What can we do to improve our sales results? This is a question that is asked over and over and over again in every business, regardless of their current sales performance.
More sales and profits are the magic elixir for any business, large or small. However, this is particularly true for small businesses struggling to not only stay ahead of the competition but to pay their expenses and stay afloat.
As solopreneurs and small business owners, we are all in sales. Anyone who interacts with a prospect or client on any level is in sales. So sales should be second nature, right? But we all know it is not that straightforward. For many struggling small business owners, selling doesn’t come naturally. In fact, many business owners have never attended a sales training course to learn how to be more effective in sales. As a result, they could be avoidably sabotaging their sales efforts.
“A sales call is nothing more than an adult conversation with an outcome.”
– Donnie Boivin, partner with Sales Mastery Consultants, Inc.
Because of a lack of sales acumen or sales training, there are 7 ways you could be sabotaging your sales efforts today and not even recognize that it is a problem.
Whether it is a telephone call or face-to-face meeting, many sales people have a fear of “making the call.” Why? Since we are all social beings by nature, just think of a sales call as an adult conversation with an outcome, and make the calls!
#2 Not Preparing for the Sales Call
Preparation is a key to success. And a lack of preparation can be a contributing factor to call reluctance. Be prepared to do business. Have an outline (call script or agenda) of what you want to cover on the call and an objective in mind. And for goodness’ sake practice before the call, not on the prospect or client!
#3 Not Confirming the Next Steps
In any sales exchange, the goal should be to move the conversation, and the sales opportunity, forward. Just make sure you are not moving forward by yourself. Gain agreement on the direction and next steps before charging ahead.
#4 Not Following Up on Sales Calls
We have all seen the statistics many times over. 80% of sales are made on the 5th–12th contact. If you want to improve sales results, it’s crucial that you follow up and stay engaged. The client will appreciate your commitment.
#5 Not Meeting the Buyer’s Requirements
Do you have a clear understanding of their requirements and what they want to see from you in order to make a buying decision? If not, ask and clarify so you are on solid ground before attempting to move forward.
#6 Not Selling on Value
Why should I do business with you? It’s the question that is top-of-mind for every buyer. Today’s selling is about helping the prospect make better-informed decisions. Provide them with the information and resources they need to make the right choices, so the value of doing business with you becomes self-evident.
#7 Not Asking for the Order
In the immortal words of Zig Ziglar, “We miss 100% of the sales we don’t ask for.” Ironically, this is a major stumbling block for many people in a sales role. If you are doing all of the things outlined above well, then closing the sale should be the easiest part of the selling process.
Remember, the key to success in any endeavor is commitment. What should you do to commit to improving sales results? Focus on continuous improvement in all areas important to your clients, and take steps to avoid sabotaging your sales efforts.
Which of these have you done in your sales in the past? Share your stories in the comments below.