It would be incredible if there were a silver bullet that would make entrepreneurs increasingly effective in their business endeavors. Unfortunately, there isn’t – success requires commitment, dedication and hard work, along with skill and a little bit of luck. There may not be a single solution to guarantee success, but Ann Marie Puig, a highly successful business owner and philanthropist from Costa Rica, shares some of her tips for increasing sales.
The sales presentation needs to provide a solution to a challenge. Anyone can pitch why a product is better than the competition’s, but this won’t be convincing enough. Says Puig, “Those who really succeed in sales – rainmakers, as they’re called – offer solutions to challenges. They show how to help the organization become more productive by using the salesperson’s service or product and help them understand the benefits.”
It’s important to manage time wisely. If you know that it will take the same amount of time to sign a $25,000 deal as it will for a $100,000 deal, make sure to allocate a considerable amount of time to the more lucrative deals.
Puig adds, “In sales, there’s a common saying: Always be closing. From the start of the conversation or presentation to its end, the successful salesperson is looking at what he or she needs to secure the deal. In addition, though, salespeople need to always be prospecting, as well. Continuously expand the network, the pipeline and the potential customer base and keep the list fresh.”
There always needs to be a next step in the sales channel. If holding an initial meeting with a potential client, make sure to define what will happen next – a follow-up meeting, another demonstration with additional personnel, etc. Take the lead and make sure to set the next step before departing.
It’s significantly harder to climb your way up in an association then it is to get sent down the chain. When you begin low, it’s a daunting struggle that is only occasionally won. However, when you begin high and get sent down, you are more likely to find the right person that will accept your call.
It’s important to offer value during the sales conversation. This will help to build relationships and confidence, as the salesperson will be seen as a subject-matter expert. This ultimately allows potential consumers to warm up to the relationship quicker and can put the salesperson on the inside track.
In order to pitch why a service or product will provide a solution to a challenge, a salesperson must understand the client and understand what is driving their purchase consideration. When a salesperson is able to make this determination, he or she is already on their way to becoming a rainmaker.
In order to understand the client, the salesperson has to look at the issue from the prospect’s point of view and has to be able to answer the questions the potential customer will ask – why is this product better, why do I need it, why should I believe you. Answering these questions will tip the scales in the salesperson’s favor from the start.
While there may not be a “silver bullet,” there are plenty of ways to help a sales program succeed. Taking into consideration these tips will go a long way to making that happen.