Improve Sales in Business

Improving sales in your business is a matter of improving your sales skills, increasing sales performance, and practicing good sales techniques.

Improving sales skills can take several forms. For one thing, you can prioritize who you will and won’t spend your time selling to. You want to choose the prospects that are most likely to buy your products and avoid wasting time on prospects that are unlikely to buy. It sounds simple, but it’s easy to get caught up in chasing an unlikely prospect with your time and energy that could best be spent elsewhere. Another skill to work on is showing prospects how your product...

or service solves a problem rather than simply listing its features. Creating exciting sales presentations that pique the imagination is a very valuable sales skill, as is developing your voicemail talents. After all, you’re going to be using voicemail, so you might as well treat voicemail as your opportunity to make a one-on-one ad to a prospect.

Improving sales performance is a long-term prospect, but you can demonstrate incremental improvements quickly. Making yourself an authority in your field is one key to great sales performance. Knowing your products inside and out as well as competitors’ products gives you the broad grasp you need to show prospects how your product or service will solve a particular problem of theirs. Effective listening is another key to improved sales performance. Prospects are as a rule guarded against hard sells, and if you interrupt your client rather than listening, you risk missing your prospect telling you exactly what he or she wants and needs. Once you know what they need, you will have the expertise to match the product or service to that need. Improving your body language to communicate openness and interest (by avoiding crossing your arms and looking at your prospect when he or she speaks) also subtly helps sales performance.

Improving sales techniques is often a matter of remembering things you may have forgotten. For example, listen more and talk less. Starting out with a long sales pitch on a current special is a mistake. The prospect may be very interested in something else you offer, but they’ll write you off as a bore for going on about your own favorite products. Getting the prospect talking about their need is a great technique to help you tailor your pitch to their needs. Asking open ended questions generates useful information and helps the prospect think through their wants to get to the product he or she really needs to solve a problem. Instead of “Can I help you?” try, “Which of our products are you looking at today?” Also, find out why the person is looking for the product. Does she want a car that will save gas, or that her three soccer-playing kids will fit into? The answers to “why” questions help you know how to deliver your pitch.

If you’re proud of your products and services, show it when interacting with prospects, and regularly evaluate your own sales skills, performance, and techniques to maximize sales and help customers solve problems. Those are the keys to being tops in sales.

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