"How to increase sales" is one of the most popular business related search terms being carried out by companies and sales reps right now. Whilst it doesn't represent a huge chunk of the searching internet, it gives insight into where some of your competitors minds are at.
As an employee or even if you're an independent, self-employed sales professional, it's to your benefit that you continuously seek out ways to increase your sales and closing ratios. Especially now, when technology is king and advancing at devastatingly fast speeds. It's now keep up or lose out.
The most fascinating thing about the methods that teach how to increase sales is the fact that many of them are merely adaptations of sales principles you already know all too well. However, the one thing that differentiates the top 1% of salespeople is possessing the ability to learn and adapt during times of change.
So here are five thought provoking tips from some of the most successful sales professionals who are killing it right now! These sales tips will give you the information you need in order to re-focus your energy in pursuits of your ultimate sales goals using the latest techniques and technology.
Top Sales Professionals Understand That B2B Is REALLY Human2Human
This is a concept that became widely popular thanks to Bryan Kramer @bryankramer and his book "There is no more B2B or B2C: It's Human to Human".
We don't care who you're selling to, whether it's Apple or a local franchise down your road - you don't ever really sell to a "business". You sell to a fellow human like yourself - remember that.
Build rapport, share a coffee, be humorous, talk about your weekend, family, cars or whatever it may be... But get to know that person like he or she is a great personal friend.
Or in other words - be a Human talking to a Human.
Bryan Kramer - one of the world’s foremost leaders in the art and science of sharing, and has been credited with instigating the #H2H human business movement in marketing and social - puts it like this:
Consumers are confused. Why can’t we make it simple for people to understand what we’re selling, so they can more easily share their experiences and the value they felt with others? More importantly, why is it that what we’re marketing most often does not align to actual consumer experiences? I don’t care what language you speak, who your brand is or what message you’re trying to send, we all need to speak more human. Too often we complicate what we’re trying to say
Top Sales Reps Diversify And Grow Their Sales Portfolio
A highly under utilised resource and great way to increase your sales while reducing the effort required is to expand and diversify your sales portfolio.
What do we mean by this?
Quite simply we're talking about having the ability to represent more than one company at a time and building a solid portfolio of products/services that compliment each other and can be up/cross sold simultaneously.
While this may be difficult or even impossible to achieve for employed sales reps who earn a wage under contract of employment, self-employed, independent sales representatives who have the freedom to build diverse portfolios operate in this way to ensure maximum up/cross-selling opportunities while minimising the amount of work needed.
They Truly BELIEVE In What They're Selling
Ask yourself this question: Do you truly believe in what you're selling or are you just there for the paycheck?
If you cannot convince your prospects that you personally believe in the product or service you're selling then you'll find it next to impossible to convince that person to buy from you. You must have a passion for the things you sell and go into the sale truly knowing that your prospect will be much worse off without buying from you. If you're only thinking of the money and not how you can improve that persons life or business then you've already lost the sale.
This is something I have experienced personally working as a fundraiser for different charities many moons ago. I couldn't bring myself to "love" one charity I was representing because I felt no connection to their cause personally.
Convincing people to stop and pay £5 a month for a cause I was marginally interested in was like trying to sell to a brick wall. The lack of passion emanating from me was deafening. It's only later in life that I truly learned how vitally important it is to believe in the products/services you sell.
Jim Amos, Former CEO of MailBoxes and award winning author and speaker put it like this:
Knowledge-based workers (sales pros/teams) own the knowledge we don't. They may obtain information from our systems, but they individually own the knowledge. People run the systems-the systems don't run the people. Knowledge-based workers must be passionate about their purpose, beliefs and mission; they must have and then apply their discretionary energy with all of that in mind.
My job is simply to keep the dream in front of them, to keep the Mail Boxes Etc. dream in the forefront of their minds at all times. But it doesn't stop there. The sales process is about constant communication. My job is to be popular and 'well known'-someone who constantly shares the dream with customers, with board members, with employees and with franchise owners.
Therefore believing in a product or service is about embodying the dream behind that product any time you face customers or prospects.
Do you know the dream behind the products you are selling? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Ask For Feedback During The Sales Cycle
We would tell you what we think about this but we think Xand Griffin (@XandGriffin) of Stratus Interactive tells it best when she says:
This will differentiate you from other sellers. Many B2B companies are actively managing their client feedback, but according to research, 7 in 10 buyers have never been asked for feedback on the sales experience. In fact, the same study shows that 81% of those people who hadn’t been asked said they would definitely or likely respond. This level of attention shows your potential buyer that they will be listened to and well taken care of as a client.*
As a salesperson you should always be looking for ways to add value to your proposition. If you are following the tips so far, then you are already taking advantage of the Human 2 Human element which has allowed you to develop a rapport with your prospect. Thus, it should be even easier to get feedback from them and, in turn, ensure that there is a level of trust that follows your process beyond completion.
They Prospect Via LinkedIn Instead Of Cold Emailing
Emails are popular, I mean, super popular! They are such a popular medium of prospecting and Marketing that people are even using automated tools to manage their inboxes.
So, how do you stand out? Caps blocking your title will make people assume you're a spammer. Adding a "high priority" flag on an email to someone who doesn't know you is just foolish and to top it all off starting a cold email with 'Re:' simply grinds our gears.
So you have to find other ways to gain their attention, Marc Prosser of FitSmallBusiness shared the reasons why engaging your audience on Linkedin is much more effective effective:
Business owners typically get dozens or even hundreds of emails a day. But, they’ll usually get 5-10 (or fewer) LinkedIn messages. That makes a LinkedIn message that much more noticeable than a typical email. There’s no guarantee your message will be read in an overflowing email inbox, but if you’re the only LinkedIn message someone receives in a day, they’re probably going to read it.
A Great Tool To Find Email Addresses Of LInkedin Prospects
As you may already know, Linkedin only allow you to connect with people you already know. In most cases you'll have to know the email address of the person you want to contact. Sending 'InMail' is one way of doing this however, you're limited to the number of messages you'll be able to send.
However, there's a great Chrome Extension tool called 'Email Hunter' which allows you to easily find a Linkedin member's email address in seconds. That then allows you to request that person as a contact and makes contacting them very easy.
NOTE: NEVER SPAM! You won't look good and may even have your account blocked.
Share your tips with us in the comments below
We would love for you to share any of your personal tips, stories or anecdotes that came to mind when you read this article in the comments below. Tweet us your tips to @CommissionCrowd or just use the official hashtag: #CCSalesTips.
Share them with us and be featured in future articles. Just pop a comment below or tweet us at @CommissionCrowd or use the official hashtag: #CCSalesTips
We look forward to creating a more immersive sales community with your help.
Credit given to Sabian M Muhammad for contributing to this post