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Best Sales Secrets

24 February 2012 6 CommentsBy Sarah Shaw

Do you often wonder what other people's strategy is for reeling in sales?  Wonder what they say or do to get customers buying their products?  Well I am always curious, so I reached out to my experts for their advice and they have some ideas for you below.

Sales was never easy for me and was never my favorite thing to do in my business.  I did enjoy Trade shows, and the face to face time with buyers, but phone sales was never really up there on top of my fav list.  Not ideal when you need to sell to survive I know!

Over the years, I tried lots of different things, but the one tactic that has worked really well for me that I want to share with you is this:  A friend went to Charlotte, NC on vacation and did a lot of shopping with friends while there. She returned and handed me about 10 business cards saying that these stores were super cute and were perfect for my Handy Hold All®.  So of course – I was all over it.  I called them up and said that my friend had given me the cards etc……and I closed 7 of them!  I realized that this totally warmed up the "cold call" and gave me a special insider position.  Well…….we continued to use that "story" over and over with all the stores we cold called and had a huge closing rate! In less than two years, we were selling to over 400 stores.

What is your secret?

1. Ask For the Business!

This is what I use to open doors: It's amazing how many sales professionals forget the magic rule in selling: asking for business. You can have the best sales pitch in the world, but if you don't actively state that you want a potential customer to buy your product or service, it's meaningless. "At this time, I'd like to ask you to purchase our product" or something similar should be included in any sales pitch. It also clearly states what is expected from the potential buyer and puts the ball in their court.
Thanks to: Tony Adams of Dallas Windows.

2. Silence is Golden

This is what I use to open doors: My magic word in sales isn't a word at all. It's silence. Explain the benefits of your product line. Set a price. Ask for a sale or confirmation. And then sit back and let them talk. This is especially effective when used as a sales tactic over the phone. Silence can be extremely uncomfortable unless you are prepared for it, and most people aren't. Practice getting comfortable using silence and you will increase sales conversions.
Thanks to: Larry Wallace of McKinney TX Real Estate.

3. Closing the deal

This is what I use to open doors: We normally request a one year retainer agreement, but if we see potential for a long-term relationship, we offer a three month trail deal at a reduced rate.
This gives us the time to showcase our abilities, across a broad spectrum of opportunities we can deliver to clients.
Thanks to: Ron Wood of Ron Wood Public Relations, Ltd..

4. Make it about the customer!

This is what I use to open doors: Addressing your customer's pain point is really effective - whether it's ROI, pricing, or timing. Talk to them about how *you* will solve *their* problem - and allow them to do their job that much better.
Thanks to: Laurel Sutton of Catchword.

5. Be a Problem Solver

This is what I use to open doors: Rather than telling customers why they need our cards, I ASK them what they need or what problems they have. I find a way to show them how my products can help solve their problems. Everyone wants to have fewer problems, so showing your customers how your product solves even one of them means more sales!
Thanks to: Ellen Richard of Letter Learning.

6. Walk the talk!

This is what I use to open doors: Bring one snazzy press piece that speaks volumes! My first trip to meet with Bloomingdale's,I brought a front page Style section newspaper piece that had a color photo of me holding the new table linens I was presenting to the buyers. Yes, lucky that the piece had appeared the day before, but it existed due to my persistence. Doesn't have to be the NYT-- a big article in a small paper can close a deal.
Thanks to: Beth Surdut of Surdut Art for the Mind and Body.

7. They Sell To Themselves

This is what I use to open doors: I provide a service. When clients call to inquire about the services I offer I ask them, 'What made you call about organizing services today?" They more they talk they more they open about their needs and also see the need for what I have to offer. I usually finish a conversation with, "Would you like to set an appointment to get started? I have x available this week."

I don't feel like I am selling, just answering questions.
Thanks to: Nettie Owens of Sappari Solutions.

8. Name Drop!

This is what I use to open doors: I like to use a rough script to seal the deal but most importantly, I drop names and numbers. Buyers like to hear which other stores are stocking your product. They also like to get a rough idea of the number of units you sell to other retailers. Do not put your current retail relationships in jeopardy by divulging exact numbers, however, it is appropriate to give the prospective buyer a rough idea of your current success!
Thanks to: Christy Cook of Teach My.

9. CREATE A HOOK TO THE FUTURE!

This is what I use to open doors: Most buyers have seen and heard it all and are really busy! So the first thing you want to do when you do make actual contact with one is to just get their permission to e-mail them some info on your product. You'll rarely say enough on one phone call to convince them to buy right then. What you want is a kick-ass sales piece that really sells your uniqueness that they can look at when they have the time and a kick-ass website that really sells your product.
Thanks to: craig wolfe of CelebriDucks.

10. No "I" in Sales

This is what I use to open doors: Sales success, whether in person, over the phone, via your website, etc. can be dramatically improved by taking your potential customer's point of view and using "you" vs. "I" in conversation. Any successful infomercial uses this same strategy, and for good reason, it works. Tell your customer what's in it for them, why they should buy and how choosing your product benefits them, in plain English.
Thanks to: Stan Carter of Houston Commercial Roofing.

11. BE YOU

This is what I use to open doors: I know this is corny, but the reality is people buy YOU. We are all emotional buyers. Remember when you were at the recent Make-up counter and the make-up artist applied your make-up and made you feel like a million bucks. The colors could have been something you have never worn before, but the rep gave you so much confidence. This is a emotional buy. Be YOU. Talk to people the way you would like to be talked to.Be CLEAR, CONCISE and just CARE about the customer and they will be attracted to you
Thanks to: Tasha Richards of Back2Sexy.

12. How to Get 'Em Interested Fast

This is what I use to open doors: Approach your prospect as a trusted counselor who LISTENS to their needs and then makes a suggestion, & you'll make more sales. How do I do this? First I get the person on the phone, ask them if they're in front of a computer (95% of the time they are), & then say, "I'd like to save you some time & show you exactly where you can find X on my site." I get them to actually LOOK at my offerings while we're on the phone--Then I ask,"What catches your eye?" This setup makes it easy to make the sale.
Thanks to: Dr. Barnsley Brown of Spirited Solutions SpeakingCoaching.

13. How To Cold Call and Win

This is what I use to open doors:
Here is what I did. I went to the back door and found the guy that I needed to talk to. I would then introduce myself with the following line: Hi, I am a fly by night salesman with a fly by night company looking to rip you off any way that I can get away with it, and in fact if you are smart you will throw me out right now. It is so over the top, they would laugh and let me give my pitch which then got me an order and a new customer
Thanks to: John Wilder.

14. Fait(h) accompli

This is what I use to open doors: Treat the end of the deal as a fait accompli. Your attitude and confidence will often erase any doubts that may be lingering in the prospect's mind. I frequently will say something like, "Well, then, I've answered all your questions and I can't wait for you to try this out. Sign here and you'll have it in your hands within 24 hours. And, of course, you can always, always call me with questions."
Thanks to: Marlene Caroselli of Author.

15. My best sales tips for closing

This is what I use to open doors: I have three basic tips for closing deals.

1. Prospects only buy when they have a need. So develop one by asking probing questions to determine what their needs are.You can have the best product in the world, at the best price;but if there isn't a need, there isn't a sale.

2. Stop trying to close prospects that don't have a need. Sometimes we become so focused on that one deal that we forget that there are more clients out there.

3. I simply ask "what can I do to get your business?"
Thanks to: Tony Wilkins of TCS Inc.

16. Honesty is our policy

This is what I use to open doors: We operate storm chasing expeditions for guests from around the world who want to see some of nature's most dramatic weather. It's something that requires a high level of skill to be sucessful and safe. So, experience and track record is the most important thing to our customers. We are simply honest when we sell our tours. We emphasize the many years we've spent tracking storms and highlight our excellent tornado intercept record. And, we provide them with ways they can verify our authenticity.
Thanks to: Martin Lisius of Tempest Tours, Inc..

17. Secret for No Pressure CLOSE

This is what I use to open doors:
Top Secret for a no pressure close when collecting credit card info:
1.After you found their needs & gave your tailored "pitch", you ASSUME the sale.
2.Repeat the name you have on file, for ex:"My records have your name as Michael J. Fox, now is that the same name that is on the credit card you will be using today?"
3.Part of the secret is CONFIDENCE:continue after your pause for them to confirm.
4.Then say:"Perfect, now will that be a VISA or MasterCard? What is the exp date?"etc.
Thanks to: Brandt Page of Launch Leads: Lead Qual & Lead Gen.

18. Believe in what your selling!

This is what I use to open doors: Sales gets much more fun and interesting if you have multiple products with multiple functions. And I should say, unless you believe 100% in what you are selling, find another job! Don't waste your time, and worse, other people's time pushing something you don't believe in yourself. People will smell that a mile away and even if they like what they see, chances are you'll change their mind.
Thanks to: Ken Nielsen of Natural Notes, LLC.

19. Have You Met Me Before?

This is what I use to open doors: At a tradeshow or event when I sell books or other products I look people in the eyes that I know have never met or heard of me and asked them point blank, Have you met me (add your name) before? This works and people will stop and want to know who you are if you start asking them if they have met you.
Thanks to: Derrick Hayes of Today's Honoree.

20. This Sales Agenda Always Wins

This is what I use to open doors: If you try to get the sale, you can win or lose. But if you change your agenda to getting to the TRUTH of a good fit, you always win! If the TRUTH is a good fit, you WIN, because you get the truth. If the TRUTH is it's NOT a good fit, you WIN, because you get the TRUTH! What makes a good fit? MONEY, SERVICE and FUN. If all 3 aren't there, it's not a good fit. If all 3 are there, you can give your HEART AND SOUL. That's an agenda where you win EVERY TIME
Thanks to: Joe Nicassio of RapidResultsMarketing.com.

21. The Art of Influence

This is what I use to open doors: Primarily due to the internet and 1000's of other media outlet choices, the world lives in soundbites. Consequently, you have just a few seconds to gain access. Regardless of your intentions - selling, creating an accord for your idea or just finding love - you, me & we have about 3 seconds to captivate. Your line MUST deliver something interesting about your product or service that makes the buyer sound SMART when they discuss their purchase with someone else - which they WILL do. Good Luck!
Thanks to: Todd Wiseman of teachmehowtosell.com.

22. Tell me about you

This is what I use to open doors: Whenever someone approaches me about the service I provide, I ask them to give me a snapshot of their current problem. I then look at this statement, offer a ton of advice and close with my recommendation for service. I find this personal attention and attention to detail more often than not, leads to a purchase. If the product is all about the customer, the customer wants it more. Make it personal and customized and your product will be a better fit.
Thanks to: Michael Roderick of Small Pond Enterprises LLC.

23. A Confused Mind Says "No"

This is what I use to open doors: Less is best. In this age of information overload, people want you to create ease and speed in making a decision. When given too many options, people go into a brain jam and the stress caused by the confusion will make them walk and sometimes run. Master the art of instant influence by asking questions where people will then sell themselves in a "blink", eliminating objections and resistance. Such synchronized selling gives you the sale with integrity in tact and positions you as life partners.
Thanks to: Edie Raether of Performance PLUS.

24. Make it short and to the point

This is what I use to open doors: Let me ask you something. What is it about your business that you'd like to improve or change? (Listen) Are there things about your business you'd love to simplify or no longer do? (Listen) And how would those changes make your life better or make you feel? (Listen) The first two questions get to the heart of what I do for clients. If people aren't open to change or growth, it's as important for me to know upfront as it is to know that they are. Their answers help me determine what's next.
Thanks to: Maria Marsala of Elevating Your Business.

25. Be Unique

This is what I use to open doors: Our Unique Selling Proposition doesn’t just open doors, it knocks them down!
When asked what we do, we answer, “We Double Your Sales in 12 Months…Guaranteed!”
This almost always leads to the prospect asking, “How do you do that?”
Which turns into a conversation where we almost always get the business!
Thanks to: Seth Green of Online Marketing Funnel.

26. The Best Question

This is what I use to open doors: My best sales tip is being interested in the customer and asking my best question. For business owners, I show authentic interest, after performing a little online research before speaking with them.

After some warm-up questions, I ask, "What are your 3 goals for this year?" Most business owners rapidly fire their answers, since its critical to their future, both professionally and personally. One of their goals is often pertinent to what services I offer.
Thanks to: Mary Brophy of Brophy Enterprises, Inc..

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6 Comments »

  • Karen said:

    Excellent pointers!!
    Truth and simplicity always seems to work!

    Karen

  • Beth Surdut, Visual Storyteller said:

    Glad to be included in this group, I’ll be testing out some of these collegial sales tips this weekend!

  • Chantele said:

    Thank you Sarah….your content is so useful for a budding entrepreneur like myself!

  • Ron Wood said:

    It is always a good idea when someone comes to you to ask how or where they heard about you. This allows you to find out what part of your marketing plan is working.

  • Maria Maria said:

    Concise, focused and determined!

    What a great list of tips. I look forward to digesting them more later today.

    Glad to be part of the group.

  • Tasha said:

    Thanks for including me! There were some great tips-like asking for the sale. It can be so easy not to do but the most important question

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