People need things fast these days, right? Well, you can’t get much faster than this – I’m going to share with you today my top 5 tips for making more sales – tips & tricks you can implement today and see a marked improvement in sales figures, conversion rates & income.

Let’s get stuck in…

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1) Asking for the Sale in the Right Way at the Right Time

Most salespeople are either so pushy that they blurt out “Shall we confirm the order now” within 5 minutes of meeting their prospect, or they are so shit-scared of rejection that they never even ask for the sale at the time they should, or even at all. If either of these describes your consistent approach, I can guarantee you’re probably sitting at a conversion rate of somewhere between 10 and 30%… MAX.

How to Close a Sale

It’s ok, you’re not alone and there are a few things you can do right away which will change your fortunes forever.

Firstly, don’t ever, ever ask for the sale before the client has explained their needs or before you have asked (and answered) some pertinent questions related to the product or service you’re offering or their ultimate desire for it. By asking so soon you appear desperate and you’ll probably cut 30-50% off your conversion rate immediately.

I had someone do this to me recently, even before I’d given the sales rep my price point, nor had they given me any prices, nor had I even offered the spec of what I was looking for. Crazy. Anyway, the guy lost the sale immediately, the moment he asked for the sale because it was clear he didn’t give a damn about me or my needs – he just wanted to rush the sale through and move on to the next one. I therefore recommend you care about your clients before you even dare ask for the sale, for that very reason.

Next, by not asking for the sale at all (a sin I sadly committed multiple times in the first few years of my career) you are, in a way, being disrespectful to the client. You know they need your product, they know they need your product… it’s a win-win situation.

Unfortunately fear takes over many salespeople in this setting to the point where they stumble, stutter and walk away from too many sales opportunities that would have been lucrative, enjoyable and could have built long-term, multi-referral contacts. All because they are scared that the answer will be a simple “no”. We’re all scared of this, deep-down. The key is to throw it out there before you have time to think too much about it.

Remember Your Ultimate Goal

Always have your eye on the ultimate goal and you are unlikely to suffer from this affliction for too much longer. Remember that you have a great product or service, which is better than your competitors’ offerings and that you would be doing a disservice to your prospective client by letting them walk away empty handed, today. Also remember that a lost sale here and there may not seem like much in isolation, but across months and years it can add up to a fortune, without any risk of exaggeration.

To illustrate, I once did some calculations that scared me, I’d urge you to monitor your lost sales for a month to get a gauge of what you might be losing out on in terms of missed profit. 

I figured out that, with a conversion rate of around 60% (my rough figure at the time), and anticipating a loss of 50% of the balance of that (i.e. 20% of all sales prospects) simply being down to my fear and inability to succinctly dovetail the sales process and ask for the sale, I was losing out on approximately £900 in commissions/profit each month that this behaviour continued.

£900 per month

For those with good math on board (not one of my skills), that’s a lost income of £10,800 per year. 

£32,400 in 3 years alone!

The figures get really scary after that and I don’t even want to think about them.

I hope that scared you sufficiently to see why you gotta ask for that sale, albeit at an appropriate time, after learning of the clients needs, showcasing that you can be trusted and proving your authority/experience.

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2) Listen & Ask Pertinent Questions. Then Listen Again.

Don’t dismiss this topic out of hand and think “well, of course I listen to my prospects”, because the truth is that most sales people and business owners who are not successful today are guilty of not doing this as explicitly as they should. They don’t listen to their prospects enough to pick up potentially useful, potentially critical information, and they often do not show their prospects just how intently they are listening.

People love to feel like they are being ‘tended’ to. That they and their opinions, desires, fears are important to the person they are dealing with. Using this knowledge can be pivotal to your sales success.

Sales Specialist90% of salespeople in every industry simply don’t tailor their products for their prospects and they don’t listen to their prospects’ individual needs before recommending a product or service for sale to that prospect. The matching of product/service to client is pivotal to the long-term success of your sales career and business.

Think about the type of person your prospect is, what demographic they are, what their likes, fears, desires are and what their individual situation is. Ask what their individual requirements are (you’ll get a good gauge of their personality simply by gauging what feature/use of your product or service interests them most).

Either way, ensure you ask those pertinent questions to ascertain how best you can serve your prospect with your range of services, tailor the offering to them and listen to their responses intently. It will show respect, common courtesy and may well be a game-changer if you don’t already do this.

Just as important, make sure your prospect is aware that you are listening. Ask pertinent questions based upon their initial answers and make sure your body language and mannerisms are consistent with somebody who is focused on them, empathetic and solution-driven. When prospects see these traits and feel important they are hooked, because everybody loves someone who is going to tailor something just for them.

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3) Add Value for Free.

Offering Value in SalesI was once told by a successful businessman to ‘never do anything without getting paid first‘. While this has served me well in terms of after-the-sale terms (for instance, making sure you take a substantial deposit or get full payment upfront), there is a scenario in the sales process when this attitude could get you into trouble and lose you the sale. Or more accurately, it’s advisable to offer free advice, bonuses and product test-drives wherever possible in order to showcase your expertise, knowledge and generosity and thus pull the client in, build trust and faith and multiply the chances of the prospect being guided toward choosing you.

To learn what I mean, you can get a free training video series by following this link – http://www.prosalespitch.com/154-2

Some sales people, particularly in the services industries guard their expertise so closely that they become a brick wall of non-information. They won’t offer advice, help or services without being paid first. This is a major mistake, because  showcasing your knowledge is the perfect way to engage the prospect and show them the value you can bring to their life through your expertise. By being generous with your knowledge and experience you will begin noticing more and more people come to you for advice and guidance, then you’ll notice that your presence and authority in your industry grows and within a short amount of time you become a bona fide authority (and even celebrity) in your niche or industry.

The whole core of this concept is based on the rule of reciprocity whereby the psychology of people burdens them with a debt they feel they need to repay (i.e. by giving you the sale). Again, to learn how to use this technique effectively, as well as gathering the theory behind this concept, you can visit this page for some video training on these techniques.

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4) Use Social Proof at Every Opportunity (You Can’t Overdo This)

The power of this rule has been proven in countless psychological experiments and research over the last 50+ years. People will generally “Follow the Herd”. Like buffalo that career off a cliff simply because that’s the way the herd are running, with no concern or second thought, people generally look for reference points in their social group as to what decision they should make, for everything – what food they should eat at a restaurant, what car they should buy, what area they should live in and what products they should purchase for any requirement.

Social-ProofTherefore, if you can show your prospects that other people, just like them, have chosen your product or service, and have been ecstatic with the purchase, you are on to a winner, no question. If you use this technique to build your case with a prospect, while being courteous, respectful, smart, free with information and friendly, there is almost zero chance that the prospect will walk away from buying from you.

How do you achieve this? In multiple ways, sometimes all at the same time.

1) Use Testimonials/Reviews Everywhere – collate all your positive client testimonials in one place which you can pull upon where necessary (i.e. a book, on your website etc.). Also use these testimonials in every aspect of your marketing; your website, marketing materials, folders, advertisements, social media profiles and so on. 

2) Mention Previous Clients in Your Sales Discourse – in recognising the demographic that your prospect belongs to, explain to your new prospect how people just like them purchased and found real value in your product/service. Saying things like “I had a client just last week that you very much remind me of, and he/she found that Option A really worked well for them” or “Y’know, I’ve noticed that existing clients who find themselves in the same position as you are in, have found real benefit in Plan A because it does X,Y and Z that Plan B doesn’t do”

3) Personalise your Testimonials – Don’t just get written testimonials and a name. Try to get video testimonials and/or pictures of your clients to partner with the testimonial so that it makes it more personal and makes it much easier for your prospect to identify with and relate to your past clients. This is the most powerful way to leverage social proof because it gives the testimonial a name, a face and a voice and makes the process much more personal.

By using social proof in these ways you begin to form a picture in the mind of your prospect as to the validity of your argument – why they should choose you and your product and, in fact, why they would be mad not to. Social proof is undeniably powerful and yet most sales-people and business owners do not focus enough on it. Make sure you do.

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5) Become Their “Trusted Advisor”

Intrinsically linked to all points above, it bears emphasising that people buy from people. If/when you become trusted by your prospect (and existing clients) it opens the door to a multitude of other sales opportunities. Why? Because people only recommend things wholeheartedly when they truly trust in them, and when you become the ‘go-to’ guy or girl for that topic area, your sales will explode.

When a client trusts in you, values your opinion and knows that you will treat their family, friends and business connections with the same respect, value and focus that you have shown to them, you can guaran-damn-tee that your sales will start to rocket.

Most mediocre salespeople and businesspeople truly fail at this most basic of concepts.

Of course the next question is, how do you quickly become trusted by your prospects, new and old?

Well, if you’ve read points 1-4 above and start implementing those valuable tips –

Offering free value/advice, Using Social Proof, listening & engaging and asking for the sale at the right moment and in the right way, you’re likely to rapidly build trust with your client at first inception. If you do all those things and don’t feel your client trusts you, then you may be overstepping (and under-stepping) one or other of the points above.

The basic premise is this – Show your prospect/client respect, make the sale fun, offer free advice that is of real value to the client and show how other happy clients have benefited from your expertise and you can barely put a foot wrong on the road to becoming a “trusted advisor”.

My very best sales have been based upon these premises and here’s the killer result – These clients are never one-timers. They invariably turn into retainer clients (i.e. those paying a monthly retainer for your expertise), clients who actively seek to refer you to everyone they meet (because they are so overwhelmed with gratitude, liking and trust) and clients who will always choose you over any other competitor or service-provider in your industry.

When you build a business and relationships based on trust and knowledge/authority, those factors come together to form an irresistible proposition for your prospects, now and in the future. It’s truly the most potent sales technique you can master. So get started right now.

PART TWO IS NOW UP HERE – 5 MORE RULES FOR INSTANT SALES SUCCESS

Let me know your thoughts below – pop a comment or a question in and I’ll get right back to you

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