The age old question in business is how to get new clients and how to retain them. Below is a list of 10 ways to improve your sales approach, which will lead to landing more clients.
1. Be confident.
How many times have you heard the phrase "Swimming with the sharks" in relation to the sales effort? It's a given that successful sales is about being assertive, which should never be confused with aggressive. Confidence is a byproduct of fully comprehending how your company operates, everything about the products and services you sell, and how they will benefit your client. When you present yourself confidently, you instantly set your potential new client at ease. They feel like they're in the hands of a pro who's interested in securing their business for all the right reasons.
2. Ask for people's business.
When you ask a potential client for their business, you're giving them an opportunity to either tell you yes or explain why they can't or don't want to. This is your opportunity as a pro to close the deal. If you truly know your business, products, and services you'll be able to overcome any legitimate objections raised. This small but critically important step in the sales process separates the pros from rest of the pack.
3. Differentiate yourself.
Speaking of separating yourself from the pack, differentiating yourself as a sales professional can spell the difference between success and failure. We're not talking about fuchsia Mohawks or facial piercings. Instead, what can you do as a sales pro and as a representative of your company that no competitor can claim? This is your strong suit, and if what you can deliver truly separates you from your competitors you stand a very good chance of calling a prospect a new client.
4. Network, network, network.
True sales professionals are seldom in the office, and when not with clients need to be taking advantage of networking opportunities. The calling card of any sales pro is face-to-face meetings.
You can find luncheons to attend, visit local farmers markets, attend a government function or political rally, show up for a local business's grand opening, attend your local PTA or school board meeting, or sponsor or host a get-together of your own. There are countless ways to get your name and face in front of scores of potential clients. Take action to build a name for yourself.
5. Don't be afraid to cold call.
Top-gun sales professionals relish the opportunity to speak to potential clients, and never hesitate to pick up the phone to strike up a conversation with someone new.
6. Consider bartering services.
Do you need a website built? Maybe those water coolers you sell would appeal to that small but competent web development company who would otherwise see it as an unaffordable luxury.
Opportunities to barter exist and present themselves all the time. You may not make a direct sale, but trading something of value with a potential client is a guaranteed way to keep your phone number high on their list of people to call when they or someone they know needs what you have to offer.
7. Research your prospects.
When you take the time to learn important things about your potential new client and their business, it demonstrates a willingness to go the extra mile to get the job done. This resonates well on the most basic human level, and is a great way to set the foundation for a real, genuine relationship.
8. Use photos on your business cards.
Putting a name to a face is much easier in this digital age, so there's absolutely no reason to not put your picture on your business card. People will remember you and will feel like they know you when they pick up the phone to call you.
9. Be a good listener.
Knowing what your potential new client truly needs is how expectations are met. Don't come to a meeting prepared to sell a bill of goods. Come prepared to truly listen, as questions for clarity, and devise and plan or back at your office to deliver the client when he truly needs.
Related: Find the right sales software to help your team exceed expectations.
10. Your word is your bond.
Be honest in all your dealings. Never make a promise you can't deliver. When something has gone wrong with an order, pick up the phone and own it. Clients must know you are a person of your word. Honoring the commitments you've made will result in untold dividends.
Sharpen these skills, pay attention to the smallest details, and learn everything you can about your company, your products, your services, and whatever you can of your potential new client.
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