Limit The Options To Close The Sale

choicesEver had those days where you just want a simple product, but are overwhelmed with the amount of choices involved? Let’s say you want to buy a MP3 player for Christmas and wander into Best Buy thinking it will be easy – but what colour do you want? What brand? Should it be water proof? Do you really need Bluetooth? What about the batteries it takes? There have been so many times where I go to buy something and am simply put off by the amount of options available that I lose interest in the product and put it off getting it – or sometimes I don’t get it at all!

This got me thinking to the typical sales person who tries to sell a “complete” solution to someone who doesn’t really need all of the bells and whistles. Offering the right solution to potential customers is critical to closing the sale, but giving them a list of too many options is bound to turn them off. Once your prospect suffers from information overload, they’ll either delay the decision or lose interest. Here’s what you should do to prevent this from happening:

Discuss Their Exact Needs: The first step of any successful sale’s process is having a deep understanding of what your prospect is looking for, meaning that you need to have an in-depth conversation with them – probably multiple conversations actually. It’s no secret that you need to develop a relationship with your potential clients since it’s rare that you’ll sell someone a product or service on your first meeting. As such, when you’re getting to know them you need to see what exactly they’re looking for in a solution and if you can concisely offer them the service instead of saying things like “You might like A, but B and C are probably better! And we can’t forget D, E and F either.”

Custom Tailor A Solution: Chances are that you may not one concise solution available to solve all of a customer’s problems, which is why you offer them so many solutions. In this case though, it would help a lot if you move things around to make a solution that best fits for them, that way they have all of their problems solved in one fell swoop. Sure, it might be a bit of a pain, but there’s no doubt that they’ll appreciate the effort you put into making something work for them. This will also limit their options to their yes or no, making the close dramatically easier.

By making the decision process for your prospects easier and making their choices meet their needs, I guarantee that you’ll have more success with closing sales.

Make The Most Of 24 Hours

24-Hours24 hours in a day – to some people it seems like that’s never enough to accomplish anything, but then there are the people who seem like they can get everything done in that time, plus still have time for their family, friends and a million other personal tasks. Your gut reaction might be to be envious of these people, but it’s not as if they’re cheating and getting an extra hour from somewhere. We ALL have 24 hours to make the most out of, which means that it really just comes down to time management.

Managing your time really is an art. It takes a lot of practice and experience to know how to best use your time, especially when you’re a sales person. Selling isn’t as simple as calling random names in a phonebook (which admittedly is a dated phrase), sending random emails and then patiently awaiting the results. You’ll need to be tactical of how you organize your time to ensure that you’re getting the best results while taking advantage of the time you have. I’ll provide you with a few insights from years of selling:

Write EVERYTHING Down – The key to any form of time management is to keep track of your day. Eventually you’ll be able to adjust and plan ahead, but to first start things out you should just write down everything that you’re currently doing in a typical day. This way you’ll get a solid understanding of how you currently spend your time. You’ll also get a very stark view of how much time you’re not using effectively, which might be difficult to accept. Everyone likes to believe they’re productivity machines, but we all fall victim to distraction.

(Try To) Limit Distractions, Or Schedule Them In – Once you get an understanding of how you’re using your time and see how you’re distracting yourself, the next step is to try and limit your distractions. I put an emphasis on “try” because I know that it’s not as simple as just cutting yourself off from the internet or turning your phone off. At the end of the day, we’re all human and can’t keep working hours on end without some form of distraction. What you can, and should, start doing is penciling time to be distracted. That way, you’ll make the most out of the bit of time that you have. Keep in mind though, that there will be many times when you can’t predict things coming up, and you’ll need to just act on instinct.

Know When You’re Good – Not everyone is an early bird, and not everyone is a night owl. Every person is efficient at different times of the day. For example, those who prefer working early mornings will tackle their most important tasks first thing, while those who are more functional in the afternoon will focus their mornings on less vital tasks and preparing for the tasks ahead. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to this. Figure out what works best for you and try to work around it. If you can prove results to your manager, you can even try changing your working schedule to accommodate this!

Like I mentioned, each step might vary slightly based on the results that you find, but once you find out what works for you, stick with it and you’ll find yourself using time a lot more efficiently – both in your work life and personal life.

Sell with Confidence to Sell with Success

Sell-With-ConfidenceIt’s well known that the people who have an extraordinary amount of success in business are generally those who are confident. Unsurprisingly, this is essentially the foundation of success when it comes to being an excellent sales person.

Sales people are generally known for their confident demeanour. If you think about any time someone has sold you something, you’ll probably remember how confident the person was that you would genuinely see benefit from the product.

Of course, unless you’re a confident person from the get go, this is actually really tough. And even if you are confident, sometimes being in front of a person or talking on the phone can completely change a person’s confidence levels! Here are three tips I can offer that should be able to help you sell with more confidence.

Believe In Your Product – This is the most important point I can make, and something that you need to understand before you fully commit to a sales position. Do you truly believe in the product you’re selling? Can you find the positive features of the product and understand how it’ll improve things for your customers? If you hesitated for even a second, then take some time to re-evaluate things. How can you realistically sell something with confidence if you personally don’t find value in the product or service? This is important because when questions come up from those you’re selling to, people will be able to hear your hesitation in your voice.

Let Go of Fear – I’ve dedicated an entire blog post to this in the past, but letting go of your fears is one of the most essential things to selling. Be it fear of rejection or anything related, your doubt will be conveyed when you speak. The way you speak and tone of voice are vital because it’s one of the few ways to let your potential customer know that they can trust you – and people don’t buy things from people they don’t trust!

Practice What You’ll Say, But To A Point – After being in a sales position for a while, you’re bound to notice that the same concerns from people will come up over and over again, or that if you tell potential customers how your product works in a certain way, they’ll understand a lot quicker. Having key points memorized, or even working off of a script can work wonders for your sales efforts. But much like with a speech or presentation, you don’t want to memorize everything word for word. If you do, you’ll risk the chance of coming across robotic or fake, which means people will lose interest very quickly in what you’re saying.

Gaining confidence is not an overnight act, and I’m by no means trying to simplify the process. My hope is simply to give you a solid starting point so you can sell things easier. Let me know if you have any insights!

Pushing Aside Fear When Selling

sales_fearIn my blog post last week, I talked about fear holding you back when you’re an entrepreneur and discussed different methods that I thought would be useful for getting over your fears. Once you’ve understood and overcome your fears, you’ll be able to help others get over theirs. This will come in particularly handy with your sales team.

Your sales team may be holding themselves back from getting new clients simply because of their fears. However, like I discussed last week, these can be overcome with constant work and luckily most sales people have very similar fears, either consciously or unconsciously. Here are the most common fears of sales people that I’ve seen, and what you can do to help them overcome it.

Fear of Closing the Sale – No matter how amazing the product or service you’re selling is, it’s extremely rare that people will blatantly tell you that they want to buy it. Most of the time, you have to ask people to buy your product – which is a surprisingly big fear for most sales people. When I’ve asked people in the past why they’re afraid of closing the sale, they told me that they were afraid of coming across as forceful or stubborn. In reality, you should NEVER be afraid of what other people think of you. At the end of the day, you’re doing your job just like everyone else. You shouldn’t fear how someone will react to you doing something that you love.

Fear of Following Up – Tying in with the above fear of other people’s perception, some sales people never follow up with their prospects because of a fear of being perceived as annoying or obnoxious. You need to put this aside, simply because it’s extremely rare that you or anyone will sell something successfully on your first try. In fact, according to The National Sales Executive Association, only 2% of sales are made on the first contact, while an astounding 80% of sales are made on the twelfth contact or higher. If your sales people never follow up due to fear, they’ll never sell your product or service.

Fear of Rejection – This is the big one, and it doesn’t only happen to sales people. Fear of rejection is one of the biggest and most common fears that people have. There’s no set method to get over a fear of rejection, but the best piece of advice that I can offer you is to not take it personally. While your personality does play a role in whether or not you make a sale, most of the time your prospect won’t buy a product from you for a variety of reasons, not because they dislike you, so there’s no point in blaming yourself for a lost sale. Just learn your lesson from it, and move onto the next prospect.

Does your sales team regularly talk about their fears with you? If so, how do you mentor them to overcome them? I look forward to discussing this topic with you.

How do you become a Successful Sales Manager? (Infographic)

successful-sales-teamIt’s unfortunate, but there are sales managers who think that if their sales team is meeting all of their quotas, then there’s no possible way they can get any better. This, of course, couldn’t be any further from the truth. There are always steps that a sales manager can take to become more successful.

I found a great infographic (which you can find at the bottom of this post) from Level Eleven that looks at the secrets of a successful sales manager. The infographic offers valuable insights, and I was able to take three key lessons from it:

Train Your Sales Team to Manage Their Time Wisely – A large majority of sales people can dramatically increase their results with just a bit of direction on their time management skills.  Making sure that your sales team is focusing on important tasks and contacting prospects at the best times are just a few methods that you can instill within your team.

Take the Time to Mentor your Sales Team – Numerous stats on the internet show that it can take a sales person 9 to 12 months to become fully effective at their job. This means that you can’t give up on a member of your team just because they’re not as efficient as you expected they would be. If you take the time to nurture your sales team and ensure that they’re growing in the right direction, the long term pay off will be worth it.

Implement Incentive Programs – As Level Eleven shows, only 20% of sales people are organically motivated and engaged, meaning the other 80% need some kind of incentive to get them to reach their sales quota. Running an incentive program can bring out your team’s inner competitive spirit while boosting your company’s sales in the process. Keep in mind that the prizes of these programs don’t have to be anything completely over the top. Just like the infographic mentions, cash isn’t always the best option either. Tickets to an event, a special delivery of a fresh breakfast or even something as silly as an outdoor working station during nice weather are just a few ideas you could use.

Take a look at the infographic and let me know what you key lessons you took from it in the comments below.

successful-sales-manager-infographic