As another year comes to a close, all of us at the SalesGym sincerely wish you all a fantastic end to the year and a holiday season filled with friends, wonderful gatherings and celebrations.
In the spirit of celebration, we’d like to talk about some sales techniques and sales tactics you can focus on to make 2019 your best year ever. The truth is, the quality of our sales skills have the biggest impact on our selling results and in this article, we’d like to explore 5 habits or poor techniques that we would be better off leaving behind in 2018.
#1 – Blowing off pre-call preparation
Most sales calls, and certainly the important ones, are far more likely to succeed if we put in some preparation and mental rehearsal before the call. Virtually every online sales training program ever delivered stresses how important pre-call planning is, yet we hear over and over from sales managers that a surprising percentage of their salespeople don’t put the time in to plan their important sales.
A simple way to prepare for an important call that is remarkably effective is:
- Write out your desired stretch objective and your fallback objective
- Determine the agenda you will start the meeting with and write it down
- Figure out the 3-5 must ask open-ended questions you will focus on in the call
- Write down the 2-3 questions you believe are on the mind of the person you’re meeting with and prepare fantastic answers for them
- Prepare an effective success story to set up a next step or closing recommendation
These 5 sales tactics will increase your odds of success dramatically.
#2 – Starting sales calls without an agenda
If you’re not sure how to start a sales call with an effective agenda, get yourself a good book on selling (such as “Compete Selling”) or get into some sales training immediately to learn this critically important sales technique. The agenda sets the tone for the interaction, helps you focus on what matters most and projects positive credibility and professionalism. Even a casual, go with the flow type sales interaction should start with a loose agenda to give the meeting focus.
#3 – Asking too many questions that are closed ended
Asking lots of closed-ended questions like “would you be interested in xyz” or “does that sound like something you’d like to hear more about” are the kind of sales approaches that kill results. One of the most important of all sales skills is the ability to ask relevant and engaging open-ended questions that get the prospect or customer talking. Closed-ended questions are often the failed sales tactic that leads to loss of control of the conversation and creates an easy out for the prospect at the end of the meeting.Closed-ended questions are often the failed sales tactic that leads to loss of control of the conversation and creates an easy out for the prospect at the end of the meeting. Click To Tweet
Learn how to avoid asking too many closed ended questions.
#4 – Neglecting the practice needed to master your differentiating factors
Our ability to be able to communicate 5-7 dynamic and compelling differentiating factors, using memorable customer-oriented phrasing is one of the most important sales techniques to master. The ideal way to organize these differentiating factors is with short, crisp headlines followed by concise, benefits-driven language, ideally expressed from an enthusiastic customer’s point of view.
Learn more about the magic of prompter phrases.
#5 – Ending too many calls without asking for the business
When we ask sales managers what frustrates them most about salespeople, often they’ll reply with … “ending too many sales calls without asking for the business.” This mistake is closely linked with not having a good agenda and asking too many closed-ended questions. If you do pre-call planning and know your stretch and fallback objectives, then you’ll be more prepared to end the call with an assertive and appropriate ask.When we ask sales managers what frustrates them most about salespeople, often they’ll reply with … “ending too many sales calls without asking for the business.” Click To Tweet
Leave these 5 bad habits behind and dedicate yourself to practice and sales training that will prepare you for your best year ever!