1. Set Targets
At ActionCOACH, we explain to our clients that you can’t improve what you’re doing until you measure what you’re doing.
Unfortunately, many SME owners still live by the premise ‘chase enough customers and someone will eventually buy’. This is not an effective sales strategy.
Keep track of how many leads you deal with during a set period (maybe a week), and how many become paying customers.
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There’s your conversion rate. Now, set targets against this rate (aiming to improve it, of course) and measure your performance against them.
2. Ask More Questions
Many sales staff launch into a description of a product and its features or benefits without actually taking the time to ask the customer about what they want.
If you can understand the problem your client is facing, you know which features and benefits to highlight and what you can sell as a solution.
3. Craft a Sales Script
The purpose of scripts is not for sales staff to spout them at every customer, but to ensure you’ve covered all the bases and that your staff are dealing with customers in a consistent manner.
You should write a basic script that answers all the questions you get asked on a regular basis and covers the everyday situations your sales staff will experience.
Then train your team to use the same questions and language in dealing with customers, based on the script. It will create a more consistent and thorough sales process.
4. Focus on Learning
Sales is like any other activity – you can learn from the masters. Educate yourself and your team on sales by reading, attending training, workshopping tough past experiences and documenting what works and what doesn’t.
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5. Use Testimonials
Testimonials from your satisfied clients are generally more effective than you blowing your own horn.
Ask your customers to write down their positive experiences and include them in your marketing.
You’ll not only see what customers enjoy and want more of, but you can build your credibility with other customers as well, who will trust people who have bought from you before them.
6. Outshine the Competition
Why should a customer buy from you instead of your competitor, who might even provide the same product or service at a lower price? Consider offering a guarantee that sets you apart, or some sort of value-add that differentiates you.
7. Ask for the Sale
Bizarrely, many sales people forget to actually ask the customer to buy. It may be out of a fear of rejection or losing the sale, but it’s often an important step that might help you seal the deal.
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There are ways of asking without pushing. For example, “Are you happy with this? May I ring it up for you?” or “Did you have any other questions about our service, or shall I book an appointment for you?”