To progress as a salesperson, you must constantly strive for incremental gains. You must not be happy with retaining sales if you want to improve as a salesperson. If you’re anything like me, you want to keep getting better and closing more sales and deals.
My firm was closing my department many years ago, but they offered me a position in another department where I would be paid on a commission basis. I was very concerned about losing my pay as well as my bonus cushion. It served as a safety net for me, but I felt secure in my talents. I had recently married, purchased a home, and needed to sell quickly.
In a few years, I was promoted to partner in the firm due to my outstanding and consistent sales. My sales increased like a hockey stick, and I outperformed the majority of the folks who had been there for decades. There were numerous things that contributed to my achievement.
I don’t have three secrets to success; instead, I have 22 strategies to help you become a better seller. The following is a list of the most crucial steps to become a great salesperson. The characteristics of a good salesman have shown to be beneficial to me.
1. Stand and Smile When You Call
- 1. Stand and Smile When You Call
- 2. Know Their Birthday
- 3. Send Personalized Handwritten Cards
- 4. Send Creative Corporate Gift Ideas
- 5. Best Prospecting Calls are Tuesday Through Thursday
- 6. Call When you Have the Right Hook
- 7. High-Performing Salespeople are Passionate
- 8. Put Yourself Second and be Honest
- 9. Competition is Healthy
- 10. Be Communicative and Available
- 11. Learn from Rejection
- 12. Use Sales Prospecting Tools
- 13. To-Do List on Sticky Notes
- 14. Ask for Referrals in Sales
- 15. Know your Product and Create a FAQ
- 16. Identify Customer Pain Points and Needs
- 17. You Work for Yourself
- 18. Be Appropriately Dressed When you Meet Clients
- 19. Prepare for Small Talk Topics
- 20. Everyone is Special
- 21. Always Under Promise Over Deliver
- 22. Always Learn and Grow
- In Sum
While you’re on the phone with a prospect, you want to exude vitality. You won’t sound fascinating on the phone if you’ve been sitting in your chair all day and it’s overcast and raining. Your prospect will sense the energy and become more involved if you get up and grin. I strongly suggest investing on a wireless headset and a height-adjustable desk.
2. Know Their Birthday
After a few talks, try to find out their birthday in a stealthy way. Say something along the lines of, “This weekend, I’m going to a birthday party on XYZ Day (holiday depending on the season).” I can’t believe how many of my friends were born on the XYZ holiday. What day is your birthday? My personal calendar is always updated with my clients’ birthdays. No one else does it, so I phone, email, text, or send a card every year! You’ll be noticed. They will almost certainly respond, giving you an opportunity to follow up and continue to create a relationship. Be a friend to others.
3. Send Personalized Handwritten Cards
My name is printed over the top on well weighted card stock, and I have personalized stationary at home. You should always send a unique thank you note in the mail after a great first call or after closing a deal. Attach your business card to the top of the stationary if you’re still early in the sales process. It’s a much more intimate contact point than a normal email. Always make sure that each note is unique and not a generic letter. Locate someone who knows anything unique about your conversation or your client so they can see that you put consideration into the tailored note. If I have a meeting with six persons, each of them will receive six different notes. That would be awful if they all sat next to each other and used the same template, thank you very much.
Also, send a thank you card after you make the sale expressing your appreciation. You want them to remember you after the any referrals will receive a discount.
4. Send Creative Corporate Gift Ideas
If your organization provides clients holiday gifts, don’t send the same items that every other salesman delivers every year. Chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, and cured meats are among the items sent by everyone. You’ll never stand out, and it’ll end up in the office junk food pile. Because I’m from Chicago, I’d try to work out a deal with a well-known Chicago deep-dish restaurant. Every holiday, I would obtain a volume discount and spend anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 on pizzas. Every year, I’d get a call from ecstatic clients who said they’d fight over the workplace pizzas. Then, during the conversation, they’d probably transact some business with me, more than covering the cost of the pizzas. It was a fantastic return on investment! Discover something unique about yourself, your organization, or your location to send out once a year. Send the holiday gift early in the season or after New Year’s to receive more attention for yourself and your item.
5. Best Prospecting Calls are Tuesday Through Thursday
Often times in life, you only get one chance to make a first impression or follow up. You don’t want to squander this chance. I never make a cold call on Monday since the individual is returning from the weekend, catching up on their to-do list, and preparing for Monday morning meetings and agendas; they don’t have time for salespeople. They are usually wrapping up work for the weekend, finishing tasks that was not completed during the week, or leaving early to golf on Fridays. You might get lucky on a Friday afternoon when they pick up their phone out of boredom and genuinely offer you their entire attention.
6. Call When you Have the Right Hook
Make the first call when you have a thorough understanding of your target client and how you can assist them. They have no incentive to abandon their existing salesperson or waste their time with you if you can’t add value. Many potential sales prospects are lethargic and unwilling to change because they believe it will be too difficult. Don’t waste your time trying to help individuals you can’t. Make specific phone calls. I really kept a client’s name and phone number on file for almost three months until I had a financial product I knew they’d be interested in. When I told him I was selling X financial product, he was floored because he had been looking for it. On the spot, we completed our first business transaction. The wait was really worth it. They remained a fantastic client for over a decade, including the largest order of my career.
7. High-Performing Salespeople are Passionate
I worked in the securities industry, and my product line changed on a daily basis. When I was enthusiastic about a product, I almost always closed the deal. I wasn’t trying to make a profit. I was selling because I was convinced of the quality of the product. Make the customer feel you are enthusiastic about what you’re doing and selling. It will make you pleased at work and in your personal life. Have faith in what you’re selling. Take satisfaction in who you are and what you’ve accomplished.
8. Put Yourself Second and be Honest
Cold calls turn into clients, and clients turn into friends over time. I never want a family member, closest friend, marginal friend, or client to make a poor purchasing decision. On occasion, a client would make a poor investment through me, and I would feel as horrible as the client. I took the asset’s loss or underperformance far harder than they did. It’s a win-win situation for both of us when a client succeeds and makes money. In Team, there is no I!
9. Competition is Healthy
Throughout college, I worked as a waitress in a restaurant. As I told the financial firm interviewer, sales are sales, and I’m selling with a couple more zeros on the merchandise. Every month or quarter, I would go after a salesperson who outsold me. Follow in the footsteps of the finest salesmen in your area and learn from them. Have a look at how your coworkers manage a good sales call. I consistently became the top salesman in every restaurant where I worked. Make realistic goals for yourself. Make a sales strategy template and a plan for the following stage.
10. Be Communicative and Available
I’m amazed at how long some people wait to respond to a client. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve phoned someone to buy a product or service, just to have them take an inordinate length of time to return my call. Even if you’re busy or on the road, respond with something to let the client know you received their message and will respond. Give them no reason to call someone else or form a friendship with someone else. I’ve gone to my office kitchen to make lunch, returned to find a missed call, and the client had already made a purchase from someone else. It’s all about the timing.
11. Learn from Rejection
Sure, there are moments when it is them rather than you. But try to figure out why they declined. Perform a personal review of your calls. Did you make a call to someone who doesn’t require what you’re offering? Was it possible that you were overly aggressive and salesy? Did you not inform them about the advantages of your product and how it may assist them? Didn’t you ask for the sale when it was appropriate? Rejected sales are minor setbacks, but they can be turned into learning opportunities. From your successes, mistakes, and failures in sales, you can learn how to deal with rejection.
12. Use Sales Prospecting Tools
Every step of the sales process now has its own tool. Work smarter, not harder, as the old sales success quote goes. Here’s a quick rundown of the sales tools I recommend:
- Gmass email customization
- BananaTag’s email tracking
- CRM –
- Calendar – Fantastical
- Sync your notes between your smartphone and computer
Processes are used by the world’s best salespeople to increase efficiency. It is not always necessary to use technology in every aspect of your business, but it is beneficial. Technology may help you stay organized, establish a sales strategy template, and keep track of your pipeline and progress toward your objectives.
13. To-Do List on Sticky Notes
I start and end each day with a fresh yellow square sticky note, which is the polar opposite of utilizing technology. I make a list of what I didn’t get done today and what I need to get done tomorrow. Throughout the day, I’ll be marking things off and adding to my to-do list. On my way home most days, I’d stick the sticky note in my pocket and add to it. That’s why people have Notes on their iPhones or Evernote on their smartphones, I understand. I can ignore that, but it’s difficult to ignore a piece of paper starring at you from every direction.
14. Ask for Referrals in Sales
According to Texas Tech, 83% of consumers are willing to recommend a friend following a pleasant shopping experience, but just 29% actually do so. Every time I visited a client’s workplace, I asked whether there was anyone in their business or nearby who could be interested in my product. Your customers all attend the same trips and conferences. They’re all acquainted. I’d make a list of all the local males I met and ask them who I was missing.
Ask them for assistance. It will give them a sense of importance. They felt obligated to fill in the gaps after I gave them a list of my current clients and prospects. When you cold-called their referral, ask if I could use their name. If not, I’d still make a cold call and mention some of the other local males I met the previous time I was in town. It’s not going to hurt. If an colleague or rival of theirs invites me into their workplace, you appear credible.
15. Know your Product and Create a FAQ
Become an expert about your product. Use the product. When I worked in restaurants, I always ate the specials. If I like it, I could easily describe it and sell it on my excitement. On the other hand, I was overly honest and told customers what was just okay. I never want to sell something that’s just okay. They won’t be happy, they won’t tip me, and I won’t get repeat customers. In almost all cases, they expressed respect for me because no server ever tells them what to avoid on the menu. My wife knows it drives me crazy when a server tells me “everything is good on the menu.”
Remind your consumers how glad you are to utilize and be associated with it. There are always the same questions, no matter what I’ve sold. Depending on the complexity of your product, it could be a few common questions or several pages. Know the questions and the answers to them. Create a paper with commonly asked questions (FAQ) for new clients. Several salesmen have told me that they provide it ahead of time so that their initial call may delve deeper into the product or service. It has the potential to make the sales process move more smoothly and quickly. Utilize the FAQ to address the most prevalent sales objections and counter-arguments. It may also sift out leads, saving you both time and money. Some salespeople will also deliver it after their first meeting. It will be determined by the nature of your merchandise.
16. Identify Customer Pain Points and Needs
Before making your first contact, do some research. You only get one chance to create a first impression, as the saying goes. You must understand why customers require your goods or service. Is your product superior to that of a competitor? Will your product help them become more productive? Will your product be cost-effective in the long run? They’re using a similar product or service from a competitor, but yours is less expensive? Can you outperform a competition in terms of customer service and satisfaction? Why should people pick up the phone and buy from you when you call? If you can’t think of a good explanation, don’t call them and instead look for something that will help your prospect.
17. You Work for Yourself
Your reputation is as important as your career. Never allow your employer or client to force you to do something dishonest or deceptive. I’ve worked for companies that wanted me to emphasize or reject my personal and familial beliefs. Employers have pushed me to work with my customer at an uncomfortable pace. Being desperate and approaching a customer with the need to make a transaction right away is not a good idea. Don’t allow it happen to you. Most clients are intelligent enough to recognize when someone is being truthful with them or simply trying to make a deal. My whole career has been spent in small to medium-sized firms. To get someone to pick up the phone and buy from you, all you have is your reputation. I’ve never worked for an industry behemoth or multinational where my customers were forced to buy from me. You can’t hide from a bad reputation forever in this small community.
18. Be Appropriately Dressed When you Meet Clients
Learn out how your prospects dress and dress just a smidge better than them. You want to appear well-dressed, professional, and courteous, but you also want to be approachable. Everyone wore suits when I first started traveling for sales in 1999. My principal territory was on the west coast of the United States. As my clients become more casual over time, I gradually began to dress down. I moved from a suit to a sportscoat and tie, then a sportscoat alone, khakis, jeans with a sportscoat, then excellent jeans with a button down. My west coast clientele thought the $1000 suit salespeople in New York were stuffy and narcissistic. I wanted to be relatable and establish a friendship with them. On the other hand, if you’re travelling to New York to solicit money for an investment bank, you’ll almost certainly be wearing a suit. Know who you’re talking to. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, has also been seen recently. to connect with his audience.
19. Prepare for Small Talk Topics
Don’t be the typical person who speaks about “the weather” during downtime with your client. Don’t wing your conversations. If you know they like sports, do some research and have them talk about their team. If they have a family, ask about their kids and family trips planned. Personalize the conversation so you can find a common bond between you and your client. The best salespeople focus on evaluating clients personalities and making adjustments along the way. Come prepared with small talk ideas.
20. Everyone is Special
Never reject or neglect any point of contact within your customer’s company. Always be courteous to the administrative staff, as they are often the first line of defense between you and your potential client. Never dismiss a subordinate who reports to your prospective buyer. When a customer leaves the firm, goes on vacation, or retires, the next in charge is usually that individual, either temporarily or permanently. They’ll never forget who treated them well when they were ascending the ladder and number two, and who treated them badly. Individuals are constantly changing positions or moving on. There aren’t many companies or jobs that stay the same.
21. Always Under Promise Over Deliver
Salespeople in every industry are notorious for overpromising and underdelivering. Don’t exaggerate a service or product’s worth. It’s almost cultural nowadays, to be honest. Tesla has been promising a certain number of cars for years, but they rarely meet their target. The media is constantly pointing it out and does not believe Elon Musk. Customers aren’t naive. They understand the difference between reasonable expectations and a hyped-up pitch of promises. Do what you claim you’ll do and include a buffer or set expectations from the start. There will always be setbacks, so notify your client right away and explain how you plan to fix it. Your delivery dates are most likely revolving and arranged within their business. It’s a chain reaction. In the end, honesty will earn you a lot more respect.
22. Always Learn and Grow
I was always going to the library and checking out cassette tapes on how to become a better salesman when I was a server in the late 1990s. I listened to business books, biographies about my profession, and self-help books in addition to learning about sales. Every day, I spent a couple of hours in the car, and instead of listening to the same songs over and over, I was learning something new. With podcasts, audiobooks, and smartphones, there are no more excuses. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
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- Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
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- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
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- Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness
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Your sales or personal development training should never cease. Stay current on trends by reading industry magazines and articles. Learning is a continuous process that takes place throughout one’s life.
Why do you wish to improve your sales skills? What inspires you? Is money a driving force in your life? When you make a sale, do you get a rush? Are you a hunter who is fiercely competitive with yourself and your coworkers? Do you want to make a difference in someone else’s life when they buy your product? Is your product contributing to a better world?
It makes no difference whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. But, you must be adaptable and able to move between introvert and extrovert selling styles.
My former employer was always happy to hear when a salesperson was buying a house or getting married. He knew that salesperson needed to be a better salesman to support their dreams.
How will you improve your sales skills? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.