What are you waiting for?
I wish is was that easy. There are many things that get in the way of selling. What do you really need in order to just go sell. Number one, you need time. That means you have to become a master of your calendar.
A business owner called me the other day and told me that sales were down and she had hired some salespeople but she still needed to get out and sell. She was concerned that she didn’t have enough time with running her company to make the time needed for sales. I told her this was not uncommon. Many business owners need to do some selling but have trouble finding the time. I put her and her team through my More Time Please! Time Management Practices for Sales course and in just a few days she found the time to do the needed sales.
Finding time to sell is just one of the things you need to do. If you have the time but not enough leads or if you don’t feel comfortable making a sales call or handling objections, it will still be hard to Go Sell!
Here are some things you can do to make it easier.
Build a Lead Generation Machine
Very few organizations have all the leads they need. Some do and if yours is one of them, skip this! There are many ways to generate leads and some cost more than others. The first thing you need is a budget. Once that is established, you can choose your lead generation methods. To start, write down all of the ways you currently generate leads now. Next to each, write down how many leads you have received from that method in the last 12 months. If you don’t know, it’s time to start some serious record keeping. The typical answer I get from small businesses is, referrals. They tell me that people call them. It’s word of mouth, but rarely does this method give a company all the leads needed. If referrals is your main way of getting new business, then what can you do to reward for the referrals you are getting and encourage more? What can you do to get those not giving you referrals to start? What’s the next best lead source? Here are a few to consider:
- Social Media
Figure out what will work best for your company and your budget.
Plan Your Sales Calls
There are certain questions you must ask before you can close a deal. There is a certain amount of information you will have to give the prospect. In order to do both you need to establish a rapport and start building a relationship. How do you do all of this effectively on a sales call? How do you remember to ask all the questions?
I had a client who called me because he wasn’t closing as many deals as he needed. He told me he would visit with prospects and have a great conversation. Later he would realize he hadn’t gotten all the information he needed. He wasn’t worried though because it seemed like the prospect liked him and the product. Later he learned they had purchased from a competitor. He couldn’t figure out exactly what had gone wrong. I worked with him on sales call planning. Now he makes a written plan prior to each sales call and can evaluate the call afterward based on the plan. He has all his questions written out, as well as what information he needs to share. He has a reminder to ask for clearly defined next steps before leaving the meeting and a date for those steps. Now when he leaves a meeting he has more than a feeling that he was liked. He knows how the prospect feels and what will happen next. His close ratio increased 25% after just a short time of using the call planning.
Learn to Handle Objections
If you are in sales you will always have to handle objections. The better you get at it, the more deals you will close. It is human nature to have objections arise during the buying process. By being prepared, you will be able to handle them. Most of my clients need more practice handling objections but recently one of them came to me stating that she felt frazzled every time a prospect threw out an objection when she thought the deal was ready to close. She felt frustrated and wanted to give up. She told me she felt like saying, “Go ahead and buy from the competition then!”
I put her through my training on how to handle objections and we practiced with all of her most common objections. She was a changed woman. She told me that she no longer dreaded objections and she was easily able to handle them and move on to close the deal. To improve the way you handle objections, write out the most common objections you hear. Then write out the way your company can handle each. You may have more than one solution to each objection. Then follow my process. 1. Listen to the objection and validate it. 2. Ask questions to confirm your understanding of the objection. 3. Handle the objection with the appropriate solution. 4. Confirm that your solution is acceptable. 5. Move on to the next step or close the deal.
You can Go Sell! You may need some training. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Practice is the key. To be good at anything, we have to practice. The same is true for sales. If you would like sales training, please take a look at the training I offer on my website. I think you will find it very useful.
Alice is nationally known for her expertise in elevating sales to increase valuation for companies with a B2B complex sale that have exceptional growth potential. She’s originally, from the widely known Miller Heiman Group. Spending her time strategizing with CEOs and their leadership teams to build the strategies that find new business and grow existing accounts is her passion. Her clients love her spirit and the way she energizes their sales organization.