Effective sales is the single most important factor for a company's success.
A company's revenue and size is entirely dependent on the organization's ability to close business and turn leads into clients.
Despite working in sales for most of my career, I have met very few salespeople.
While I have met hundreds of people who bring in new business, close deals and exceed quotas, I have seldom met someone who engages a client and executes a deal with the forethought, improvisation, empathy and fortitude of a true salesperson.
The notion of sales has been convoluted by an ease of the process, a leniency in quota and a lack of drive.
For salespeople who want to separate themselves from the pack, employ these nine strategies:
1. Be a wolf in sheep's clothing.
While your goal is to close the deal, your language and presence should remain congenial.
Keep your mind focused on the goal, but project platonic verbal and physical language.
2. Be persistent.
Rarely do deals close on your first contact. Consistent and mindful follow-ups are critical for closing deals.
Never rely on the client to call you back. Always make sure to reach out and follow up.
Being persistent and strategic with your outreach will ensure that you stay in your client's consciousness and will help you build rapport with your client.
3. Time kills all deals.
While you don't want to be too aggressive when closing the deal, you also don't want to let it slip away.
Pull hard enough to keep the deal moving forward, without snapping the rope. Embrace the tug of war of the sale gently, but never miss an opportunity to move it forward.
4. Once the deal is sold, stop selling.
Once you have obtained a verbal commitment, lay off the gas entirely.
Don't allow the excitement or relief of the close to cause you to break your demeanor or jeopardize the decision.
Your urgency to close a deal should never overpower the necessity of maintaining a healthy relationship with the client.
5. Be a chameleon.
Know your audience and act accordingly. People have different views, ways of speaking and ways of understanding.
Thus, the way you interact with the CEO of Target and your Uber driver are different.
You show each client equal respect, but you will connect with them in different ways. You'll have to adjust your conversations based on each person.
6. Exude a positive attitude.
Radiating an upbeat demeanor will positively influence the direction of the conversation.
If you sound depressed, your product will sound depressing.
Building off the customer's own optimism will encourage them to look at the product in a more optimistic light.
Always be agreeable; the best way to win an argument is to avoid the argument.
Disagreements of any sort will kill the connection.
7. Be empathetic.
The single most important factor in sales is empathy.
Empathy is the foundation by which any meaningful relationship is formed. If your clients know you understand them, care about them and genuinely have their best interests in mind, then the sale will come naturally.
The most effective way to build empathy is to listen to clients when they speak to demonstrate that you fully understand their concerns.
8. Stop selling and start helping.
Don't focus on closing the deal; focus on building rapport with your clients.
Focus on helping them find a solution to their problem. Dig into their perspective and learn about their business, their hobbies, their families and their lives.
Learning and caring about them will be more effective than any logical deduction you might introduce as a means of closing a deal.
Connecting their experiences with yours and showing that you understand them is powerful.
9. Sell soft.
Unless you're looking for a quick way to annoy someone, hard selling is dead.
Acting eager or pushy is a guaranteed way to lose business.
Employ a consultative, relationship-based sell.