Are you a new sales rep? Do you wake up in the middle of the night thinking how you'll get through it? Do you slip into a coma-like state when you're delivering your pitch?
A lot of us have gone through similar emotions and emerged bruised but not beaten. In an impromptu event organized by HelloMeets at our office on October 19, 2019, Dwaraka N, Sales Manager at Pickyourtrail, explained 13 keys to successful selling for those first-timers. Here they are:
1. Give before you take
The first 20 seconds of every call is crucial. It determines if a prospect will buy from you or not. So, as a sales rep, don't be transactional, instead offer your clients value in every conversation. For example, a tour consultant could help his potential customer during a conversation saying, "Europe will be cold during this time of the year, why don't you try Australia instead?" Or, if he is
2. The Kick
Nobody is born as a sales rep, nor do they aspire for a degree that makes them sales reps. Highly-motivated salespeople don't work for money or reputation. They work for that kick or the adrenaline rush that they get when they close the deal. So, if you aren't working for the kick that you get, don't force yourself into it. It probably isn't worth your time.
3. Listen to the 'body language'
When you are making an outbound sales call, there is an active conversation that you have to listen to. Then, there are the passive sounds that give you clear signals. If you can hear children playing in the background or the sound of rock music, you know it isn't the right time to have a conversation.
4. Know what you are selling
A software sales rep must know what his software is capable of doing. A vacation consultant must know her destinations so that she can match the customer's expectations. If you do not know your product or service well, you risk being transactional and falling out of favor with your clients.
5. The USP
What you offer is matched by hundreds of sellers. So, why should a prospect become your customer? That is where the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) comes into play. A designer's USP could be the fabric that he uses; a doctor's USP could be the post-consultation follow-up that ensures your well-being; an insurer's USP could be the 24x7 support that he offers. Use sales battle cards to know what are your strengths over your competitors.
6. Probe. Probe. Probe
Know the 80/20 rule? In every sales conversation, a sales rep should only speak 20% of the time, and the prospect 80%. This process leads to higher conversions. When you probe more, you are letting the prospect think of what his real needs are that allows you to finetune your pitch.
7. Practice your pitch
Do you sound like a Jordan Belfort when you speak on the phone? Well, you don't have to be like him, but ensure that you practice your sales pitch well. Get your peers and managers to listen in on your calls and give you feedback so that you get the right pitch.
8. Categorize your leads
Not all leads are ready to convert, but know which are the ones that will convert faster. So, stop wasting your time on big-ticket, but low-intent leads because they will make you exasperated. Instead, focus on smaller deal sizes that have a higher potential of converting.
9. Follow-up on every lead
Your pipeline is scalable only when you follow up on a hot lead. If you've had a great conversation with a prospect, ensure that you follow up so that he doesn't go cold. Priorities change all the time, but if you want to be counted as a priority for a customer, follow up with him constantly. It could be a simple mail that captures all that was discussed during the call and a meeting invite sent for the next conversation.
10. Be okay to lose
Yes, you read it right. Be ready to walk away from a deal, no matter how big it is if your prospect's expectations are unrealistic. It boils down to saying 'No' to things that you cannot deliver instead of earning a bad reputation.
11. Always sell clean
Customers hate surprises. Whatever you sell must be true to the promise you made during the sales conversation and clutter-free. If your customers get 'X' instead of 'Y' you are inviting their wrath, so be empathetic and deliver what you promise.
12. Embrace the chaos
As a sales rep, confusion and disorderliness are your constant companions no matter what business you are in. Working under deadlines and tight pressure situations is a given in any sales role, so learn to embrace the chaos.
13. Attention to detail
Often, a customer comes back for a repeat purchase because he knows that you pay great attention to detail to his needs. That could even become your USP. For example, a hotel front desk could arrange for cab pickup service from the airport for a customer who is fatigued after a long flight even if he hasn't asked for it.
It takes a lot of practice, and a combination of flair and orderliness to become a great sales rep. So, keep plowing at it every day until you are ready to soar.