9 sales tips that will make you money
1. I will properly time-manage my success
There really isn’t any “art” to time management. Books have been written, courses have been delivered and will continue to be, but the first rule behind planning your time is simply “doing it”. The “doing” should happen before your next week starts, which is why Friday afternoon is your best bet. (How many times have you planned to do some thing on a weekend but you didn’t get around to it?!) The second rule of time management is of course “sticking to it”. No sense making a plan on Friday afternoon if you then don’t stick to it.
To implement NOW: Spend 60 minutes on a Friday afternoon planning your next week. Spend 10 minutes each evening reviewing your next day.
2. I will fall in love with questions, and lose my love affair with giving advice
Your job is to sell, and as the classic saying goes, “telling is not selling”. Asking interesting questions is selling. Finding out about your prospect’s pain is selling. But gushing forth with “advice” that a client may not need? That’s not selling. Quality, incisive questions are the key to success.
To implement NOW: Make a file of your most interesting questions, add to the file regularly and don’t forget to re-read it on at least a weekly basis.
3. I will make prospecting an absolute priority
There are many reasons we don’t prospect (establish new client contacts) as much as we should. It may regularly fall down to the bottom of your list, maybe you get someone else to do it, or maybe you are part of the vast majority of sales people who let non sales-related activities creep into your day. It’s time to take control of your prospecting. This usually means picking up the phone and making a call. Right now.
To implement NOW: Set a designated time zone for prospecting – eg 60 minutes a day – and measure how many sales it brings in for you over just one month. Don’t let anyone or anything intrude on this sacred time.
4. I will read at least 1 sales book each month
Your sales mind is like a muscle that needs constant nourishment and new sales ideas, or else it will become weak over time. Therefore you need to constantly work your sales mind by reading quality sales literature. Type “sales” into Amazon and watch the list of high quality, interesting books that will be returned to you instantly. With a fresher selling mind you will be buzzing with new ideas and possibilities. TIP: don’t worry about reading sales books from cover to cover; they are not novels but reference books. Dip in and out of them at random – whatever catches your eye is fine. It’s all good – even the bad stuff which gives you the chance to form an opinion of your own!
To implement NOW: Don’t wait for someone else to educate you! Buy 1-2 sales books a month and feed your sales mind. 10-15 minutes of sales reading per day will make you money. Email us for a preferred reading list at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. I will not make any excuses for my poor performance
By taking direct ownership and responsibility for your selling, you will eliminate many of the excuses that sales people typically generate for their poor performance. Of all the salespeople, the ones who make the most excuses are the negative “doomsayers” (sometimes psychologists call them “catastrophic thinkers”). Typical excuses you might hear from doomsayers: “There’s no point calling anyone before 8:30am”, or “We’ve never sold to any manufacturers, so there’s no point calling them”.
To implement NOW: If you find yourself making excuses, try the ultimate antidote: pick up the phone, call 20 prospects and make something positive happen.
6. I will regularly call big name clients without fear and offer them my services
How many times have you passed a billboard with a big name client on it and thought that they were out of your league? Now is your chance to change all of that. Start calling big name clients without fear, navigate your way around their organisation until you find a decision maker with a need, and then do business with them!
To implement NOW: Your best source of big name clients are your eyes. Open your eyes to companies out there who have an active presence in the market – their names are sitting on billboards, bus-sides etc. Call them the day you see them!
7. I will not serve myself, I will serve my client
A great line from The Trusted Advisor: “Who are you serving with your current approach”? If you want to be a trusted advisor for your clients, you better start serving them rather than your own obvious needs. Don’t forget: your job in sales is to bring together the important needs of your client with a product or service to help them.
Once you adopt an attitude of aiding and collaborating (rather than simply “selling”) then great things start to happen. Clients will gravitate towards you and warmly answer your questions, buying from you in the process.
To implement NOW: Change your attitude from “What can I sell you?” to “How can I help you?”
8. I will creatively grow my existing client base.
Organic growth of your existing client base is key to your success. Your sales numbers need to be supplemented by re-selling to your existing client base. Cross-selling is very important. The question to ask yourself is “If Client X bought product Y, what’s to stop them also purchasing product Z?” Your creativity and strategic thinking is needed more than ever!
To implement NOW: Make a list of the clients most likely to spend with you in 2009. Then have a think about your approach. What’s most likely to interest them from your stable of products or services? Then call them!
9. I will break down my targets into small, achievable pieces
Successful sales people have a fantastic way of doing the small yet highly important sales activities on a consistent basis. For example, a target of £450,000 worth of business may seem impossible. However this target becomes very achievable when you break it down into smaller, activity based goals. For example: if you make 45 calls per day, prospect for an hour a day, go to a meeting and write a document every day then you will hit your number. Making targets achievable will pave the way for your ultimate success!
To implement NOW: Work out the activity you need to be doing every day, every week and every month to make your targets. Then work the plan every day with consistency and pride.
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