I’ve had a couple people ask me to post a blog specific to sales. Having had a successful sales career, here are my “5 Steps to Successful Selling” – these aren’t the only 5 steps, but these worked for me. Knowing how well they worked for me, I feel confident that they’ll work for you as well.
1. Maintain a positive attitude. This is the most crucial part of any salespersons career. It’s easy to get discouraged, so you must go out of your way to stay “up.” I’d recommend keeping some sort of positive or motivational CD or book close by. I alternated between Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, and John Maxwell – I kept one of their CDs in my car at all times and that’s what I listened to on the way in to work.
2. Be prepared. In order to close a sale, you’re going to have to be able to overcome objections. Remember, when someone says “No” – they’re really saying “you haven’t given me enough information for me to feel comfortable saying ‘yes.'” The easiest way to combat the most common objections is through product knowledge. Know what you’re selling. Second, know your customer. Know what their hot buttons are. Will your product make their lives easier? Will it make them more money? Why do they NEED your product over what they currently have? Know the answers to all of these questions before you get started.
3. Dress like a pro. I think this is one of the most important that often gets overlooked. I’m a firm believer in “dressing for success.” Dressing professionally will give you more confidence, and you’ll naturally command more respect. People respond differently to you depending on how you’re dressed. Sounds crazy, but it’s true.
4. “Show me the money!” Put simply – ask for the sale. You’d be shocked at the number of sales people that never ask for the sale. Most sales people believe that if they just keep proving product information, eventually the customer will ask to buy it and they won’t have to ask for the business. What actually ends up happening is you show all the cards in your hand, and when the customer presents an objection you don’t have anywhere to go. Ask for the sale, if they say “no” – keep going. Ask again, if they say “no” again, keep going.
5. Follow up. This is the most crucial part of the sales process. Not only is follow up crucial in dealing with the clients that you haven’t sold, but staying in contact with your clients is critical. First, follow up with potential clients. I was taught the phrase “follow up until they buy or die.” Hand written “Thank You” notes have an incredible impact, and so few people put in the time and effort. I will say this – in all of her success, Taylor Swift still sends a handwritten “Thank You” note to every radio station after a concert in their market. If Taylor Swift can find the time, I think you can too. Following up and staying in contact with the clients that bought from you is how you develop repeat and referral business. You will always make more money in repeat and referrals than you will developing new clients, every time. Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.
Those are my 5 Steps to Successful Selling. There’s actually one more that I do believe is very important…I’ll give this to you as a bonus. 🙂
Bonus: Celebrate your wins! You MUST do this because the sales process is forever starting over. If you don’t end the process with this, starting positive is that much more difficult. “Find your wins – even in the losses.” You have to be your own biggest cheerleader!
Good luck! As my mentor, Zig Ziglar, would say – “We’ll see you at the top!”