As a SCORE mentor, I am really tired of hearing “I am not a salesperson.” Dan Pink wrote “To Sell is Human”. Everybody is selling all the time, they just don’t know it.
“Sales” is NOT a dirty word, just a higher level of communication.
- Are you good at creating relationships?
- Are you well connected in the community?
- Are you good at identifying problems and helping solve them?
If you answered yes, then you are probably a pretty good salesperson.
Here are 5 tips you can use to turn good sales into great sales…
- Build trusting relationships. You can start building trusting relationships on social media, but it is difficult to complete a sale without getting face to face — or at least speaking to them on the phone or online. People sell to people. This takes time. Moreover, it may take 6-12 months, but it is a true building block to successful sales.
- Be a resource and a great connector. Networking partners can give good referrals. However, don’t expect a referral source to sell for you. It’s a recommendation, not an automatic sale. Satisfied clients are the best resources for referrals.
- Stop trying so hard to be a problem solver, and start being a problem listener. Very few salespeople fully listen to a prospect’s problem. They too frequently think they have heard the problem and immediately want to come up with a solution. It is important to ask and listen to what a prospect has tried, how important it is to them to resolve the problem, and what happens to the prospect if the problem is not resolved. Every problem is an opportunity in disguise but only for those who can truly listen.
- Be honest and manage expectations. Make sure that you do not overpromise and underdeliver. Manage their expectations and make sure your company can deliver on time with what you have promised.
- Feel okay not knowing every answer right then and there. You don’t have to know everything before selling. There is no embarrassment about not knowing the answer. The same can’t be said for giving the wrong answer. Sometimes buyers will purposefully mislead you to get you off topic with questions that really do not have to be answered at that time. This is a camouflaged objection. Stay focused on taking your buyer to the next step.
Above all, keep at it. Sales is a marathon not a sprint. Also, it’s an integral part of your business. In order to develop strong relationships and a great network of referral sources you must continue to work at it and persevere!