5 Essential Steps to Sales Success

BusinessSales / Service

  • Author Mandy Schumaker
  • Published April 4, 2012
  • Word count 702

"Sales is what you do for someone, not to someone"

Bob Proctor

Next to a fear of public speaking, I think the fear of sales runs a very close second. There is such a stigma around sales, the "pushy type", the "aggressor" the "used-car salesperson". None of us want to be described like that. But when you are in business for yourself, you must do a certain amount of sales in order for your business to be successful. You cannot just build your website and "hope they will come".

I have found that people's mindset around sales and most specifically, their experience around being sold to or selling is the biggest factor towards our fear. We've all had unfortunate experiences of being sold to, where the salesperson never focused on our needs, but just continued to describe all the features and talk about how much we will love it. Or we might remember our own botched sales call, where we were hung up on, thrown out of a store, or had someone yell expletives at us until we left.

But I look at sales very differently. If you offer a product or service that can help relieve someone of their "pain" (and I use this word very broadly), it is your DUTY to get out there in big way and talk about the benefits of your product or service. You could be helping lots of people, but if they don't know about what you're offering and how it can help them, you are doing those folks a huge injustice.

Sales is a numbers game, a better mousetrap by itself, doesn't win sales. In other words, you might have the best product or service out there, but if you aren't putting yourself out there in a big way, you will not increase your revenues. Here are five essential steps to help you create sales success in your business.

1-Networking-you must have a networking strategy. This means a plan for where you will spend your time networking and with whom you will be speaking. You want to be sure you are networking in places where your ideal clients hang out...not at events with your competition.

2-Consistently Contact Prospects-when you come home from your networking events, it's important to have a system in place for following up with the prospects you met. Sending an e-mail or making a follow-up phone call the next day is crucial to begin developing a relationship with your prospect. Your sales success is directly linked to your prospecting activity. You must follow up, follow up, and follow up!

3-Asking Good Questions-Where is your customer's "pain"? Be sure you are asking good open-ended questions, so you can get as much information as possible. A good way to start the question is by asking, "So, tell me about...." Asking a question starting with "tell me..." ensures you will get more information than if you asked a closed ended question, that garners a "yes" or "no" response. Develop a list of 25 questions your prospect hasn't heard and that your competition isn't asking.

4-Present Solutions/Benefits-so often people start talking about their features. Everything is "we can do this, we can do that". Once you have heard ALL the pain from your prospect, only then can you start to offer solutions.

5-Ask For the Order! Logical-right, but did you know over 50% of all sales calls end without asking for the order? People are so afraid of rejection-that they go through the entire process and don't ask for the order! You can't help somebody, if you don't give them the opportunity to buy your product or service.

Sales is mindset, if you are not clear on WHY you do what you do, and for whom, then that's the very first place you need to begin. Get clear-figure out why you do what you do and who you do it for...

If you are clear about WHY you do what you do, how you help people through your product or service, then it is imperative that you talk to as many people as possible about what you do, and what you offer so you can be of service to many, many people in this world.

Mandy Schumaker, President of Higher Performing People, is a former sales and management executive in the newspaper industry, who has extensive experience in executive coaching, leadership development, sales and marketing, facilitation and team building. She has a gift for helping executives and entrepreneurs maintain their focus and hold themselves and others accountable, which in turn helps them to become more effective, productive leaders. Mandy can be reached at www.mandyschumaker.com or 207-653-6977

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