Technological advancements, busy lifestyles, short attention spans and an infinite number of online options are just some of the factors that have helped turn the art of sales into more of a science. Business leaders, entrepreneurs and marketers are constantly analyzing their customers and experimenting to come up with unique ways of persuading consumers to try the solutions they’re offering.
Whether you need to generate more leads, turn your customers on to a new offering or pivot your approach to marketing, there are many reasons you may want to tweak your sales strategy and lots of smart ways to do it.
Below, members of Forbes Coaches Council offer their best sales tips and tricks to help you improve your sales process and drive more conversions.
1. Understand The Underlying Needs And Drives
Quit selling and start learning. Great salespeople work to understand the underlying needs and drives of the decision makers, then craft individualized solutions to meet those needs. – Brad Cousins, Ingage Human Capital Strategies
2. Stay In Touch And Nurture Relationships
How many sales do you think you are losing because you don’t follow up? Research shows that 80% of all sales require follow-up. Improve your sales by implementing key strategies to stay in touch and nurture relationships with your prospects, clients and referral partners. If you institute a more systematic approach to follow-up, your profitability will improve considerably. – Michela Quilici, MQ Consulting and Business Training, Inc.
3. Give Equal Attention To Each Side Of The Process
Ask your sales team to always be thinking about the customer’s buying process as much as their own selling process. The empathy that comes with this will lead to more questions, more genuine interest in the other party, better relationships and, in turn, more sales. – Andres Lares, Shapiro Negotiations Institute
4. Improve How You Show Up On Sales Calls
One good tip is to improve how you are showing up on sales calls. Spend time working through potential objections that may arise and tackle them ahead of time. Role-play a few times with a mastermind partner, a friend or your coach. Spend quality time preparing for sales conversations on a weekly basis, and you’ll start selling your services with a higher level of confidence and enthusiasm. – Queen Chioma Nworgu, Queen Chioma Media
5. Sell The Benefits Of The Benefits
Did you home in on the right audience? Is the message tailored to specifically this niche? Never sell your product or service; rather, sell the transformation they are creating in your customer’s life and the value they are adding. Always sell the benefits of the benefits. Do you have a strong call to action? Is it easy to communicate with you? – Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh, Sahar Consulting, LLC
6. Create A Flow Diagram For Sales
Write out your sales process as a flow diagram. Include every part of the interaction, then add a script or template for each section. Unless you can breathe consistency into your sales, there is no way you can measure and improve on it. – Nick Leighton, Exactly Where You Want to Be
7. Listen To Connect And Don’t Talk Too Much
Talking too much can get in the way of a great sales interaction. It is best to ask about the customer, their needs, their concerns and the things they need to resolve them. Listen to connect with the person versus working on the next thing to say. By listening to connect, you will help the customer feel that they are your priority and that the solution you propose is in their best interest. – Tracy Quinton, Quinton Group
8. Be Consistent And Cohesive
Having a consistent and cohesive sales experience and journey is key. Sales start with conversations, so the question is how to open this conversation to then lead into a conversion. Educational marketing (rather than solution-based marketing) that provides insights through content is one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart from every other noisy competitor and establish yourself as an authority. – Petra Zink, impaCCCt
9. Look At Your Entire System
Look at the entire sales system to see where the biggest opportunity is. The sales process is a series of interactions that creates a system. Rather than focusing on one particular element, looking at the effectiveness of the overall system will get better results. A weakness in one area can create a compound effect that ripples through the entire process, so map out the entire system first. – Purdeep Sangha, Sangha Worldwide
10. Work On Your Cold Call Messaging
The goal of selling, especially when cold calling, is to get a return call. To get that call back, you have to work on your messaging. Beta-test a number of different messages and track which ones get that all important call back. Have two or three of those messages in your tool belt when you are making those calls. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience
11. Offer Clients Opportunities To Provide Feedback
In the absence of a tangible solution, engage prospective clients with a case study. In addition, building a relationship with clients requires consistency in communication and delivery. Offering opportunities for clients to provide constructive feedback on your services, specifically your delivery of solutions, will open the door to future work and possible referrals. Sales is driven through trust. – Reena Khullar Sharma, Agilis Executive Consulting
12. Focus On Being Of Service To Those Who Need You
Emotionally detach from wanting to make a sale and focus on providing a service or product that alleviates pain. Get clear on the value you are providing. When you feel any form of desperation in the process, that energy comes through and your customer picks up on it through mirror neurons. Focus wholeheartedly on being of service to the person who really needs you, and watch your sales increase. – Clara Angelina Diaz-Anderson , ClaraFying Coaching and Consulting
13. Flex To Meet Your Audience’s Emotional Needs
One way to tweak your sales approach is to understand how different personalities receive information and then flex to meet their emotional needs. All too often, I witness individuals not increasing their effectiveness because they are unable to recognize their audience and pivot their message to fit. There are several assessments, such as DISC, that can assist in enhancing your approach and results. – Bryan Powell, Executive Coaching Space
14. Become A Partner To Your Client
With that partnership in mind, craft your interactions with clients to reflect it. Leave the typical sales push aside and instead focus on how you can win their hearts, minds and, eventually, share of wallet. It leaves the door open for more conversations, innovation and a better quality experience for both your client and your business. – Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory