12 Top Best Practices for Successful Sales Professionals – Week 4
For the month of June, I thought I do something a little different for my blog. During my sales training programs I am often asked about the best practices I have adopted for myself over the years. I have distilled them into twelve and will share three per week for the month of June.
I have always believed that we are all in sales in one form or another so these best practices do not only apply to those in the selling profession and can be applied to many situations.
Continued from Week 3
10) Recap for Understanding – During a sales call I am always taking notes. I want to remember and document the pertinent information from each of my sales calls. This is particularly important when I am doing a needs assessment. I make a habit of recapping my understanding of what there need is, the timing of the project and any other particulars that are relevant to the proposal. I find when I read back the notes from our discussion there is often additional information and ideas that the client will add to our original discussion. It also saves me from going off and preparing a proposal with any misinformation.
11) Know Values/Benefits – To me this is a critical to a salesperson’s success. I am sometimes surprised to see how many of the participants in my sessions sell features. I learned very early in my career that people buy benefits. What can your product or service do for me? The WIIFM for everyone is critical. I like to take it a step further and make sure that how you communicate the values and benefits be authentic to you. Companies spend millions of dollars every year coming up with branding and slogans to let the world know who they are. I think a salesperson should also infuse their own personality and values to any value proposition. This goes a long way to deliver a truly authentic message from the sales person making the presentation.
12) Matching Styles – As humans we have a tendency to get along with and trust people who are much like ourselves. I have found if I match pace and tonality when I am speaking with people on the phone, leaving voice messages or meeting face-to-face helps to connect more quickly. I have been in meetings where I simply didn’t connect with the person initially, and once I consciously started to match their pace and tonality I seemed to be able to develop rapport. The key here is to be subtle and natural, otherwise the prospect will sense you are not being genuine.
Let’s make this a baker’s dozen…
13) Tell the Truth – Like most salespeople, I have been faced with delivering some not so good news to clients. I have found that even bad news can be delivered professionally. If I don’t know something, I simply take great notes and tell my prospects and clients that I will find out and get back to them. I make sure I follow up in a timely manner. Customers have told me that they appreciate my honesty. This just makes good business sense to me if you want your clients to trust you, you have to be trustworthy.