Top 10 Tips for Successful Sales
I recently attended a presentation by Jeffrey C. Flamm, CEO of Infinite Mind, and creator of the eyeQ learning system (https://eyeqadvantage.com/ — which I am now excited to try). Among a plethora of excellent advice, he gave 10 tips for successful sales, which I share here with his permission.
TIP #1 – HAVE SET GOALS WITH METRICS! INDIVIDUAL AND COMPANY GOALS.
- Measure and post results daily or weekly so all salespeople can see them. The best salespeople by nature are competitive and want to win.
- Set standards as a company and help low achievers find a job that better meets their personality. Don’t keep poor performers as it hurts the entire sales staff!
TIP #2 – HAVE A PREPARED 1 MINUTE ELEVATOR PITCH.
- Who you are.
- What you do.
- Benefits to your customers (not features).
- Ask for an appointment to share more (most people are stressed on Mondays trying to catch up. Also, mornings tend to be best. An hour or two after lunch is the dead zone when most people are less attentive.)
TIP #3 – PREPARE. KNOW YOUR PROSPECT BEFORE YOU MEET.
- Go to their website.
- Look at trends within their industry.
- What are their industry challenges?
- Try to learn about the person you will be meeting with.
- Know anyone in common who can give you a good referral? LinkedIn?
TIP #4 – BE CONFIDENT. LOOK THEM IN THE EYES.
- How is your handshake? Do you look at them when you shake their hand?
- The more you smile as you present, the more comfortable they will be.
- Validate them by acknowledging their position and expertise.
TIP #5 – ASK QUESTIONS. FIND THEIR PAIN.
- Be prepared with questions that are appropriate.
- Listen ⅔ of the time, talk only ⅓ of the time until you are ready to present a solution.
- The person asking the questions is in control of the meeting!
- What would help the person you are meeting with look better or be able to have less stress?
- What would help the company with future success using your service / product?
TIP #6 – HANDLE QUESTIONS AND OBJECTIONS SKILLFULLY
- Ask questions before detailing your services.
- Don’t let your prospect distract you by asking price or giving objections.
- Say to your prospect: “That is a good question. I will cover that in a few minutes and I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you see the ROI that our service / product will bring to you”.
- Don’t get caught up in answering one question after another or you will never get to really present your service / product effectively.
- Tell them you want to keep the meeting to the time agreed upon and will make sure there is enough time for their questions to be answered.
- Ask for their permission: “Would it be ok if I answered that question in a few minutes?”
TIP #7 – DON’T PRESENT A SOLUTION UNTIL YOU HAVE FOUND THEIR PAIN AND NEED.
- Talk about BENEFITS, not features. Features seldom sell. Reducing PAIN and FRUSTRATION in current processes does sell!
- Guide your prospect to your solution by preparing in advance and asking the right questions.
- STORIES OR VISUALS ARE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN WORDS!
TIP #8 – ASK: “WHO BESIDES YOURSELF WOULD BE INVOLVED IN MAKING THIS DECISION?”
- Ferret out who really makes the decision tactfully so you do not offend the person you are meeting with. Is this person a gatekeeper or part of the decision team?
- What is the decision making process? Who? Process? Time? Budget constraints? Etc.
TIP #9 – KEEP YOUR MEETING TO THE TIME YOU PROMISED. 30 MIN? 1 HOUR?
- Remind the prospect that you are keeping your promise of the time agreed.
- Ask them if it is ok to go longer or would it be better to schedule another time to go through more details.
- If the prospect is fully engaged and ready to buy, close then. It takes time to get them to that READY TO SIGN feeling again. Or worse yet, don’t think you have to finish your presentation if they are ready to sign. If you do, you may lose them.
TIP #10 – SCHEDULE NEXT VISIT.
- If you do not have another meeting scheduled, you have a lead but not an active prospect.
- It should not be shown in your pipeline if there is not another appointment or action.
Jeffrey gave an excellent suggestion of working with your salespeople to rate each tip on a scale of 1-10, and then seeing how many points out of 100 they score. Then go to work on helping them raise their score.
Casey Foote, a partner at Advanced CFO Solutions with over fifteen years of management experience as a controller and CFO and has also owned and managed construction and real-estate development businesses. He earned his MBA degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with an emphasis in finance and his Master of Accountancy and BS in Accountancy degrees from BYU’s Marriott School of Management. His passion and unique talent for modeling, analytics and forecasting, make him a valuable resource. Very few have his aptitude for assisting businesses streamline accounting systems and finding innovative solutions for the complexities of their business environment.