What Can I Do to Get an Increase in Sales?

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Answered by: Wendy, An Expert in the Sales - General Category
If you want to see an increase in sales, you need to take a hard look at your selling techniques. Consider if any of the following sales mistakes sound familiar.

Too Much Talking and Not Enough Listening

If every time you meet with a customer or prospect you're the one doing all the talking, then you're making a big mistake. In order to sell effectively you need to know several things about the prospect. Are they a qualified prospect, able to buy your product and with a genuine need for it? What are their “hot buttons,” the benefits and issues that are most important to them? How much money would they feel comfortable spending on your product? Do they have the potential to be a repeat customer? The quickest and easiest way to find out the answers is simply to ask your prospect.

Each presentation should start with your introducing yourself and asking a series of questions designed to uncover the above information. The more carefully you listen to the answers, the more precisely you can target your presentation. Qualify the customer well enough and your actual pitch may be no more than a sentence or two long – because you know exactly what to tell the prospect in order to show them how good a fit your product is for them.

Not Closing the Sale

If you don't close then you won't make many sales. You might not make any at all. Very few prospects are willing to close themselves! So as a rule, close every sale, even if it seems hopeless. You have nothing to lose by trying to close the prospect, and you might receive a pleasant surprise.

Closing the prospect can be as simple as saying “Would you prefer a delivery date of Tuesday or Wednesday?” or a similar assumptive statement. If you're pretty sure that the prospect is ready you could even just hand them the paperwork and say “Sign here to complete the order.” One thing you should NEVER say is “Do you want to think about it?” because that will instantly kill the sale. Why would the prospect buy from you when you're telling them not to?

Not Doing Enough Selling

Some salespeople really hate selling. They arrive at the office at 9AM and grab a cuppa, then sit down for a “brainstorming” chat with other salespeople during which everyone complains about how hard it is to sell. Then they do some paperwork and surf the Internet for awhile. By then it's time for a two-hour “business” lunch, after which they return to the office and push around some more papers.

Here's the truth: the more prospects you talk to, the more sales you are likely to make. There are a lot of ways to “sell smarter not harder” and get an increase in sales percentages across the board, but you still need to get out and hustle. In fact, the more you're struggling with poor sales, the more time you need to spend talking to prospects.

If you're struggling, set a daily goal of prospect contacts. You might decide to make 20 phone calls a day, or visit at least five prospects a week, or just to keep reaching out until you have at least one appointment per day – whatever works for you.

No matter how good a salesperson you are, you'll always have a weak area or two that can stand some improvement. And by improving yourself, you'll see an increase in sales naturally – it's as simple as that.

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