How do you know what needs to be changed in your sales process when things aren’t turning out the way you want? If you have a sales mentor, they can offer you some guidance. But, if you don’t have a mentor, you’ll need to figure out on your own how to get back on track.
If you think you need help with your selling, here are three areas to focus on so you can get back on track.
1. Do you prepare before your sales calls?
Think about your preparation for your last sales call. Did you plan the questions ahead of time you would ask your prospect? Maybe you did. Being prepared means you’re more likely to get the information you need to sell.
Now look at those questions. Were they strategic in that they helped uncover customer problems, needs, or wants that could be solved by buying your products or services? Congratulations if you did.
Most salespeople will ask questions that they think uncover customer needs. When customers have needs or wants that is the only way that you have a chance of selling something to them. But also need to be careful. A prospect may talk about an issue happening in their business, and the salesperson is hearing that the important issue needs solving now and presents his or her product as the solution. That’s too soon.
A strategic salesperson will ask questions that uncover multiple problems. Why? What if the first problem isn’t serious enough for the prospect to act? The customer won’t buy—you won’t make a sale. You will have a better chance of selling when you uncover multiple problems that are important to your prospect. When issues are important to customers, they are more likely to act on them and buy.
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2. When speaking to prospects, do you ask for clarification or make faulty assumptions?
How many clarification questions did you ask during your last sales call? You’re in trouble if the answer is none. Did your customer tell you they want something quickly? When do you think they need it? Tomorrow or next week? Did you ask to be sure?
Some salespeople assume they know what their prospects and customers mean. That’s why they never ask clarification questions. However, they end up making more work for themselves with their wrong assumptions, and have to work harder than they need to or have to undo what they did wrong. Just ask your prospects and customers what they mean so they can tell you precisely what they really want you to do.
3. Before meeting with customers, do you always have a firm sales objective?
What was your last sales call objective? Was it just to touch base? Let me save you some time: There is no reason a customer or prospect needs to see you if that’s your sales call objective. Touching base does nothing for the customer.
The only reason to go on a sales call should be to discuss a proposal that might help your prospect or customer reduce a cost, avoid a cost, or make them money. Does touching base do that? Nope.
So instead of thinking that touching base is a real sales call objective, before your next sales call take the time to create a real sales call objective—one that will move your sales process forward. You should always leave a sales call with more than what you came with—that could be information, a commitment, or a plan for next steps. You will be closer to making a sale when you have real sales call objectives. Now do you see why touching base won’t work?
Now that you’ve found out reasons why you’re not selling today, what are you going to do about it? After all, tomorrow is a new day to sell and there’s no reason why you can’t sell more then.