Don’t Let Excuses Slow Down Your Sales Momentum
The longer you are in business, and the more successful you are at it, the more you realize that there is a consumer for every product if it is marketed successfully to them.
All the things that under-performing sales teams hide behind: “the economy sucks,” “people want the competitor’s model,” “our price is too high” or “our market is saturated” all add up to one thing: excuses.
If you want to stop the excuses train and start the sales express, here are five simple strategies to ignite your sales team.
Number one: Make sure that they understand what they are selling
Many newcomers in the sales business mistakenly think they were hired to sell a product or service. They aren’t.
They are there to sell a solution to a customer’s problem.
Once you change your thinking on this, the story changes.
You simply have to find the person with the problem that your product or service solves, and if you present it to them in that context, it will sell itself.
For example, you think you are selling real estate. You read up on each property and visit your potential buyers.
Turns out they aren’t buying property. If they are young and just moving out of their parents’ basement, they may be buying independence. If they are a little older and have married and had their first child, they are buying a nurturing, safe environment. If they are middle aged and want to downsize, they are buying peace of mind and freeing up some cash to have a little fun travelling. If they are seniors, they may be selling to have available cash or to find a place that they find easier to grow old in.
Nobody buys anything without some reason. What about the buyers who just compulsively shell out for shoes or clothes or more toys? They are buying excitement, or validation that they have made it, or even a sense of belonging.
So by all means take the time to train your sales staff about the product or service they are selling and all its ins and outs. But at the same time, train them to recognize and understand the problems it solves, so when they hear variations of those stories from their customers, they know how to respond.
Number two: Encourage your team members to help each other
I’m not a big fan of pitting sales people against each other to compete for “best of” awards.
The new way of work is to encourage mentoring and sharing with your sales team. When you can get people to work more collaboratively, you will be surprised at how effective they can be.
This means pairing an experienced person with a newcomer for a few months so they can learn the ropes in a variety of different situations.
In many instances, the senior staffer also learns from the millennial worker and gaps in different work habits and techniques close.
If you must have people compete because you feel it is essential to your strategy, have them compete as teams, not as individuals.
Number three: Promote the importance of listening more than talking
In former days, sales teams were taught how to “pitch products.” Today that is archaic thinking because we have come to understand that sales is not a presentation as much as a conversation.
It is listening to the customer, learning what their problem is, and them providing the means to solve the problems.
To sell now, active listening techniques are more important, even though it always remains essential for a sales representative to thoroughly understand their product or service for sale.
But listening to the challenges the customer has matter more than just launching into a spiel about a service. Find out what they fear, what they feel challenged by, and what problems they need to solve in the future.
Number four: Reward engaged sales team members.
Employee engagement remains a challenge across the board these days. It undermines a company, like a kind of disease spreading insidiously through the thinking until it colours outcomes.
When you have employees who are truly engaged, protect them like gold. Keep thinking of little ways to fuel that engagement and help it to spread.
Number five: Inspire your sales team to care for a higher cause
The company that leads today is the one that shows by their actions that they care about the communities they serve and the planet they live on.
Give your sales team a chance to take on a project bigger than their sales figures every once in a while.
Build a team willing to go out and do a project for a non-project organization.
Not only will it encourage them to think creatively together, but it will show character and integrity to the people who are outside of your company or organization.
When you care about others, inevitably, they are more inclined to care about you.
Paula Morand, CSP is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and bold impact. 23 years, 25,000 clients, 19 countries, 11 books, former radio personality, 10x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
To check out Paula’s newest book, “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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