16 Ways To Increase Sales This Year
by Jim Cathcart
(Excerpted from Relationship Selling– The Eight Competencies of Top Producers)
1. Prepare Yourself To Excel
Use a checklist to prepare your attitude, appearance, customer information, company and product information and the selling environment, so you can be at your best on every call.
2. Notice What Is Working
Study yourself, your product or service and your company to know what is working now. Reinforce the actions and tools, which are generating results. Learn from your successes as well as your failures.
3. Know Your Competitive Advantage
Study your company and your products and services in relation to what your competitors offer. Know where and how you stand out, and where you don’t. Be prepared to discuss these comparisons at any moment.
4. Improve Your Sales Skill, Not Just Your Product Knowledge
Don’t rely on product knowledge to make you more persuasive. Sharpen your skills in reading people, describing your offer in compelling ways and in asking for the order at the right time.
5. Target The People Who Are Your Best Prospects
Best customers have patterns. Most will fit the same pattern, so prospect among those who fit the pattern. Calling on people with similar needs, circumstances, and interests makes you more likely to create another best customer.
6. Know What To Be Curious About
Know in advance what questions to ask by knowing what answers you need. Cultivate a strategic curiosity. Learn to be curious about the things that will advance your chance of making a sale.
7. Realize Who Is your Ideal Customer
Create a profile of the ideal customer for what you offer. Define who they are, where they can be reached, what they care about, what they fear, what they read, whom they admire and more. Know them well.
8. Find The Diamonds In Your Own Backyard
More business exists around you than you know. Look among your friends, neighbors, existing customers, past customers, colleagues, competitors and coworkers for the opportunities that others overlook.
10. Ask For Specific Referrals
Tell people what your ideal customer or prospect looks like. Ask them who they know who fits this description. Then ask them to take a specific action to help you meet the prospect; a telephone introduction, a testimonial letter, arrange a luncheon or coffee shop meeting, etc.
11. Grow Your Brand Identity
Get yourself and your company known within your market area. Write articles, letters to editors, offer expert input for reporters and publishers, conduct surveys, provide free services to key people, donate your time to worthy causes, put your photo on your business card, share valuable ideas via email. Create a broad awareness of yourself as an authority on what you do.
12. Build A Fortress Of Great Relationships
It is not only who you know that determines the value of your relationships; it is whether they know you as a valuable business resource. Define who you need to know today and five years from today. Start now to cultivate the relationships and the reputation, which will expand your possibilities.
13. Manage Tension Throughout The Sales Process
As tension rises, trust falls. Be aware of the ebb and flow of tension as the sale unfolds. Learn to reduce it when it gets in the way and to momentarily increase it to add urgency to the decision process.
14. Give Samples Of The Experience You Represent
A movie ticket doesn’t just buy you a seat in the theater; it buys you the experience of enjoying the movie. What experience does your product or service bring to people? Give them a way to sample that experience through your presentation.
15. Know When And How To Ask For The Order
Learn to recognize buying signals, how to ask differently with different people, when to let the customer sell himself, how to negotiate details and when to walk away. If you don’t ask you don’t get. But how you ask often determines success or failure.
16. Make More Calls! It’s never going to be possible for you to increase sales without increasing sales Contacts! Get out there and ask people to buy…every day.
And a bonus idea: Deserve To Have Loyal Customers
Know how to cultivate dedicated clients. Become competition-proof by delivering more than people expect. Overfill your client’s needs and be their business friend, even when they are not buying from you. Be the kind of person people rave about.
Copyright 2009 & 2015 Jim Cathcart, https://cathcart.com
This article is distilled from 130 powerful sales ideas in Relationship Selling by Jim Cathcart. Mr. Cathcart is also the author of the bestseller The Acorn Principle. Use it as a discussion guide, take one idea at a time and look for ways to apply it.