Just as a construction worker builds structures a salesperson builds business growth. Both professionals require essential tools to perform at the highest level, but it’s not always the most obvious thing, to think of a salesperson needing ‘tools’ for the job. Perhaps a better way to consider it, is as a ‘pool of resources’. Either way, if you want to be successful in sales, make the most of these valuable sales tools:
The Telephone – Surely the most obvious tool in the box but unsurprisingly, many salespeople give cold calling a wide berth. The truth is, it’s still an effective way to get new business, so brush up on your telemarketing skills and establish a strategy for connecting with new prospects over the phone. Remember, closing the sale on the first call is unlikely, it’s really about introducing yourself, finding out about their business and beginning a relationship.
A Strategy for Building a Pipeline – The only way to evaluate sales success is to start with a strategy for doing business. Erratic bursts of sales activity, with no true path or focus will only lead to frustration. Implement a strategy that allows you to continually top up your sales pipeline, giving you plenty of potential to work with.
Planning and Research – If your prospect feels you understand their position, they will be far more likely to do business with you. Going out of the way to find out more about target prospects, industries and competition will arm you with the information you need to present your product or service as the solution they are looking for.
Social Media – But that’s for the marketing department! Yes, but sales and marketing have to work together. Support your business’ social media posts by sharing helpful, relevant posts that will connect with your customers and prospects. Also, be sure to interact with the social media posts of those you want to do business with to establish positive connections.
Education – Just as measurement of sales activity is vital to hitting and exceeding targets, measurement of your own professional development is required to ensure you’re performing at your best. Training and development plans for sales people at all levels enable access to new skills and opportunities to prevent established sales techniques from becoming tired and ineffective.
A listening attitude – Listening is learning. When you’re listening to your colleagues you’re learning about their experiences and using that to develop your own skills. When you’re listening to your prospect you’re gaining insight into their place in the market and their unique business needs. Make a point of listening to understand by asking questions, because when you simply listen to respond you turn the focus of the conversation away from the valuable things that you can learn from.
A good contact network – Go out of your way to make connections with professionals across a variety of businesses. LinkedIn and networking events are perfect for this. Establishing yourself as someone able to refer businesses to one another, outside of your own business interests, encourages positive, trusted relationships with both prospects and existing customers.