10 Rules That Will Increase Your Sales

March 14, 2009
Visualizing Sales 2.0

Image by christophercarfi via Flickr

Sales is truly a contact sport. The basic rules of success can be simple, but so often they are not consistently applied. Here is my top 10 list of sales principles. When diligently applied, they are guaranteed to produce results.

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1. Appointments are Everything:
Whether you are telesales or a traditional “belly-to-belly” sales person, appointments are everything to getting a deal. You need to make contact to close a deal.

This means every action and activity in your sales day should be focused on increasing your contact or sales calls–appointments.

2. Get Better at Selling: It sounds simple, but so many sales people never strive to get better at selling. They look for a “magic bullet,” “sure-fire” method, or clever short-cut to success. The real secret is practice makes perfect.

Learn by doing. Learn by listening. Learn by reading. Learn by tracking and logging what works and what doesn’t.

3. Create a Great Presentation: Again, this is a practice that I often see missing. Craft and perfect a great sales presentation. It may seem boring to deliver the same old presentation over and over again on every sales call, but remember each prospect is hearing it fresh.

The lesson here is that if you get a tried and true presentation that gets sales–make it a standard. Use it until it doesn’t produce consistently, until then simply tweak it to perfection.

4. Sell Wants and Desires:
Don’t try to tell customers what they need–sell them on their own wants and desires. Chances are that they are listening because they have some emotional desire. Discover what that burning desire is and sell it home to a closing.

You can try to sell rate and payment all day, but I can guarantee the top sales person on the floor is selling hopes, dreams, independence, and/or wealth. If you can convince them of a mortgage or debt plan that can get them to these places the interest rate is an afterthought.

5. Enthusiasm!
Never underestimate the power of a sales person on their feet, smiling, with a chest full of confidence (even on the phone). Enthusiasm projects. Enthusiasm is contagious.

If you are confident and excited about helping your customer they will be equally enthusiastic to do business with you.

6. Never Ask Them What They Think: This is a big waste of time and breaks the momentum in any sales process. Chances are you called them–so they haven’t even had time to think. On top of that, why would you put your customer on the spot.

The best result of a question like, “what do you think?” is an awkward silence. The worst case is they tell you they aren’t sure and don’t have time to think about it right now.

7. Practice Closing:
How much time do you spend learning your products, getting down your introduction, working out the perfect mortgage or debt presentation? My guess is a lot of time. But, how much time do you practice closing–asking for the business?

Unfortunately, most don’t. You know what that means? You won’t get the deal.

8. Always Be Closing:
Okay, perhaps an overused cliche, but it works. Your sales process should be built on a technique I train as–acknowledge, pivot, close. This process always returns you to closing.

Once you have listened to the customer’s need, presented the program, and asked for the business it is time to run the gauntlet of objections. This is where most lose–in the “red zone.” Instead practice acknowledging the objection, pivoting off the negative and refocusing on a value point, and then ask for the deal again.

This technique. is designed to be repeated until you schedule a follow-up or close.

9. AIDA, It Works: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. Again, probably overused and abused, but it works. Design your sales pitch to grab your prospects attention, align their interest with your product, kindle their desire, and then compel them to action.

Just walking through the steps makes you feel like you are headed into a closing.

10. Care: Like confidence, genuine interest and concern for the the customer works wonders. In a world that is quickly losing its tendency to care and trust others, your focused attention on the customer will create a unique and differentiating experience.

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