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How to become a sales monolith – without tearing your company apart

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There is an endless number of sales tactics and techniques that make money fast. Some will hurt you in the long run in ways that aren’t always easy to recognize in real time. But some generate sales that in turn create loyal customers.

 

How to be a perfect salesperson is a huge cliché, almost like a get-rich-quick scheme or a plan to generate passive income through online marketing in just 7 minutes each day. Social media is full of experts, advisors, mentors, coaches and others with big titles who teach different marketing and sales methods, give tips in exchange for your private information and promise the world for zero effort. It’s all for a bargain, of course, and may not even require you to leave the house. Instead you can take a digital course or participate in an hour-long workshop and you’ll start making sales like the Wolf of Wall Street. It’s so simple and easy that within that hour you might also manage to give up smoking or lose 30 pounds in two heartbeats.

Slow destruction beneath the surface

Let’s say you’ve launched a solid sales campaign. At first, the numbers look great, but after some time the campaign starts to die down. You update the ads, refresh the audience – and nothing. We call this “burning the audience”. This usually happens when you focus on sales-oriented messages only without investing in the rest of the process or even worse, when the product you provide doesn’t live up to what you promised.

To get things right, there are two important aspects that every brand needs to internalize if it wants to succeed in the long term: how to sell in the way that’s best for you and, no less important, when to do it.

Long-term sales

There are countless marketing and sales methods that will earn you money quick. But before we talk about them, something important needs to be said: quick sales contribute a lot to the flow of a business, but it isn’t always the right thing for a given moment. One mistake businesses make is to put their entire budget into sales campaigns without thinking about strengthening the brand or continuing to increase the value they provide.

Strategy needs to be geared toward the long term, building a strong brand that develops relationships with customers and creates organic, natural movement. In other words, your customers should be looking for you no less than you are looking for them. This must be combined with good sales abilities, but no one who wants to build a brand that will last can focus on sales alone.

Sales techniques: Get to know yourself

The first thing you need to know about sales techniques is that everyone sells in a different way. What works for one person won’t necessarily look authentic for another. Everyone is reading from the same books and hearing the same lectures online, but it’s important to remember that methods of marketing and sales are the base that everyone builds on in slightly different ways, with a personal twist. We all look different, speak differently and think differently; that’s why the biggest mistake you can make is looking at what others are doing and trying to do the exact same thing.

The other issue is that you need to know how to adapt your sales efforts to your brand. Even if you’ve reached the last stage of the marketing funnel with a customer and now the entire goal is to close the deal, that needs to look different for every brand. For some brands, an assertive technique is best, but for others, not trying to make sales is the technique that works. The important point to understand here is that you can’t measure results in money alone because some techniques will make you a sale, but it will be the last time you see that customer visiting your business. It’s very important to adapt your sales techniques to a target audience and no less important to clearly identify your brand. It is also a big mistake to look at the examples set by other brands and automatically deduce that you should do the same.

Sales tips: How to do it right and maintain your branding

After all this progress to make sure you’re heading in the right direction, all that’s left is the actual making of sales. After figuring out when and how best to do it, here are a few tips for making the sales themselves – from our point of view, of course:

1.Think of sales as a connection between people

The best sales process is actually the most surprising one, and the best way of making sales isn’t really to sell anything. A good sales process is about connections and building relationships: two sides who can fulfill each other’s needs. What’s important is that both parties come away feeling satisfied.

And here’s the most elementary, but most important part: don’t ever lie, but don’t ever offer a product that you know the person in front of you won’t use correctly. We also advise you not to exaggerate in how you present your marketing messages. The cost of a disappointed customer is several times higher than the potential profit of any one sale

2. Talk less, listen more

While old tactics focus mostly on talking without pausing to breathe (or give your potential customer time to object), the best and most efficient way of making sales actually begins with getting the other side to open up and talk. The ability to listen is one of the most important elements in creating connections, and it will pave a sure path to the heart of your customers. So ask questions, be attentive and let people do what they most love to do. It’s amazing how simple it is.

3. Notice the hints

If you’ve listened to #2, one of the most important things you’ll gain is an accurate treasure map. Customers who open up, for example, can help you understand what problems they’ve experienced with similar services in the past, allowing you to present exactly the right tools to help them solve a problem. This is an important point: many salespeople just wait for the moment the customer stops talking. It’s too bad, because people usually drop a lot of hints during a conversation in the hope that you might notice them. You just need to take notice.

4. Write sales scripts, and then deviate from them

On one hand, listening means letting customers talk and adapting yourself to them. On the other hand, you do want to point the conversation in a certain direction – one that will end in a sale. This tango is something you learn with experience. In the meantime, we advise you to have a sales script ready, especially as a safety that you can always use to get the conversation back on topic. This will also help prevent long, needless pauses, especially during telephone conversations, where you can’t read the person on the other end of the line as well, making it harder to know if you’re headed in the right direction.

5. Push a little – sometimes

The hard part always comes at the end of the conversation, when the explanations have ended and it’s time to make a decision. At this point, you can “help” the person you’re talking to and save him the struggle that arises with questions like, “So, what do you think,” or, “Do we have a deal?” Instead, move him to action. For example: “I’ll need to get your email address to continue.” It’s a small, gently suggestive step that keeps the process moving, and avoids needless deliberations.

Take note: this step is likely to be portrayed as manipulative to a certain degree. After all, it makes perfect sense that a person would take time to consider his options. On the other hand, reality shows that people are afraid of commitment and aren’t quick to make decisions. In many cases, you’re actually doing them a favor by removing mental barriers that hinder customers from buying a product that will really help them. So, we leave the decision to you in the hope that you use this knowledge responsibly. If you’re convinced that a sale will absolutely be good for both parties involved and that the customer is really interested in the product, you should help him along.

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