Sales positions are one of the most difficult to fill by young employees. The concept of selling has certainly gotten a bad rap and is perceived by many as a pretty cutthroat industry. However, many businesses fail because they don’t know how to sell. You can have the greatest product or service out there, but without sales strategies it will never succeed. The following sales tactics are tried and true and should be implemented by every salesperson.
- Active Listening
Think about a time when you had a conversation with a close friend. Chances are they were actively listening to you and you walked away from the conversation feeling loved and refreshed. Great salespeople try to recreate this same feeling by asking questions and allowing their prospect to explain their needs and express their concerns. Active listening allows customers to see that you care and aren’t just there to make a hard sell. When you use the ‘what can I do for you’ strategy you will likely have a client for years to come.
- Respecting Your Competitors
As much as you might be tempted to bash your competitor studies have proven that this is not a good idea. There is nothing wrong with discussing the advantages and disadvantages of your product or service in comparison with theirs, but stay away from bad mouthing them. This will only reflect poorly on your company. It is always a better option to take the high road.
- Follow Through
Perhaps this is one of the first sales tactics you were taught and for good reason…it works! If you promised your client that you would call, fax, send an email, or send a brochure, do it! You are only as good as your word and if you want to build a trusting relationship with your client you need to be credible.
- Foster and Ongoing Relationship
Making a sale is exciting but you have to remember that it can’t stop there. Repeat business is an important part of growing a company and it is only done by nurturing relationships with your clients. Call your customer to see how they are doing. Send a handwritten thank you card. Send holiday cards. Check in and keep them updated about new happenings in your business. Reaching out to your clients lets them know that you care and you will be the first person they think of should they need your services.
- Stick to Your Deadlines
Perhaps you have been working with a client and you have a sale that is about to go through and at the last minute the customer requests an extension. Do you accommodate the customer? No. Sticking to your deadlines is an important part of building credibility and increasing the sense of urgency around the decision. If you give in, the customer will see that you are easily swayed and they might try this same tactic again in the future.