I was recently on a panel discussion called “Sales for the Non-Sales Person”. In preparation for the panel I was asked to come up with my top 5 selling tips. This was a challenge. Although I now embrace the role of sales, this wasn’t always the case and since I’m not a trained sales professional, I wasn’t sure what to say. Especially since my sales style is about as casual as them come.
It was when I embraced my casual selling style that I was able to clearly define what works for me. My top five selling tips are…
1. Don’t make sales calls
If you make a call thinking “I’m going to sell you something”, you’re already sunk. Think of it as an introduction to see how you can help. I changed my calling approach to this a few years ago and was amazed at how much more successful it was. The bottom line is no one wants to be sold to but are always willing to listen to someone who wants to help them out.
Make sure you know exactly who will be interested in your product or service and be ready to explain to them why you thought of contacting them specifically. The more knowledge/interest you have in them, the more inclined they’ll be to listening to what you have to say.
It’s imperative to follow-up with the people you’ve spoken with. Even if you call them once every three months, you’ll keep your name in front of them. If your list gets too large for a personal phone call, use social media as a way to contact customers/prospects.
4. Believe in what you’re selling
If you truly believe in your product or service and feel it’s a fantastic solution for your prospects, this will come through when you reach out to them. It’s a matter of viewing each call, visit, communication, etc., as a way to help the person you’re contacting. I know from experience that enthusiasm is contagious. Make sure you have it.
5. Be Yourself
This may be the most important of all the tips. There are many sales strategies that professional sales people use. Make sure the ones you adopt are the ones you’re comfortable with. If you’re uncomfortable making a cold call, the person on the receiving end will sense that. Perhaps networking is more your forte. Know your comfort zones and work within them.
I had to stretch my comfort zone by cold calling to get my business off the ground. For me it was the most efficient way to contact my prospects. I was terrified at the concept but when I think about it, there’s rarely a missed opportunity to speak with a stranger when I’m out in public – was this really so different?