- Know Your Product or Service
It seems straightforward, doesn’t it? Yet there are far too many sales people who try to sell products without having a good grasp of what it is they are selling. These people can sometimes have a certain degree of success in a good economy, but when the going gets tough they are the first to fail. You need to know what you’re selling from top to bottom. You should have every feature and benefit on the tip of your tongue. If you don’t, you need to make this your top priority.
- Know Your Target Market
Knowing who to sell your product to is just as important as knowing what you are selling. One key thing to do is pinpoint who it is that’s buying your product and make their age bracket your main priority. Where do they shop, what do they read, how do they talk? This will define your effective advertising strategies.
- Know Your Competition and Your Competitive Advantage
Your competition is always going to be there, but they are bound to be even more ruthless when there are fewer customers. You need to make a list of all other competitors in your area and figure out what makes your business different to theirs and how you can stand out to customers. Evaluate obvious advantages like cost, features, quality, or distribution, and don’t underestimate other advantages such as location, reputation, or social responsibility.
- Be a “Proactive” Business Developer
Now is not the time for you to be sitting idol waiting for potential clients to ring you. You need to get out there and make opportunities for yourself by networking, advertising and making the calls. The more you reach out, the more you’ll get in return.
- Mine the Gold in Your Existing Client Database
Don’t underestimate the value of your existing clients. When your business is slow, use this time effectively by calling your “regulars” to inform them of new products, special offers and volume discounts. You’ll probably surprise yourself with how much business you have been leaving behind by not contacting them sooner.
- Don’t Leave Business on the Table- Cross-sell Your Products and Services
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. Always offer your clients other products or services related to what they are buying. They’ll appreciate your suggestion and might even take you up on what you are offering either at the time of purchase or later.
- Track Progress and Results
If you don’t track your sales processes and results, you won’t know what works for your business and what doesn’t. There are plenty of easy-to-use customer relationship management (CRM) software programs that will help you monitor your sales efforts from start to finish. This will be a good investment in your business, especially as these CRM’s can automate the majority of that process for you.
- Learn From Your Mistakes
Have you had any difficulties with a certain marketing segment? Or been burned over and over by one particular type of customer? These are big learning curves in your business and are blessings. Learn from these situations, implement new rules and strategies then move on. If you don’t then you are just wasting time and money.
- Be Persistent
The saying, “sales is a numbers game” is true, especially when business is slow. Persistence is a key trait for most sales people, yet all of the really successful ones are incredibly persistence. A “don’t give up” mentality is truly one of the most valuable attributes that you can have.
- Enjoy the Process
Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out to be a sales person. Selling the products should be fun and you should enjoy the challenge and thrill each time you acquire a new customer. If you feel this way about sales, be grateful. There are so many people who dread their jobs and would prefer to do anything else. So show your enthusiasm, enjoy the process of selling, and you will enjoy the success it can bring you.