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"10" things I learnt about selling

You had the fortitude to join sales profession.  Now what ?

You must develop few habits and skills to automate the sales activities.  When I said automate I am referring to automating your mindset.  And here are “10” skills that will help you sail through the sales journey.

  1. Always be planning: spend 20% of you time planning your day, week and month in advance. Plan for activities and plan for results.
  2. Always be learning: Learn everything you can learn about selling.  Read “6” best sales methodologies books and explore what is useful and effective.  Use it.
  3. Always Stay hungry. If you are hungry you will visit the restaurant.  Think hungry think customers and always have 10 – 15 active prospects in your plate that you can close this month. 
  4. Always be positive. You lose some and you gain some.  And when you lose some it’s your attitude that will lift you up and it’s your attitude that can let you down. Hence maintain a positive attitude.
  5. Always be genuine: Always be genuine in your commitments and recommendations. Selling is a game of trust relationship.
  6. Always be sincere: Always be sincere.  Treat your prospects and customers as you would like to be treated.
  7. Always be adding value: Go a step further when delivering your commitments.  A little extra service, an early delivery, a little extra wrapping, an extra training will go a long way in maximizing your customer returns.
  8. Always be developing: Spend more resources on yourself than on your job.  Invest on self development.
  9. Always be measuring: Brush up your mathematics skills.  It will help when calculating discount and measuring to retain statistics on your calls, closures, commission, pending and sales figures on the finger tips.
  10. Always be closing: Explore how you can close your business faster and earlier.  How can you reduce the sales cycle?

 

 

Key attributes of successful Sales profession


Sales is one of the oldest professions and many other professions are offspring’s of sales.  Hence, it is no wonder that Sales professionals are multifaceted. They study and imbibe the unique skills & practices of other professions such as Medical practitioners, Insurance agents and teachers, to become more effective.

Medical Practitioners: Practice medicine.  Patients visit them and doctors exercise their domain knowledge and ask relevant questions to find the correct remedy.  Similarly Sales professionals should become customer’s business domain expert and hone their skills of asking question to make the sale.

Insurance Agents: They provide consultancy and advise on insurance covers, be it your physical assets or your physical health. An insurance cover is your umbrella for when a disaster strikes.  Sales professionals should also talk insurance with their customer. How an extra cover can insure their assets are unaffected when and if a tsunami, flood or earthquake strikes. How the business can get back on track with little extra care.

Teachers: They are subject matter experts and students attend their classes to learn. Sales professionals can emulate teachers; become subject matter experts and exercise education based selling.  People love to buy from people who know their craft.

Entrepreneur: They invest, create and partner with others to generate profits.  Sales Professionals should also invest in themselves and their customers and partner with them to create profits.

Artist: They create works of art and people pay for their works. Sales Professionals should create value proposition and play in the Blue Ocean rather than bleed in the Red Ocean.

Actor: Actors are performers. Give them a scenario and they become the part, an old fragile person, a youthful personality or a child.  Sales Professionals are performers too, they reflect gentle or firm as the script demand.

Public speaker: Earn their living by speaking to an audience.  Sales professionals benefit by honing their public speaking skills. Consider it to be as if your life depended on delivering an impactful message.

Every profession has its bright spots and when we choose to practice those bright spots, we choose a life with a difference.

 

How to find sales leads

Sales Leads

Someone said if you have the best product, the world will beat the way to your door.  That’s not true unless you are a pied piper.  Product is important so do the right  set of prospects.  So how and where do you find prospects for your products?  I am sharing “24” activity, secrets and tips to find prospects for your products.

  1. Get referrals from your friends, customers, suppliers, partners and events.
  2. Sell to your business partners and supplier/customers of your business partners
  3. Sell to your customers &  customers Suppliers and partners
  4. Upsell within your customer organization.
  5. Cross sell within your customers organization
  6. Conduct a marketing email campaign
  7. Advertise in the news paper
  8. Advertise in the online magazine, and online Newspaper
  9. Cold calling
  10. Capture visitors visiting your web
  11. Create a sales pitch on your web site.
  12. Create a  sales pitch web page/Facebook page and use Google addwords.
  13. Requests leads from participants in networking events & forums such as BNI and other
  14. Hire short terms tele sales team on result basis.
  15. Hire contact center services to generate prospects and/or sell for you.
  16. Attend  business forums and pitch your services.
  17. Attend social forums and pitch your business introduction.
  18. Conduct event – Sales; Technology and Education event
  19. Conduct joint sales & marketing events with your partners and others.
  20. Partner with other organsaitons sales team to find leads for your products on bilateral referral basis
  21. Create Twitter account and pitch your services.
  22. Target new business or businesses moving premises or opening branch offices through business forums, Chamber of commerce, Economic department Municipality, Telco’s
  23. Conduct an SMS campaign
  24. Conduct a radio on air campaign.

Enjoy  closing business

 

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How to increase sales revenue ?


How do you INCREASE  Sales Revenue year on year ?

This is a perennial question that challenges management of every company. After pondering I could think of two parameters that would contribute towards increase in the sales revenue i.e

  1. Increase sales targets of your field force.
  2. Increase head count of your field force.

The irony is many of the organizations fail to provide meaningful answers; how can field sales force achieve the increased sales targets ?  And this is one of the major factor  that field force feels let down year after year.   However there are four distinct areas through which field sales force achieve the increased sales targets ?

  1. Sell Additional new products.
  2. Sell in the new territory.
  3. Bright spot: Upsell and cross sell in your existing customers.
  4. Increase effectiveness through training.

The 2nd aspect is to increase the sales force head count ; that requires pure mathematical skills to mirror the organization revenue targets. This includes increasing your

  1. internal sales team head count.
  2. your reseller’s head count.
  3. your resellers team head count.

Having said that there is a NEW angle to the Increase your head count and i.e. Virtual Sales Force or automating your sales cycle such as being achieved by giants including Amazon.com; ebay.com; Zappos; Dell’s direct selling model and others. This is about developing an effective eCommerce platform/Virtual Sales Force and automating the marketing, sales, quotations, order booking and collection process; thus selling 24×7  across the globe.

 

10 Greatest Salespeople of All Time

Copy Source:  Inc.

John H. Patterson: The founder and CEO of the National Cash Register Co. was known to be a stern control freak. He was also the father of modern sales training. He was among the first entrepreneurs to organize sales training programs and retreats. His company provides salespeople with scripts, and encouraged them to view the sales cycle as a four-stage process that identified the key milestones as the initial approach, the proposition, the product demonstration, and closing the deal.

David Ogilvy: The legendary advertising executive who created iconic campaigns for Hathaway, Dove, Schweppes, and Rolls-Royce began his career in sales, moving cooking stoves door to door. He was so successful the company he worked for asked him to write an instruction manual that it then distributed to other members of its sales force. Filled with timeless advice, it became a cult classic. Among the advice: “The worst fault a salesman can commit is to be a bore. Foster any attempt to talk about other things; the longer you stay the better you get to know the prospect, and the more you will be trusted.”

Mary Kay Ash: A successful salesperson in Dallas, Ash quit her job in 1963 because, she said, a man whom she had trained was promoted above her at twice the salary. She planned to write a book, but her notes became instead a business plan for a beauty and cosmetics company that relied on women to sell merchandise to their friends and acquaintances through direct sales (otherwise known as multi-level marketing). She also pioneered the use of sales incentives, turning her company’s signature pink Cadillacs into a sign of women’s economic self sufficiency.

Dale Carnegie: The son of a hardscrabble Missouri farmer, Carnegie began his career selling products and correspondence courses to ranchers. He eventually landed in New York City, where he began to offer a series of public speaking classes that were frequented by many budding salespeople. His landmark book How to Win Friends and Influence People instructs readers to become more effective communicators who focus on fostering healthy team dynamics. Carnegie was also ahead of his time in exhorting his followers to pursue work-life balance

Joe Girard: This Detroit native made a name for himself as the greatest car salesman of the post-war era. As a young boy, he sold subscriptions to the Detroit Free Press door-to-door and learned that sales operated according to a law of averages all its own. The more doorbells he rang, the more money he made. He carried that philosophy forward when he graduated to selling big-ticket items. During a 15-year period that began in 1963, he sold more than 13,000 Chevrolets at a local dealership—at one point selling 18 cars in a single workday.

Erica Feidner: Despite a long sales cycle and little volume driven by repeat purchases, this legendary piano saleswoman sold more than $40 million in Steinways before retiring a few years ago. “It is not unusual for Feidner’s customers to describe her as a force of nature,” the journalist James B. Stewart, one of Feidner’s clients, wrote inThe New Yorker in 1999. “This is not because they feel pressured by her but because after they meet her many soon find themselves in the grip of musical ambitions they never knew they harbored. These ambitions often include buying a specific piano that they feel they can no longer live without, even if it strains both their living rooms and their bank accounts.”

Ron Popeil: The Ronco founder pioneered the process of selling consumer appliances and other products by infomercial. His exuberance created a market for The Solid Flavor Injector, Mr. Microphone, and the Showtime Rotisserie. “If I create a product, I can market it as well as or better than anyone on the planet,” he toldInc. in 2009. “I have the confidence and the passion. People see that, and they know it is real.”

Larry Ellison: The king of aggressive corporate technology sales, Ellison seems to be one of those people who would rather be feared than loved. The database company he founded has for years been criticized for offering over-the-top discounts to win new business, followed unexpected fees larded on to cover the costs of additional services. Ellison himself is credited (or blamed) for creating a culture of winning new business at any cost. He is famous for calling sales managers late at night and on weekends to ask pointed questions about stalled deals or lost accounts.

Zig Ziglar: One of the leading motivational speakers in recent years, Ziglar has helped shape the modern vocabulary of sales as much as any other sales expert. In particular, he encourages salespeople to commit to a lifetime of learning and training; to be extremely shrewd when it comes to setting (and thereby exceeding) goals and quotas; and to maintain a heightened level of motivation by constantly visualizing success.

Napoleon Barragan: The founder of 1-800-Mattress was a genius at using technology to open new sales channels for his Simmons and Sealys. He was one of the first and most successful adopters of the 1-800 number, correctly predicting that consumers would be perfectly willing to have mattresses delivered to their homes sight unseen. Soon after the advent of e-commerce, he registered the domain name mattress.com, and derived significant online sales at a time when few retailers were thinking about the Web. Fun fact: The Ecuadorean-born Barragon got his start in 1950s Colombia selling beer and soda from the back of a burro

 

Copy source: Inc.

Sales Game

There are many prevalent sales strategies that work keeping in mind the customer’s interest.  However, in the last few months I discovered two more tactics of selling wherein leverage is the Trust or few may call it confidence between the two i.e. you and your customer.

Game  # 1: “ Trust me”

This type of selling is based on trust and works for securing your foot in the door.   Or better still for any future transactions to arise.  Herein you capitalize on your past performance and the trust enjoyed with the customer to reiterate that “Mr. customer you have trusted him in the past hence trust me for the future or new technology business”.  The objective here is to get an assurance from your customer to consider you for the business and it works well with people at higher rungs of the customer business hierarchy.

Game  # 2: “I understand your business”

Every business endeavors to be a step ahead of its competitors or rather your customers would like to play in the Blue Ocean.  And if you can help him do so they have your undivided attention.    This strategy reflects that you know your customers business and can make him look better with their customers and share holders.  So you as a vendor present a business proposition that sticks and enables him to play in the Blue Ocean.  You tell and show the customer “Mr. Customer this is your go to market strategy and the ROI is 18 months”.

Read it, practice it, build on it  and use it to win unrealized business potential with the customer.

Enjoy reading and commenting……

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