Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How To Make More Money In Sales

You're a "natural born salesman," right?  People have said it your whole life.  I’m here to tell you that they don’t exist!  There isn’t one, any more than someone is a natural-born brain surgeon.  Talent will make a good living some of the time.  Effective salesmanship is a group of skills - learned behaviors.  There are folks who are naturally persuasive in conversation.  That doesn’t mean they possess the skills to find new business, close a sale and maintain a customer relationship.  Sales is a combination of technique and creative application of that technique.

What are the magic techniques?  There isn't just one!  Each market is different.  What works in Des Moines definitely doesn't  work in L.A.. What works for everyone is this: read everything!  At least twice a year, buy a sales book, and get learning.  Why?  Because your market is evolving every day, and you need to evolve right along with it.  Each technique you learn is another useful tool in your toolbox.  Relationship selling may be the ticket in your area right now, but will not necessarily work tomorrow.  

Prospecting and closing are the basis for all sales.  Solution selling, challenger selling, trusted advisor selling, SMART selling - each one is a set of disciplines that keeps the customer talking about his needs, and each in a different way. That's the only "trick" in the book.  Keep your prospect talking about the trouble caused by not having their solution or your product.  If your current pitch isn't opening up the conversation, change tactics.  The only way you can do that easily is to have dozens of tools in your toolbox.

Focusing on the buyer's needs does several things: it teaches you how the prospect does business; it shows you what solutions they are shopping for; it demonstrates what solution has failed; if properly handled, it brings up the urgency of the buyer to solve the problem.  Urgency is what tips the scales from conversation to sale.  

If your only tool is a wrench, you'd better hope every prospect is a bolt.  Otherwise, build your toolbox.  Read, role-play, and continually sharpen your skills.  You'll close more business, and make more money!  

(Suggested reading: Zig Ziglar, Paco Underhill, Jeffrey Gitomer, Meridith Elliot Powell, Stephen Schiffman, etc.)

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