It’s still not too late in the year to create some resolutions. Why not set some goals this year that you actually have a chance of achieving? Here are a few to consider.
1. This year I will toot my own horn differently. How much easier would your selling be if your prospects knew how good you and your products are? A whole lot easier. Now think how much easier it would be if your customers
also believed it.
Most salespeople don’t have problems telling prospects how great they and their products are. The problem is that they are just not believable.
Part of credibility
is putting the customer’s interests ahead of your own. Customers know you want to sell them something. How do you credibly convey your product’s merits? You have other customers do your talking.
Ask your customers how your products and services are impacting their business. Take notes when they give you compliments. Then write them down. Put these comments in a testimonial
letter and ask your customers if they would put what you’ve written on their letterhead. You now have a powerful selling tool when someone other than you raves about your work. It’s also believable.
2. This year, I will use my brain more and my mouth less. One of the best ways to really get your brain going is to focus on your listening. I was recently talking with a buyer who told the salesperson that he wanted to buy the product in November. Why? His budgets weren’t going to be approved until October.
Instead of the salesperson listening and understanding that the budget cycle was unmovable, the salesperson kept trying to move the purchase date up to the summer. It frustrated the buyer to have this tug of war with the salesperson. Had he not really been interested in the product, he would have given up on the purchase.
I still say one of the most important sales questions is to ask "Why?” when you learn a piece of information. Had the salesperson asked, “Why is November the month you want to buy?” he would have found out that it was impossible to change the buying cycle and he wouldn’t have pushed so hard to change it.
3. This year I will get help to sell my products. Jim Koch is the founder of Boston Beer, the brewer of Samuel Adams beer. Samuel Adams beer, which is a more expensive beer, is still doing well in a tough economy. While the general beer category has been flat in recent years, higher-end craft beers like Samuel Adams have enjoyed double-digit growth. How did it happen? Koch didn’t do it alone.
Selling is not a singles sport. It’s a team sport
. The members of your team include the people who influence your customers to buy.
For Boston Beer, the very important members of their team are bartenders. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of its sales are at bars and restaurants. The sales force works with restaurants to create food pairings and educate bartenders about the beer. That not only helps its upscale image, but it also sells more beer because these bartenders recommend Samuel Adams to customers. Who can help you sell your products?
It’s a new year to sell. Most people set resolutions that quickly get broken. Instead, why not set resolutions that make it easier for you to sell? That’s a better way to make sure that your resolutions come true.