Once past the rookie stage, most sales reps understand the importance of knowing their products, being prepared, communicating clearly with clients and closing the sale. After mastering the basics, improving sales requires adding some new habits to your work routine. Use these tips to increase sales regardless of your industry.
Research your customers.
Improving sales numbers starts with a solid understanding of each of your current and potential customers. It is difficult to explain why a particular client needs a service or product if you do not have a solid understanding of his business. Find out if your client's business is growing or declining, and find out why. Research how your products can solve a particular customer's problems and make his life easier. For current customers, look at their order history and how it matches up with your most popular products and services. Look for holes that need filling for easy sales prospects. Finally, stay up-to-date on your client's credit information. If a current client has no available credit with your organization, it might not be worth your time to push additional sales.
Drop the script.
Rookie sales reps use scripts to boost their confidence. Advanced sales professionals drop the script and let their personalities sell their products. Real communication occurs only after the script is gone. Although notes and solid facts are important, sharing information freestyle and really listening to what your customers have to say are key factors for improving sales. With a script you have the illusion of control. Real communication carries a bit more uncertainty but actually gives you tighter control of the sales process as you respond directly to customer needs and concerns. Script-free sales presentations also let you share more of yourself. When your customers hear your true interest and enthusiasm for your products, they are more likely to be interested in making a purchase, and improving sales numbers follow.
Sales managers know that constructive criticism often boosts sales and occasionally hire sales coaches to help their teams. In many situations, self criticism is just as effective. At the end of each day, review your successes and failures. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, and think about how you could have done things differently. During your internal review, take full responsibility for any missed sales and concentrate on what you could have done to possibly change the outcome. Focus on completed sales with an eye for improvement too. Self evaluation is not easy, but improving sales starts with knowledge about what you do wrong and concrete ideas on how to correct mistakes.
Get into the habit of researching your customers, dropping sales scripts and evaluating your own performance to increase sales. A regular commitment to a daily routine focused on research, performance and critique leads to regularly reaching sales goals and improving sales totals. Never let your focus drift to your own commission. A strong eye towards helping the customer is the best way to better sales.
Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net