The main things needed for a successful business are not products. Whether it’s hot dogs, clothes, (insert your product here), or houses, the fundamentals are the same. Negotiation, time management, marketing and sales are the top reasons why 90% of startups fail in the first 5 years. Their importance is often over looked. With these skills dialed-in you can increase your chances of not only having a successful business but sharpen your day-to-day interactions.
Whether you like it or not, you are selling every day. “Let’s go out for lunch! It will be awesome!” “Do you want to take the scenic route? It might be more exciting.” “Can you help me with my report? I’ll owe you one.”
That’s why today I want to focus on sales and share my top sales tips for you to take out to the real world.
I have some good news and bad news. The good news is sales is a skill and therefore can be learned. Nobody is born a great salesman. Everyone has a chance to increase their ability. The bad news is, also like every other skill, you will most likely suck at first. Like any skill it takes learning and practice. The more you flex the muscles the stronger you will be.
With all that in mind, here is Ashton Fisher’s TOP TEN list of sales skills for you.
10. Transfer of enthusiasm
Human energy is contagious. If you are enthusiastic about something and share that with someone, the odds are they will become enthusiastic as well. It works negatively, too. Environment and what/who you constantly surround yourself with will always rub off on you. If you just start smiling and laughing for no reason, others will be laughing while they ask you, “What is so funny?” So if you are truly enthusiastic about what you are trying to sell, then SHOW IT! That willtransfer to your prospect.
9. You must qualify
Murphy’s law says that before you do something you have to do something else first. Before you close a potential prospect you have to qualify them first. The four questions you need to ask are: Do they need the product? Can they use the product? Can they actually afford it? And Do they really want it? If the answer is yes to these questions then you have an extremely high chance of closing, even with substandard skills.
8. You will get more NO’s than YES’s.
Part of sales is handling rejection. You will get a lot of NO’s. Successful sales people are the ones that can let these roll off their backs. Don’t take it personally. There is always some sort of no:yes ratio. Remember you are going to suck at first. Maybe you have a 10:1 or 50:1 ratio. It’s hard to keep going with so many no’s. But you just need to keep going. Persistence eliminates failure. It’s only when you stop trying that you truly fail. And remember in any business there will be doubters and unfortunately it’s often the people closest to us. Don’t let this stop you. KEEP GOING!
7. Smile and Dial
This ties into tip number 1 and the need to transfer energy. You need to smile while you call prospective clients on the phone. People can tell if you are smiling on the phone and they will pick up on this. Putting a mirror in front of the desk to keep those pearly whites showing will increase your yes’s.
6. Maybe is the worst
A yes is great because you have made the sale, a no is good because you know they are not going to buy and you can move on. A maybe is just going to turn into a time sucker. Your time is valuable too. One way to avoid this is to ask them at the beginning of the presentation if they are prepared to give you a yes or no by the end. Do they alone have the authority to close? Do they need their spouse? Are they a qualified lead? “If this product is exactly what you are looking for, are you prepared to give me a yes or a no by the end of this presentation?” If the answer is no, then you need to figure out how to better qualify them before beginning.
5. The Suggested close
This is the idea of talking to the prospect as if they have already bought the product and are going to enjoy all the benefits it has to offer. “You are going to love the way this car handles.” “It will be a relief to have your mortgage payments less than your rent.” This gets them in agreement on small things other than the big decision and thinking as if they already have the product.
4. Scarcity or F.O.M.O.
This is the idea that there is a chance you can miss out on the opportunity and/or there is some kind of limitation. This triggers F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out). Low stock or short timeline for example. Retail stores do this often. They put out one item and keep the sizes in the back and when you express interest they do something like, “This has been really hot recently. Let me see if there is any left in your size.” Creating scarcity crates FOMO in the prospect and this could trigger a jump to the sale.
3. The Door Knob Close
For some reason the prospect is objecting and you just cannot make the sale and you can’t figure out their main objection. You put on your coat, close your briefcase and go over to the door. When you’re at the door the prospect will start thinking about what they’re going to do immediately after you leave and their resistance barrier will go down. You can then say to them something like, “I know you’re not going to buy today, but do you mind helping me improve my presentation and telling me what your main reason was for not going forward today? They will most likely tell you or give you a big clue and then you can say, “I’m sorry. That was my fault. I did not explain that part well enough. Do you mind if I quickly explain that portion of the product to you?” This can save the sale or you will at least have a new clue into how to better close your next presentation.
2. The Hot Button
This is considered by many sales professionals to be one of the most effective closing techniques of all.It’s based on the theory that 80% of the decision is based on 20% of the features/benefits. You listen for the thing that is the underlying motive that drives their emotions and ultimately their decision. What do they want above anything else? Every time you mention the prospects hot button their desire goes up.
Example: A couple is looking for their first home and they pull up to a handyman special or a fixer-upper. The husband says something like, “Look at this and that, this place will need a lot of work!” and the wife says, “But look at that beautiful cherry tree out back. I always wanted, since I was a girl, to own a house with a beautiful cherry tree like that.” In the next room the husband mentions more work needed and the realtor says, “Yes but look at the view of that beautiful cherry tree.” The realtor keeps on this line over and over and keeps pressing ‘The Hot Button’ and the couple ends up buying the house for this one deep emotional reason.
And the NUMBER 1 AF SALES TIP IS……….
1. SHUT UP!
This is my favorite. Most diverse and most important. If you do nothing else, do this. Shut up and listen. Ask questions and listen. Telling is not selling. If you ask enough of the right questions and give them the opportunity to talk you will find their key desires and be able to help them make an informed and difficult decision. A huge habit of people in communication is that we listen with the intent to respond and not to understand. Don’t forget to really SHUT UP AND LISTEN. Listening is also in one of my lessons on how to build trust with potential partners. Check it out here.
To wrap up, these are some new or revisited ways to build your skills, increase sales, get to the yes or simply help you in your day to day lives with even small things. Remember that these are all skills and only get better with practice. So even in your everyday life, practice the sell – get someone to your favorite restaurant, drive the route you want or help that client make a decision that will better their life.
GET TO THE YES! Every small step, including reading this article, gets you closer to your goals, wouldn’t you agree? 😉