You can learn something from everyone to improve your sales results. Sometimes it’s what works and other times it’s what doesn’t. I believe that you can learn some important sales pointers from successful salespeople. Here are some sales pointers that have worked well for other successful people. They might work for you, too.
1. Sales Pointer: Close the sale instead of endless negotiating.
One salesperson built a successful business by teaching his sales team his sales strategies. One of his most important strategies was when to close the deal when he was negotiating.
He had observed other salespeople who would take weeks to negotiate a deal. They would quote a price, the prospect evaluated the offer and the back and forth would take considerable time. What this successful sales professional noticed was that in the time it took to negotiate the final deal, the salesperson was not making any money. He also noticed that when the final deal was negotiated that the salespeople weren’t gaining all that much. He developed his negotiating strategy.
He decided that he would meet with decision makers. During the meeting he would establish that he was ready to close the sale at that meeting. He would even ask, “Would you buy if we can do this (whatever his deal was) today?” If the answer was yes, he said, “I agree.” The deal was done. He got a new customer.
Remember his sales poster. You are not making any money when your negotiations start to drag on into weeks and months. You start to make money when your customers buy from you!
2. Sales Pointer: Earn your price increases.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling the only product that works, or if you have the lowest price, or if you are the only supplier of your product. You must allow your customer to save face when you need to get a price increase.
Do not insult your customer and demand a price increase. I’ve seen the request made that way and it definitely is not an effective long-term sales strategy. Instead, treat each price request as a sale. Demonstrate that you’re worth the increase. Show what you’ve done for the customer to earn the increase or at least explain why the market has moved and you need to increase the price.
Of course, a salesperson who only contacts customers to get a price increase will be at a disadvantage. Those salespeople who are doing a good job working with their customers can successfully ask for a price increase. Explain why. Ask if your customer can support you. Confirm that you will continue to earn your customers business and deliver value at the higher price.
3. Sales Pointer: Be ready to shorten a sales presentation.
Some sales don’t go according to plan. This is especially true when you are calling on a new prospect. One successful salesperson was finally able to get an appointment with a very important prospect by connecting through his network of international contacts. Getting that meeting was the first successful part of his selling and it was a major success. Imagine his surprise when he got to the meeting.
This VIP prospect started the meeting with, “You have 5 minutes to tell me what you’ve got.” This successful salesperson was ready. He was able to deliver the most important selling points in 5 minutes. The prospect said, “I’ll give you 3 more minutes.” He used the 3 more minutes to learn more about what the prospect was thinking. The meeting ended. The salesperson subsequently learned that the prospect made extensive calls to verify what the salesman said. Once his work was proven, the salesperson made the sale.
Are you able to shorten your presentation to 5 minutes? A successful salesperson can implement this sales pointer. Take the time now to consider your most important points. At your next important sales call you should be able to shorten your presentation to get the key elements delivered in 5 minutes.
Your selling experience will include negotiating, price increases and sales presentations. Why not consider what other successful salespeople do when they face these situations? It’s one way to ensure the best outcomes for your selling.