Here are 10 ways to help you increase your sales and if you implement them all you will be more than pleasantly surprised at the results you achieve:
1. Minimise the amount of time you spend on low value deals
Sales people often have this bad habit of spending too much time on low value deals, especially so if business is a bit quiet. This only creates the illusion that business is going well when it’s actually moving slowly. The sales person should finish these deals as quickly as possible and continue prospecting for new business.
2. Be consistent with your prospecting tools
What I mean here is you don’t need to keep looking for new business tools because it just creates more confusion. Downloading the latest gadgets for your phone won’t increase sales. People are constantly searching for tools to make them more efficient when the solution is already in front of their eyes. Stick to one mail client, one word processor etc. This will reduce clutter and make you more efficient
3. Have a “Red Carpet Day”
Allocate a particular day to give all prospects and customers the “red carpet treatment.” This will help to get more referrals and it will help to activate the “law of reciprocity.” People often feel obliged to return an act of kindness. It should be like this every day but let’s start with one day at a time and wait for the magic to happen
4. Don’t settle for second best
Make sure you are only working with the best. This could be anything from your stationery supplier to your hairdresser. Set your standards high and people will notice you more. Settling for second best will often have a negative effect and could damage sales in the long run.
5. Become a Super Communicator
You’d be surprised at how bad some sales people are at communicating. This could range from sloppy emails with spelling mistakes to voice mails with grammar mistakes and slang. Everybody in the business of selling needs to learn how to use powerful but simple language. Ideas need to be articulated in a way that people clearly understand the message. This may seem obvious but believe me I’ve seen some shocking sales letters that would really put me off buying. If a sales person can’t be bothered to put together a decent sales letter, what will they be like when we start to do business with them?
6. Focus on what you are good at and delegate the rest
I can remember trying to fix websites by myself and spending a whole day working out the problem. Maybe I would get there in the end but it cost me an entire day. If I had delegated this to someone who was more proficient, they would probably have done it in half an hour or less. By delegating and paying someone else, we are actually saving money and reducing stress at the same time. A talented sales person should be spending as many minutes of the working day doing what they know well because sales will grow in proportion to the time spent prospecting.
7. Do things that others don’t do
It’s amazing how most people just copy techniques used by others without even questioning whether they are effective or not. We need to stop and reflect on the sales methods we are using. If they are not working, try something different. Never just do something blindly because someone else is doing it.
8. Don’t get caught in a price war
I used to work in the timeshare business and we used to offer people cheap holidays at luxury resorts to get customers interested in purchasing timeshare. There were certain prospects who just kept asking for more and more discounts. In the end if you gave them everything you pretty much lost their respect. Sometimes you just have to hold your ground and offer them value in return. It works like this: You offer someone a cheap trip to Spain to a luxury resort and include a free car hire. They ask for a discount because the flights aren’t included. You reply by telling them that they are getting an 80% discount on the standard price. This is what I call “balancing the equation” and it will often get you back on track. If the person keeps insisting on lowering the price it’s better not to deal with them and move on to the next person.
9. Manage your customer contact rate with Mathematical Accuracy
It seems to me that there are a lot sales people out there who only want to talk to customers when they’re about to buy something. Well that’s fine in the short-term but if we really want to build our customer base and increase sales numbers this approach is not very clever. We should allocate a certain time every month to touch base with our existing clients. It doesn’t have to be a two-hour conversation or an email as long as a novel, but it’s really just to remind them that we haven’t gone away. This implants the company in their brain and reduces the risk of them going elsewhere. It’s pretty much the same as a relationship we have with friends. If we start to neglect them and hang around with different people, the relationship is highly likely to go cold.
10. Ask for honest feedback
I don’t know the statistics on this one but I would imagine that quite a large percentage of dissatisfied customers don’t let us know their true feelings. They may make a purchase but let’s say something left them feeling unhappy with the way things were handled. Sales people will take the money and move on to the next customer but it’s often doesn’t end there. Some customers prefer not to complain about their dissatisfaction but there is a high probability that they will take their business elsewhere.