How to build your sales skills
This past weekend I had the privilege of being in the UK to work with a group of entrepreneurs and business professionals at an event called the Mind Your Own Business Conference. While my topic was on the importance of vision, a large portion of the weekend was focused on sales as most of the attendees admitted their challenges in that area. It is no different from similar people here at home. In this article, I shed some light on this all-important skill. Whether you run you own business or work as a salesperson in a company, this article is for you.
The true measure of the success of any business is the bottom line—sales minus cost of sales. While there are many factors that lead to a success in sales, there is one factor that trumps all others. That one factor is people.
Selling is a people business and you need people skills in order to succeed. These people skills according to Success Magazine include:
• How to make a positive initial contact with potential clients;
• What to say to peak their interest in your product or service;
• The right words to say to get a confirmed appointment to demonstrate your product or service;
Putting people at ease, getting them to like you, trust you and want to listen to you;
• Asking the right questions to learn whether clients truly need and will benefit from your offering;
• The words and actions necessary to present your product or service in the best manner for each client;
• What to say and do to answer any concerns raised by potential clients;
• How to ask for the sale;
• How to ask for referrals from every sale (and non-sale);
• The implementation of strategies to gain loyalty and future business.
Don’t let this list overwhelm you. They flow together so naturally in most selling situations that, if you were watching someone who has learned them well, you might only pick up on two or three. In fact, you might want to review this list and keep it in mind the next time you find yourself on the client end of a selling situation. If you have these skills already, fantastic. If you don’t, it’s time to start filling in the gaps. An online article entitled, “Winning with Sales”, breakdowns several skills you’d need to build in your sales career whether you’re in business or involved in sales within a company. They are as follows.
1. Researching prospects
Chances are your prospect knows plenty about you, your firm and your competition. In order to add real value, you’ll need to know even more about the prospect, the prospect’s business and the prospect’s own customers.
2. Creating rapport
The first decision that every buyer makes is: “Do I want to do business with this person?” To create that all-important instant connection, you’ve got be curious, personable and really care about the people you’re trying to help.
3. Asking questions
If you can’t satisfy a customer’s real needs, you can’t make a sale. And if you don’t ask the right questions–or if you ask them the wrong way–you’ll never know what the customers really need, and therefore will never be able to help.
4. Listening actively
This is even more important than asking the right questions. When customers are talking, it’s not enough to keep your mouth closed. You’ve also got to keep your mind open to discover ways to truly be of service.
5. Presenting Solutions
This means creating and describing a specific solution to previously agreed-upon needs. Note: It is the exact opposite of a sales pitch, which is a one-size-fits-all way to say “All I care about is making a sale.”
6. Asking for commitment
All of the above is completely pointless if the activity doesn’t eventually result in some sales. If you don’t ask for the business at some point, it’s not going to happen. So learn how to ask.
7. Building relationships
Your short-term goal is to walk “arm-in-arm” with the customer as they arrive at the best possible solution. Your long-term goal is to become part of that customer’s essential business network… and vice versa.
Sales people are among the highest paid people in the world, especially those who take it seriously and develop the necessary skills to succeed in the field.
Each of these skills requires focus and practice. Everybody sells, regardless of the field you are in.
If growing your skills in sales in a big deal for you, I’d like to invite you to the next Entrepreneur Night hosted by the Bahamas Chamber Institute, scheduled for July 20 at 7 p.m. This month, the focus is on all things sales. Our keynote speaker, Camilita Nuttall, has been a top sales person in a corporate publicly traded company for not one, but seven consecutive years in Europe and also engineered a major sales force in over 30 countries where she created some of the largest sales teams and the biggest launch in the company’s history that got onto NBC News.
At this event you will learn simple techniques on how to earn six figures in 2016 online, offline and globally; clear strategies on how to turn your prospects into paying customers and customers into a referral machine for your business; how to book out your diary for the rest of 2016 with quality leads that are looking for your business; and clear steps to earn five times more money than you have earned in so far and the work ethic necessary!
To register for this event, call email me at [email protected]
• Keshelle Davis is a master trainer in the areas of business skills, financial literacy and personal development, a speaker, author and entrepreneur. Her roles include executive director of the Chamber Institute, the education arm the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce; president of Creative Wealth Bahamas and founder of The Training Authority. Keshelle was listed as The Nassau Guardian’s Top 40 under 40 for the 40th anniversary celebrations of The Bahamas. Contact Keshelle at [email protected].
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