The 2015 edition of the pan-European startup contest Idea Challenge sees an increase in variety and internationality. The series of events re…
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Last week’s column left you with enough tools to close a deal, but what comes after the yes, or the no for that matter. Here are rest of my tips on being a master at sales.
Be persistent. I can’t stress enough how important this is. Persistence is the secret sales ingredient that separates success from failure.
Imagine talking with a prospective customer (or investor or partner or employee) who has expressed interest in your offer. After that, you don’t hear from them again. You send them an email. No response. Another email. No response. You call them and leave a voicemail. They don’t get back to you. Most salespeople make up a story at that point. They think, “Oh, this person probably isn’t interested anymore, otherwise they’d get back to me.” And then they stop following up.
Be persistent. Unless the other party tells you they’re not interested or don’t want to hear from you anymore, keep following up. Always be polite and keep it positive. But never stop.
Sales Guru Steli Efti; Photo credit: Steli Efti
Closing a deal is just the beginning of the next sale. Ask your newly-won customer for a referral. It may go something like this:
Salesperson: “Dear customer, are you happy that you’ve bought our product/service?”
Customer: “Yes, sure.”
Salesperson: “Great, who else can you think of right now that would also benefit from our solution?”
Customer: “Oh, let me think about that. I’ll get back to you on that.”
Be proactive with your sales. These two sentences will set you ahead of most salespeople. If you want to take it even further, try something like this:
“Great, as you experience the benefits of our solution over time, I’m sure you’ll be able to think of many other people who might potentially benefit from our solution. But let’s just take one or two minutes right now to think of anyone.”
Simply by asking one more time, a certain amount of people will give you a referral at that very moment!
In sales you’ll encounter repeated objections from potential customers. Some are general (“I don’t have time”, “I’m not interested”, “We already use another solution”, etc.) and some are specific to your product or service. Write down the hardest questions you don’t want to address or the most uncomfortable questions you don’t like talking about. Make sure you have solid management of those objections / questions.
An elaborate sales document is not necessary - keep it short and simple. Once a month, take time to review, edit and improve your answers. When you commit to this practice, you will consistently become a better salesperson and build a burgeoning sales organization.
The most important thing you can do is take action! Which of the seven sales secrets are you going to apply first? Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Instead, start by committing to one area for the next 14 days.
Maybe your persistence needs practice and you’ve chosen to work on your ‘follow-up’. It might be as simple as finding three potential customers who went silent and reach out to them via email. Do it right now. Create that initial momentum that can set big things in motion.
If you’ve enjoyed these sales suggestions and want more, sign up for my free startup sales success course. More than 10,000 people have already taken part, and many of them have dramatically improved their sales skills. Click here to learn more about Close.io or sign up for your 14-day free trial
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