Acceler8 Your Sales
My life always revolved around sales—since I was a young boy. All the tips and tricks I’ll share with you are purely based on my experiences and the capabilities and skills I picked up along the way. I’ve seen first-hand how the sales landscape has changed and many people are still stuck in the “old way”. Let us help you adapt and prosper.
My story in sales started at the age of eight; so my whole life, I have been surrounded by entrepreneurs and sellers. Naturally, I was drawn to this career, yet, back then, I was introverted. I was never the flashy seller (whatever that is), but someone who always wanted to give the customer value, whilst creating strong relationships. Following my studies in sales and marketing, I was head-hunted by a large multinational corporation. It was a hard-selling position—which taught me the foundational sales skillset and grounded and honed my abilities. However, during this time I came to the clear conclusion: that high-pressure Sales is archaic and ineffective. I’ve devised a true sales methodology, which has served me for over 30 years.
And now, I’d like to share some of that with you.
The following 8 Sales Tips, called “Acceler8”, will assist you in improving your focus, help you plan properly, build lasting relationships, and will ultimately improve your activities and results. Some of the concepts are basic, but the magic lies in the application. The reason I’ve focused on these for 30-years, is that it WORKS!
Tip 1: Urgency
The reality is – clients are currently feeling like a tsunami has hit them. We have to have empathy for that! So when we negotiate, and discuss solutions with the customer, it is not the time to use hard closing tactics, rather it is now time to show empathy, trust and understanding. Now, I fully understand you have your own targets and deadlines, but you will NOT achieve them anyway, by being forceful.
We create urgency by playing the “long game”. In other words:
- Prove that you are putting the customer first
- Show that you completely understand their situation
- Adapt and Align your offering to completely serve their needs during these trying times
- Show that you are suffering with them and that you’re helping them solve their problems or alleviate their concerns, with your collaboration and solutions.
- You get this right, and you will have a customer for life!
So, for you to drive urgency, you must ensure to confirm the “next action”! if you’re not solving the issue right now, you’re setting the time, to come back to the customer with the right solution for their problem. Set the date & time right there for the next interaction. Continue doing this and you will build urgency and lasting value. Building the relationship in this manner, will enable you to cross- & up-sell and grow the customer spend and loyalty.
Tip 2: Leadership
I have been reading some articles by John Spence and would like to share his thoughts regarding how to show how leadership which directly links to success in sales. Below are some of his findings regarding this topic, which I completely agree with.
The foundation of sales excellence relies on building a strong level of trust with your customer. Character, therefore, is fundamental. Without honesty and integrity, there can be no trust. It’s easy: Tell the truth, all the time.
To demonstrate a high level of professional competence, there are five levels of knowledge required to be a truly consultative salesperson:
- General business acumen. This means keeping up with local, national and world news as well as studying the fundamentals of business, such as marketing, finance, strategy, branding and other core topics.
- Expert on your products and services. I am very careful about the words I use, and “expert” is exactly the word I want to use here. To be successful in sales, it is absolutely necessary that you know everything you possibly can about every aspect of your products and services. If every now and then when a customer has a question you tell them that you’re not sure and will have to get back to them, that’s fine. But if you say that more than once or twice in a conversation with a potential customer, they will begin to doubt whether you know about what you are selling.
- Expert on your competition. In order to effectively sell your products and services, you have to understand on a deep level exactly what your competition is offering so that you can compare and contrast your offerings directly against what your competition brings to the market.
- Expert on your customer. it is critical that you understand what is important to your customer, how they plan to use your products and services, what benefits they will derive from your offerings and everything else you can learn to help your customer make a wise buying decision.
- Unique solutions. Once you have a strong foundation of general business acumen, you are a true expert on your products and services, you know your competition extremely well and you understand your customer deeply, that is when you can recommend unique solutions, sometimes for problems your customer did not even know they had. Here is where a salesperson adds real value: being proactive in helping the customer, not reactive in just taking orders. It is at this level that you become a “trusted adviser” and create a strong competitive advantage because of the level of trust and respect you have earned from your customer.
Not only do you need to demonstrate that you are highly competent, but you must also show that you understand your customer as a person and will do only what is in their best interests. I have a phrase that sums this up very well: “I’m good at what I do and I do it because I care about you.” In other words, you must consistently communicate that you are competent, and you care.
Although it is important that salespeople be good at explaining information and telling a compelling story, it is even more important that they’re intense listeners who ask excellent questions. The best salespeople ask lots of questions and write copious notes before they even begin talking about their products or services. Seek first to understand and then to be understood.
This is one of the most important things I’ve learned in my sales career: It is not me versus the customer; it is us together as a team trying to find the exact right solution. I need to sell them the right product, at a reasonable price, that delivers exactly what I promised, on time.
So, to summarize all of these thoughts: A great salesperson tells the truth, has integrity and character, is extremely competent in their job, has true compassion for their customer, is an excellent communicator who listens intently and asks great questions, and works closely with their customer as a partner and peer in order to be seen as a trusted adviser.
**from John Spence
* 5 Leadership Skills for Success in Sales- article from business in greater Gainesville