The year 2011, with its uncertain economy, mortgage crises, and credit crunches left many salespeople feeling burned out. “Why should I even try?” they asked. “Nobody’s buying insurance these days.”
But that was 2011, and this is 2012. Start the New Year with a positive attitude as well as several ideas for turning prospects into valued customers.
Overhaul Your Sales Process
A lot of leads never become customers because they somehow slipped through the cracks and received little or no follow-up. Some never even received an initial contact from a member of the sales team. Starting today, find a way to keep track of all of your leads and the contacts you’ve had with them. Some people prefer to do this with pen and paper, others prefer CRM software. Whatever your approach, remember that it usually takes people at least seven contacts before they make a buying decision. Make sure your sales process provides that level of lead nurturing.
Set Action-Oriented Goals
Outcome-oriented goals such as, “I want to increase my sales by ten percent this year,” can be difficult to achieve because, although you can perfect your sales approach, you can’t force a client to buy from you. Instead of focusing on an outcome over which you have only limited control, set action-oriented productivity goals that are under your control. Examples include, “I will make 20 cold calls every day over the next month,” or “I will send emails to new prospects within an hour of receiving the referral.”
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Renew Your Motivation
When conversions are slow, it’s easy to lose some of your motivation and enthusiasm. Renew your commitment by thinking about the ways in which the products and services you offer benefit your clients. It may also help to read testimonials of satisfied customers. Getting back in touch with the positive aspects of your job can help your productivity soar.
Know Your Products and Services Inside and Out
Learning about the wide range of products and services available to your customers can help you make a sale. For instance, when a customer complains that a product is out of his or her price range, you can think through the options and offer them a scaled-down package at a more affordable price. Rather than argue with the customers about their reasons for saying no, you can come up with a plan that makes them comfortable saying yes.
Ask for the Sale
This is a step many salespeople leave out because they are uncomfortable or don’t want to appear pushy; however, it’s important for you to take the lead, since your prospect has no idea what the next step in the process should be. There’s nothing wrong with saying something like, “Now that you’ve reviewed our proposal, I’d really like to get you enrolled in this plan as soon as possible. Would you like to start today?”
Like 2011, the year 2012 is bound to have its challenges and setbacks, but if you focus on making your sales process as strong as it can be, you can weather the storms and finish the year feeling proud of what you have accomplished.