The Winning Hand

Seven easy tips to sell more

By Linda Bishop

Sometimes, reaching the next level of success is easier than you think. All you need is to tweak a tactic, make a small adjustment or try a new approach. Small actions can have a big impact, so find a tip that fits and start using it in the next 24 hours. Here are seven tips that can help get you going:

No. 1 – Expect to be busy

Is this situation familiar to you? You make a call on a prospect. It goes well, but there isn’t any immediate need you can fulfill. The prospect says, “I’m glad we met. Stay in touch.” You nod, smile and agree. The next day, you’re buried under an avalanche of new projects. Before you know it, six weeks have passed and you haven’t done a darn thing to stay in contact with the prospect. When you finally get around to calling, the promising lead doesn’t immediately return your call. You can’t help but wonder if a lack of follow-up cost you a new sale.

Instead of assuming you’ll have time to follow-up, plan three follow-up steps right after you leave the meeting. Decide when to send a PDF of a case study in an email, drop a sample in the mail, and ask for another meeting. Set up reminders in your calendar. When a reminder pops up, add the follow-up item to your daily to-do list. Even if you’re busy, do it to get new clients.

No. 2 – Don’t ignore the clock

Joe Straka, president of Priority Press, says, “Time kills all deals.” He’s right. Someone can be interested in buying from you today, but when too much time passes without forward movement, people start to question, wonder and reconsider. When a buyer says, “We are going to buy,” but can’t close the order today, beware. If too much time passes, he may decide never to buy at all.

No. 3 – Be fun to deal with

Never forget that customers who buy from you are shopping. Sometimes it’s fun to shop, and other times it’s miserable. What are you doing to make your customer’s purchasing experience enjoyable, interesting and fun? Do you talk about topics that interest them? Use show and tell techniques to engage them? Bring donuts? Fun helps you sell, so don’t underestimate it.

No. 4 – Identify all the barriers

There always are obstacles in every sales cycle. Start identifying barriers in the first call. Write them down on a list. Develop a plan to overcome them. After every meeting, review the list. Assess whether you’re gaining ground or if you need a new plan.

No. 5 – Set an objective for every call

Every time you’re face-to-face or on the phone with a client for a planned meeting, you should have a clear objective. What do you want to accomplish? How will accomplishing the objective help you move forward in the sales cycle? Clarity of purpose has power for creating new sales.

No. 6 – Improve your motivational writing skills to get more meetings

Email is the No. 1 way we communicate in business today. The majority of our requests to meet are sent via this channel. In order to get meetings, you must present the benefits of the meeting so that your customer is motivated to meet you.

No. 7 – To improve your email writing skills, try this five-minute exercise

Select an email written to request a meeting where the person either didn’t respond or declined your request. Print out the email. Grab a highlighter. Highlight everything in the email talking about the benefit of meeting with you. Find a way to improve the “What’s in it for me” factor for your intended recipient.

Buyers skim emails. They will not invest mental energy in decoding information statements to identify benefits. They care about benefits. They do not care about interpreting information to decide if there is a compelling reason to meet with a salesperson.

Bestselling author, speaker and accelerator Anne C. Graham is the creator of the P.R.O.F.I+T Roadmap. She also is the founder of managing consultant firm, The Legendary Value Institute.

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