Give yourself and your staff a refresher on sales 101.
The selling process is a system that can be taught, developed and continuously improved upon. When you follow clear, step-by-step actions and have a working knowledge of your product or service and the person who will be buying from you, the system will nearly always result in a sale.
Going back to the basics is always a worthwhile exercise. No matter how experienced you may be, there is always something new to discover or remind yourself of.
Eight ways to streamline your sales process
- Build long-term relationships. Treat each potential customer like they are about to become one of your best, most loyal clients. Be genuinely interested in what each customer has to say, ask questions and remember everything.
- Position yourself as an expert. Know more than you need to about the product or service you’re selling and you will build trust and respect with your prospects. Build your knowledge of your product or service, the people who use it, as well as industry news and trends.
- Be confident and convincing. Assume you have the sale from the beginning, and leave any self-criticism at the door. Take time to explain yourself, don’t rush, and connect your message to your audience in a meaningful way.
- Prepare your image. Ensure that everything your prospect sees is professional and put together. Dress in a manner that reflects what you’re selling and is comfortable for your audience. For example, a suit and tie is professional, but jeans may be a more appropriate choice for your market.
- Use common language. While you should show your prospect that you know what you’re talking about, avoid using too much industry jargon or sales phrases like finance, sold, contract, sale, etc. Use language that your market understands and can relate to.
- Stay positive. Be enthusiastic about your product or service benefits, and maintain a smile on the phone and in person. Your overall mood is apparent in your voice, facial expressions and body language, so ensure it’s a positive one.
- Remember your manners. This seems like a no brainer, but it’s a helpful reminder. Be punctual, use a strong handshake, accept courtesy items, listen and don’t interrupt.
- Steer clear of hot topics. Avoid any discussion of religion, politics, sexual innuendos and racial comments. Don’t swear, and steer clear of negative comments about other customers or the competition.