These ten tips are mandated to those who still believe that a successful seller needs nothing more than a car, an address book and a little pattern for sale …
Sales Tips # 1: Keep a database update and operate it!
Studies have shown, it usually takes between 6 and 9 contacts to achieve a sale: request for documentation on a website, first call the business to define the need, sending the quote, the quote … recovery.
Make a sale “one shot” is increasingly rare (increased competition, zappers or difficult to convince customers …), we must learn to direct his prospects of first contact to sale.
Here are some best practices that any company should establish at its contact database:
– Integrate all contacts in a single centralized database : This course leads the files from applications of internet documents, contacts on a show … but also all other sources of indirect contact (eg comments blogs, “friends” on Facebook, business card recovered at parties …). The goal will be to have a base that can be easily exploited and restart. Indeed in practice in all companies there are still too many where such a service purchases or recovering files, then the stimulus once they are no longer exploited …
– List in its database discriminant and relevant information about its customers to make filters to send targeted communications : needs (current and future), owned equipment, probability of sale (hot or cold prospect) …).
– Keep the updated database, either by phoning ( rotating calls each month on a part of the campaign or ad hoc basis) or through a contest or updating of its base reactivation (eg obligation to game the name of the sales manager, current equipment …), or by an occasional newsletter with questionnaires on clients or with sending a satisfaction questionnaire …
– Establish a chain of exploration following the recovery of the coordinates of a prospect (registration to the newsletter, sending targeted promotions …) and loyalty (purchase + shipment to five days a letter of thanks to + 30 days the purchase of an additional service contract offer or accessories …).
– Identify what are the (best) customers and decision-makers in the buying process: this is especially true when one is aimed at medium and large businesses. For example, to sell services or marketing tools you must contact the sales manager or marketing or accounting but not the IT manager. Once one has identified its target you must use the best tool for contact (eg phone or a physical meeting to a director of a large company as an emailing will be less effective) … Then you buy files with the coordinates of these persons or set up partnerships with companies regarding the same target with non-competing products (and possibly further).
Warning it is important to integrate all its files in a central database, it does not mix everything: prospects and clients must be separated as this would render the base unusable. The hunt for duplicates should also be a priority to avoid losing information (a de-doubloon age the SIRET is highly recommended for companies).
Sales Tips 2: Prepare visits and calls!
The secret to a successful sale is preparation. You must come with a clear and factual view of its prospect or customer what is the currently realized CA, is it up, what quote I already signed with him and why they had not Successful, what its needs , what may be the problem, what services it may need, what can be its main objections and how to respond …
Of course if the company has a CRM software it will have a more global vision that will prevent him to go in a delicate situation as restart a client who currently has an unresolved technical problem or is in outstandings exceeded …
Once that is done it must prepare its arguments:
– The pitch : This is summarized in 20 seconds what offers the company (who, what, where, why and how) and what is the major competitive advantage.
– Prepare an argument with key strengths and answers to the most common objections.
– Never close the door to discussion : we must of course avoid closed questions or one that can be contradicted, but also prepare an alternative to its proposals (eg, the client will request a reduction in price you can not grant … then offer her marketing tools or additional compensation POS).
– Listen to the customer and meet their expectations: we must take notes not to forget key information, allow customers to talk about their needs and identify key information in its decision-making …
– Explain clearly why you want to talk to your contac t and what you bring to it, and at the end of appointment make a “diagnosis” summarizing the client’s problem … and the solution you offer (= your product!). – … Of course, the trade should enhance the profile of its contact after the visit to find out exactly where he is with his client for the next appointment (it should say only what he considers most important). It is also important to trace the important ancillary information: promotions of competitors, new products and trends …. The goal is to have an updated database and enrich it!
Sales Tips 3: Organize your work days
Being organized is able to manage its priorities … The commercial that says “I’m overwhelmed” is a trade that does not manage its priorities.
To avoid this, there are several tricks to optimize his time:
– Prepare his days in advance: it is the vital minimum to start making time … Every night, just before leaving, you need to list what needs to be done tomorrow and in the coming days. This allows to anticipate and manage not just in an emergency. It is also the only way to avoid losing a few minutes every morning to say “What will I do today?”.
– Distinguish the priority tasks : to do this, simply set up a sorting method between Urgent actions and Important, Important but not urgent, urgent but not important and those that are not urgent and not important (see our dossier “How organize “and” How to stay creative “). The aim will be to identify the 20% of the tasks that produce 80% of your results.
– Just note : you must avoid overloading his mind with useless information or rehashing the thinking avoid forgetting … To do this simply to make lists and to keep in mind what is essential. For example when moving it is useless to note all the hotel information, the flight number … to print the data on the hotel and the contact, and forget about it, but focus on visiting his client.
– Use of organization and information management tools : it is of course a method of classification folders and email (see our article on MS Outlook), but also avoid wasting time while using search For example Google Desktop that allows you to search one or more words in your emails, Word / PDF / Excel … and even keep track of files that have been deleted!
Sales Tips # 4: Follow its business and its customers
The goal is to manage its business and not chasing … for that you need to establish an organization (usually associated with a CRM software).
This requires structuring its business:
– Follow her things : a global vision of all its current business and their level of progress and know when restart (with automatic alerts)
– Improve its rate of “closing” (success rate): this requires setting up arguments taking into account best practices and tips for all lifts sales team (this can be set up either during the monthly sales meetings, either in real time via a file “best Practises”).
– Focus efforts on hot leads, and use communications tools tailored according to the potential of each customer.For example the visit face to face will be reserved for high value-added business, as it can cost up to € 50 / contact. Similarly at a show it will book long arguments and demonstrations pushed the most interested prospects and prepare a mini demo for cold leads, give them documentation and propose to recall the fair after the fair to make a update on their project.
– Establish a true lead management by sending different messages according to the sales stage or the maturity of the project (eg the start of sales advice and insist on quality, and in phase over the closing price) and if necessary by managing a lead time for business that last several months.
If you need a tool to implement exploration chains by sending automatic emails or newsletters, you should also Aweber . Indeed for only $ 19 / month you can schedule sending emails to your prospects lists. The interest is to program different channels depending on the type of leads but also different messages depending on the progress of the purchase decision.
Aweber can be used
– to make the sale in 2 stages (informing then sell)
– to achieve correspondence courses or training
– to send newsletters
This is one of the most effective tools on the market to implement automatic chains of email mailings!
In addition it must make a regular round of contacts to identify those who become inactive and offer them an action to reactivate (promo on another product, trial offer …).
Sales Tips # 5: Establish a lead generator
We must consider generating leads as part of an automatic system which can be operated with acceleration or braking.
A typical example is Google Adwords: the more you put budget and you add keywords, you’ll get more contacts (nb: it is of course calculate its ROI to ensure that customer acquisition cost n is not disproportionate …).
A good way to generate leads many cases, is to pursue a sale 2 times ( or also called “Give to Get”). The goal is simple: to offer a “free” (test sample …) before its sale. The goal is to reduce the “risk purchase” / Brake purchase by giving a good first impression with its prospect.
Here is a sample sale in two steps: – Step 1: offering a free white paper . Webinar, a trial offer, offer free advice on a blog … to attract a qualified, target population – The Step 2: get the coordinates of these contacts in its database prospects and offer them your pay offer.
Another method is to motivate the entire company for sale (the principle of “We are all salespeople”). This is for example offering technical support teams to be paid on detected leads. Of course for this to work properly requires traceability of lead detected and their realizations.
Beyond that, it is to ensure that all employees are the best sellers of the company , and they do not hesitate to talk about their products to their friends and relations (and if necessary it will bind remuneration). Who has not had to deal with one of his friends that advertise a product you have purchased your competitors simply because he did not know that you proposed these products in your business … To avoid this you should give your employees how to be your sellers (price for employees, incentives for projects detection …).
As against it should be remembered that these non-commercial populations have no training … it will therefore provide them with a minimum of tools: fee schedule, the 10 key points of the products, the target they address …
Sales Tips 6: Capitalising knowledge
One goal for a company that is out of the eternal comparison based solely on price to add more services or a notion of responsiveness.
Indeed there will always be another company to offer a better price, but what a client can do this will be reluctant to lose an order facility, complementary services, quality of service … This requires setting up an organization centered around its customers.
One of the first steps is to establish a written culture in the company, rather than a culture of speaking. This initially results in a CRM record in all communications with clients and prospects. This avoids the classic symptoms of disorganized companies like “Where were you with my colleague” during the holiday of a commercial, the “You might remember your Customer ID and your problem” repeated 5 times to 5 people different …
But it is also a way to preserve the corporate memory when a salesperson leaves the company, and enables faster rise in skill for new recruits.
Interest will capitalize the knowledge in the company via a centralized knowledge base shared by all. Indeed this knowledge base will for example be used and enriched by the technical service, but it will also be available and supplied by commercial order can immediately answer key customer questions (and also to mount competence to know better sell the product).
Linked to this basic knowledge, it is interesting to allow the sending of automated solutions (guides in PDF format and procedures) that allow greater responsiveness to the technical service but also reduce call rates by providing a site Internet.
A force to favor the sharing of information, the company will be transformed gradually into a learning and responsive organization, which will increase the overall quality of the company’s service.
Tips No. 7 Loyalty: Retaining customers through a lasting relationship.
Before thinking about loyalty must already debunk the belief: loyalty not offer the best product at the best price.
1 – Give the impression (true or false) that the client is privileged. This can pass through specific special offers, a single interlocutor …
2 – Being close and customize communications : add the name and surname, celebrate events (birthday of the person or service contract), offering small gifts to reward an act of purchase (this gift can be either for company or for the employee …) …
3 – Understand the difficulties and needs of its contacts and answer : it is taken into account its comments and resolve, develop questionnaires after sales, identify the negative points of its products or their use …
Then it’s caring relationships with its customers and prospects : this may be through its commercial, vendors or PBX (physical, voice server …) … The study that one satisfied customer speaks to 3 people, and dissatisfied to 10, remains true. And it is even more important with the rise of the Internet and view websites, blogs and forums … Avoid blocking situations and foster dialogue, or explain why they can not act.
Eg for technical service that is clear at the outset what you agree, and what can not be done, and of course make sure to have consistent answers, fast and accurate.
Ironically one of the strongest levers to increase sales is to turn customers into ambassadors problems … The customer ambassador is a “super customer” that boasts your products and services to a third party without gaining anything (either by testimonials, either directly through its contacts).
However, experience shows that it is the customers who have had big problems with you but who you have managed to solve, which are the most effective ambassadors . But for this to work it usually go beyond the simple classic response and “do the impossible” to help his client (this is what the Anglo-Saxons call them “the extra mile”, the little something that shows the goodwill of the company).
Testimonials are very strong arms to reassure its prospects, but also to prove internally the quality of your products (eg hot line has generally unhappy customers on the phone … so it is very useful to show them that even when there are happy customers!).
It is important to note that it is more efficient to set up a very simple and practical program rather than a gas plant with points and bearing systems … for example offer a bouquet of flowers or just a small gadget after the sale to be more effective than godchildren point system that will not be used in concrete ways immediately, and secondly that will not necessarily be offered to the employee but to his company.
Loyalty Tips 8: Develop a retention system in 3 phases
It must retain its best customers to consume more and those that are not.
1 – Build a lasting relationship : the goal is to communicate regularly to its customers through a newsletter, birthday offers, exclusive offers …
2 – Developing high-potential customers : thanks to scoring or profiling can identify its best customers (or at least the industry, the number of employees …) and develop an upsell program (product sales highest quality …).Always be able to sell more or higher to a customer in order not to be in the cases where one has nothing left to sell (even up a partnership with a complementary product provider to his family and collect a commission As an intermediary).
3 – Relacer customers who become inactive: must be a monthly / quarterly period (if it is not done automatically via processes), reactivation and organize events (open house, Web Seminar …), create groups and segmenting its customers to send targeted and relevant messages (and focus on the most profitable customers).
This requires of course rely on the Pareto law, but also on the Law of the Long tail that allows capitalize on its very large accounts, on the right customers and the myriad of those who generate only a few sales a month …
Loyalty and sales tips # 9: Conduct effective messages.
Write tip mailing, emailing, faxing … it’s a question of technique.
For a mailing you have to work its grip (for emailing the sender is also crucial), to highlight the problems of his prospect, give solutions by highlighting the rational benefits (eg X% reduction in its expenses) and emotional ((eg improve your quality of service), remember its guarantees and finally make a call to action with a sense of urgency via multiple offers limited in time.
Emailing with more particularity that it is possible to optimize the days and hours of shipment and that it is possible to give more creativity to his messages (videos …).
For Google Adwords ads , there are some variables in addition to its keywords as most times as possible in the ad, optimize keyword list (negative keywords, keyword errors, few keywords of ” long tail “keywords magic (white paper available …) …) and improve conversion rates by testing different landings pages …
In the end what it will remember is that you should always test, and retest reretester.
Tips Sales and Loyalty No. 10: Analyzing the “effectiveness of its actions!
It is important to have a global vision of the evolution of its business and its business portfolio over the medium and long term. Indeed, a vision to a month or two does not emerge from the operational and influence on the evolution of its business. You should know get high and allow time for reflection.
This reflection can focus on the customer portfolio analysis (major accounts …), but also on the results of marketing actions.
The first thing to do is to set up an annual marketing plan broken down into monthly action / weekly: this plan should be the theme of the year and should be updated as the overall development of the business and stock success marketing. The goal is not to rely on intuition, but use encrypted and concrete results.