he/she can solve those problems that persist.
6. Render Value
Should I refer to this as the most important? The point is, don’t miss this in your career as a salesperson. The kind of value you render, makes the customer patronize again and again, or simply stop doing business with your company.
It is less of a stress to increase the revenue than to start fishing for new customers. Let your product speak integrity from the first day. The salesperson who delivers what the customer is looking for with the best cost is the one who succeeds in making sales and making more sales.
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The Seven Steps of Sales Approach
Are sales dragging? Are you not making enough sales or you aren’t making sales at all? Are your clients not coming back after a deal with them? You might be doing something not so right. You might have been using the same pattern of sales for every lead that comes your way. People are dynamic beings. What works for Mr. A might not for Mrs. B.
Take that as one of the clues to exercising best practices in sales. Maybe I should repeat it. What works for prospect A, might not work for prospect B. I’m sure you get that. Right? Good!
Closing a deal depends solely on your ability to strategize and make a well-planned list of the approach that will reduce the chance of your prospect’s resistance. Below, I make a careful list of approaches that would help you close the deal if properly adhere to.
Prospecting is the first stage, because, this is time to know more about your Lead.
-You need to identify their needs
-Separating a Lead (a general customer that hasn’t been confirmed, if he/she really needs the product and can afford to), from a prospect ( a qualified Lead).
-What is the extra value you are going to render to your prospect?
-Why would they want to buy from you and not your competitors?
These are all the questions that should be provided with an answer before approaching your prospect.
This is the point where you prepare for your first meeting with your prospect. Make sure you have every bit of information about your product to avoid giving the impression of incompetency.
It is crucial to come up with your sales presentation at this point and make sure it’s in alignment with your potential client’s needs. Be very careful and patient while on this stage, you don’t want to unnecessarily mess it up with haste.
At this stage, you must have gathered enough information from the first (prospecting) and second (preparation) stage to get through this excellently. The approach could be via the phone or face to face. You also have to create a good first impression. A radiant smile and an open body language will do.
Every human appreciates being complimented. Throw some sincere compliments at them. Avoid flattery, because it would come out as being creepy, eventually. It is important to ask the right questions that would lead to more conversation. To cap it all, be confident and desire to help your prospect.
Types of Approaches that Works
o Premium Approach: This is offering a prospect gift. It could be anything related to the product. For example, a network providing company could offer a one-month free subscription.
o Question Approach: This is asking questions that lead to critical thinking or a couple of questions that would steer the prospect’s pain-point even more. E.g: The rep might ask for the prospect’s experience with their previous network provider and so on.
o Product Approach: The product approach involves giving a free taste of the product to the customer for a stipulated period for them to feel and imagine how good it feels.
Giving an amazing presentation depends on your hard work and prior preparation. Emphasize and keep hammering on your prospect’s Pain-Point. Do well to represent your organization efficiently. Present them with their problems and solution.
It is magical, by doing all these, it’d make your earn your prospect’s trust. Therefore, would be willing to spend just to get a trusted solution instantly from you.
You had better know what you are talking about in-and-out. Don’t take chances, smart customers can smell incompetency from afar.
• Handling Questions/Objections
Here is where your prospect may bombard you with questions and make their uncertainty known. You have to allow them to speak out their mind. Do not interrupt. Provide an answer to their questions.
To get past this, be willing and ready to be patient with your prospect and handle their objections with professionalism. Once you get past this stage successfully the next is closing.
I’m sure you know that this is when the main objective has been achieved. It’s a deal. Every objection and doubts have been trashed out. The two parties have agreed.
There are a whole lot of closing techniques but the most important is to make it simple and make your client eager to pay instantly. After which you’ve finalized on the mode of delivery and all.
• Follow Up
Follow up is the last of the 7 sales approach. Do not burn bridges after closing a deal.
An experienced salesperson knows that a client is one of the best sources of referral. Once your product is tested and confirmed, they will joyfully recommend your company to friends and family.
You can do this by sending occasional follow-up emails and calls about related offers and products. Let them know you truly appreciate their patronage and make them feel special. Retaining current customers is easier than acquiring new ones.
Successful Sales Techniques
When it comes to successful sales techniques, there are way too many techniques to hold on to. In sales, you can rest assured that there is no one size fits all method.
A salesperson has to be sensitive enough to link a different technique to a different challenge. Sales technique is different from the sales process, in the sense that, sales techniques are features that can be applied independently alongside any sales process. While the sales process is set of the laid down process from A-Z to successfully closing a deal.
I will make sure I make the following techniques as apt as possible for easy interpretation.
• The top on my list is Cranking Up The Pain: Cranking up the pain makes your prospect seek an immediate solution. sYou have to create awareness of your client’s current pain. Everyone will do everything possible to avoid pain. Imagine if they aren’t feeling the pain enough, their logical mind will convince them to do otherwise.
• Next on my list is creating a bond: This is very important because nobody wants to be sold to. Being attentive and trying to help your prospect solve their pressing problem will make you seem like an easy-to-go-to individual to the client.
Even if you didn’t end up selling, you can be assured that you’ve won yourself a new customer.
• Contact Leads immediately: Once you notice a lead, never hesitate to contact them immediately. The more you delay, the more they are likely to lose interest. While doing this, be clear and straight to the point. Your prospect probably has many other things to do.
• Flaunt your unique value: Always have an answer to ‘WHY’ a prospect should close a deal with you and not with your competitors. Your unique value makes you stand out in the crowd.
• Don’t self-sabotage: In no situation should you speak negatively about your competitors. This would leave a stain on your reputation. It is unethical to do so.
Gossips and Ill-statement about your competition is a way of devaluing yourself and whatever you are selling. Instead, focus on handling your customer’s problem and rendering a mind-blowing conviction. Watch the mind-blowing in.
• Do not stop at objections: A common mistake among sales reps is giving up too soon. You will meet different people and personalities. The way you handle each depends on your level of expertise. Even after an excellent sales process, it’s possible for a prospect to refuse to close the deal. That shouldn’t be a setback for you.
Ask the likes of renowned salespeople all over the world like Brian Tracy, Dan Loke. T.C they never stopped at anything. They were never discouraged even after giving their best shots. Any person that isn’t willing to stand rejection isn’t fit enough to be a salesperson. Yeah!
• Believe in your product: I wonder who will believe in your product, if you, the sales rep doesn’t. It’s better to act more. I can’t overstretch this point. If you don’t believe in what you offer, you had better not get yourself involved.
It’s obvious we have a lot of techniques, you are lucky enough to have the most important ones; if properly adhere to, you would be on top of your game. You can also help yourself by researching more to boost your knowledge. After all, that is what salespeople do. They conntinue learning. Remember, learning is very important.
I wouldn’t stop here without adding another abbreviated fire technique.
It’s called the SPIN methodology. SPIN is best applied to B2B, which means company selling to a company as such might have little impact on small businesses.
This method has been working since the ’80s when Neil Rackham discovered these fielding techniques. Let’s delve right into it.
He discovered that, when you ask the right type of questions, at the right time, the result is inevitable. There you go.
S- The ‘S’ in the SPIN methodology stands for Situation. You need to figure out the client’s needs and what brought them to you in the first place. You are making a big mistake if you do not pay attention when it comes to this stage. Throw open-ended questions about their pain point and situation.
Questions like – What is the traffic on your website like? -What tools are you using?
They are different from the background research.
P- The ‘P’ stands for Problem. Ask questions that would lead to the client realizing the problem they have. As Neil Rackham explains, if your clients don’t feel as if they have a problem, then they don’t.
Ask:-Are the tools fetching in enough traffic? – Is the traffic meeting up to the expectation?
I – stands for Implication. Make the client see the implication of not applying your solution by asking a question like: what implication has less traffic caused to your product/service? The client is seeing the implication already and therefore demands a solution badly.
N- Stands for Need. Present your solution in a question-like manner, such as: what if your traffic could increase by 20% within a stipulated period? What if you could get affordable modern software that would expose your product to the world and especially to your targeted audience?.
I’m sure you can see how spin is capable of increasing your sales, if well utilized.
How To Be A Better Sales Rep
How to be a better sales rep depends solely on consistency. Rome was never built in a day. So do the shakers and lovers of the salsa world were never made in a day. It will take stars of trials and errors before it’d eventually pay off.
The extra mile isn’t congested yet because the majority stop at mediocrity. Do yourself the favor of being different. Explore farther than necessary and become the top 10%.
Now you know how to become a salesman with no experience: it’s to strive harder for more.
Below are the key points on how to become a better sales rep.
1. Be Passionate About Your Job
We do not have motivation for whatever we don’t like. It is as simple as that. To remain relevant in sales, you have to be crazily in love with negotiation, meeting, and talking with new people regularly.
2. Be Confident And Active
As opposed to being aggressive, a good sales rep is required to be confident with approaching clients. Ask questions confidently, not passive ones.
Ask questions like: “When do you think we can meet again”, should be avoided. Instead, be active. Fix a date and let them confirm their availability.
I can’t overstress this particular point. Read books and articles. Attend webinars related to sales and business. Follow top salesmen online for tips. Deeply root yourself in the process. Don’t get distracted, and the sky isn’t your limit.
4. Model Top Sales People Character
Imitate the people you want to be like in the coming years. Get to have a conversation with experienced salespeople. Know what they would say and do in different situations.
5. Set Goals
When you set goals and give yourself a deadline, you tend to become more committed and goal-driven; which will In turn build and make you smarter.
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Oh yes. I have taken you through a whole lot in these few minutes. From the seven steps of sales approach to successful sales techniques, and many other points that will help you to be on top of the game in sales.
If you’ve read to this point, you’re sure determined to be a better salesperson and employ best practices in sales. After all, nothing happens until you act on everything discussed.
I wish you a successful career in sales. See you at the top.
Thank you for this great contribution, I find it very interesting and well thought out and put together. I hope to read your work in the future.