Selling isn't easy, especially if you aren't practiced or prepared. Here are six critical selling habits that can increase your sales and referrals.
Most of us have run into someone who seemed born to sell. While such people might exist, the vast majority of successful salespeople work hard to develop the following key characteristics.
They nurture relationships. While your ultimate goal is to sell your service or product, your main focus should be on cultivating good relationships. This means establishing trust, rapport and credibility with every prospect, starting with your very first email or spoken word. Successful salespeople have the patience to let relationships develop over time. They listen closely and ask good questions in an attempt to understand a customer's unique interests and needs. Then, and only then, do they start talking about their services or products.
They break down barriers. Most prospects have become hard-wired to respond to any pitch with phrases, such as "not interested" or "cannot afford it." Top sales people break through these barriers by helping a prospect see how a product or service will improve their businesses or their lives. They ask the right questions to better understand a prospect's situation. When a prospect says he or she is happy with a current service, supplier or provider, an effective salesperson asks why, and then uses the answers to differentiate what he or she is selling.
They are persuasive. Because they ask a lot of good questions, effective salespeople are well-equipped to make persuasive arguments. Instead of working from a guide book or throwing out a few go-to sales pitches, smart salespeople make logical, well-thought-out points and presentations that clearly illustrate the benefits of their services or products. Because they have built trust and rapport, these salespeople already have a customer's attention. Many times, this is all it takes to make a well-reasoned pitch hit home.
They can return a hot serve. Just as a tennis player needs quick reflexes to return a 100 mph serve, a salesperson needs to be quick on his or her feet. When prospects have objections or concerns, effective salespeople are able to provide logical answers that resolve things in a positive manner. They do this by spending a lot of time preparing for every imaginable situation. Through experience and repetitive practice, the strong salesperson is able to develop bulletproof answers and tailor them to address unique concerns.
They close the deal. No matter how strong the product, service, rapport or trust, there comes that awkward moment where the salesperson must ask for a decision. Effective salespeople wade right into that moment with a confident, professional attitude. They don't let the customer think things over. Instead, they clearly ask the customer to make a buying decision at a time when they are most interested and engaged.
They ask for referrals. While some are content to celebrate a single sale, high-performing salespeople understand they have barely tapped a client's full potential. Most people know dozens or hundreds of people by their first names. By directly asking for referrals, smart salespeople can create an endless cycle of new prospects, especially if they have worked hard to build trust, credibility and rapport