Some business owners are natural salespeople while others must work at it. Reading books and watching videos on the subject to increase their close ratios.
Over the course of multiple decades, I have realized that the key to increased sales is to not to sell at all. I know what you’re thinking, to improve my sales numbers I must increase the amount of selling that I do. Well, not exactly.
Think about it, when you yourself make a purchase, do you like being sold to or do you like to buy? Those are two different things. We know we are already going to buy whatever it is; we just need another opinion on the matter.
Rule #1 Stop Wasting Time Trying To Convince Others
Devoting time to persuade someone’s thinking is draining if they are trying to achieve the opposite. Can this process be made easier? How about pushing the car downhill instead of laboring to get it uphill?
Let your competition dilly-dally with meetings that go nowhere. You’ve got better things to do. But before I share exactly how to stop wasting time, let me share who you are looking for.
There are three types of customers:
- Buy today customers
- Buy tomorrow customers
- Never buy customers
I like to also think of it in terms of fruit—ripe bananas, green bananas, and rotten bananas. The perfectly yellow one is ready to eat now. The green one could ripen and be ready to eat later. And the rotten one, forget about it.
Customers are the same. Some are ready to act now, others may be ready in the future, while a select few will never do a thing. Immediately discern which customer you are talking to, and act accordingly.
The trap a lot of sales professionals and business owners fall into is misconstruing our sales skill. Our job is to be the client’s consultant. Not a pushy sales rep.
However, we tend to spend most of our time trying to convince a “rotten” to see things our way—selling. We invest our remaining time with a “green”, trying to get them to buy today. And because we have given the wrong people our time, our competitors have been getting the “ripe” ones.
You may be familiar with the 80/20 Rule or Pareto’s Principal. It states that 80% of our results come from just 20% of our efforts. Going forward spend 80% of your time with customers that want to buy—today.
Spend 20% of your time with customers that need more time or information. And absolutely zero time trying to sell a rotten.
When done correctly, you become a consultant. A trusted adviser guiding them to a “yes”.
Rule #2 Follow Up With All Prospects
Organization and good note taking are paramount to keep track of your leads. When you’re canvassing in person or online, right it down.
As soon as you walk out of a lead’s office or end your phone call, write down what was said. Detailed notes about what your customer is looking for, and how you can deliver that, are best summarized pronto.
If a lead asks you to follow up in two months and you didn’t write that down, you might as well kiss that business goodbye. A good example how effective following up is, would be the story of a huge cleaning contract I once won.
I ran across an opportunity that was unhappy with her current crew and she explained to me that a change was imminent. She suggested touching base with her every three months. And I did so without fail.
It took nearly a year, but we eventually earned her business. A quarter of a million dollars in yearly revenue earned because I followed up.
Rule #3 Brand Your Business Like A Large One
Branding your business to standout from competitors is well worth the effort. It tells customers that you’re professional and serious about business. What you do, and how you can help them.
To create an eye-catching logo and tagline is easy with resources like Fiverr and Shopify. Choose from several stock images or hire a freelancer to create a unique logo for your business.
You can also come up with memorable taglines by using the Shopify tagline generator. Although it may not give you the exact tagline that you ultimately decide on, it will help get you closer to the right one.
800 numbers are another way to build a positive image to define your company. The cost to utilize a toll-free number is surprisingly affordable too.
Professional website are an easy way to further showcase your skill at company branding. Producing a nice website that is easy for clients to navigate and displays a uniformed image of your firm speaks volumes about your business. It evokes a level of trust that your clients cannot ignore.
Business cards are another way to build your brand. Well, at least your image. What do I mean exactly? You will want to differentiate your company from others by getting professional cards that display corporate feeling information.
Bypass the cheap cards and the need to put your personal email on your card (and service vehicles). Not sure why this is not a given and continues to warrant addressing. Look I get it, you’ve had your email a long time and attached to it. But resist the temptation.
“For a free a quote email email@example.com”
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this on business cards or plastered on work vans. It shouts to the public that your business is not serious and lacks branding prowess.
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The two examples above are a 100% improvement over a personal email choice. Which seems more legit to you?
These are just a couple of tips to show you how to increase sales. Incorporate them into the way you operate your business, and watch your sales skyrocket.