We all know it, and we all dread it: the lost sale. They said they wanted to buy, and now they don’t. Or a current client wants to cancel. And you can feel all the time and effort you spent going down the drain.
The knee-jerk reaction here is to immediately defend our products or services and talk about how great they are. We try to “fix it” and convince them to stay with us or to stay and buy. But what’s even more important than that is that we learn how to listen.
Meetings are an inescapable part of doing business. But they’re also one of the biggest sources of wasted time and money when run inefficiently.
I recently attended a sales meeting where the manager printed out every email he’d sent his team that week. He began by spreading them out on the conference room table and reviewing each one. As I watched his entire team painfully sit through this bizarre crime scene reconstruction of their week (during prime prospecting time!), I estimated that he wasted $1,500 of his organization’s money.
You only get seven seconds to make a positive first impression on someone. And for a sales professional, first impressions are make-or-break; it’s vital that you know what you should be doing when you’re standing in front of a prospect.
Mastering your body language is the first step towards making a great first impression, as it focuses on quite literally putting your best foot forward.
We’ve all heard that “time is money,” right? Well, it’s true. And most of you probably know that determining the value of your time can be the first step in becoming a more effective professional.
You may have even tried using your hourly rate to make better time management decisions. But if you are a salesperson, you’re selling yourself short when you calculate the value of your time using the traditional “hourly rate” formula. There’s a much better way.
Like most salespeople, I suffer from a total squirrel mentality. I’m always going; always trying to do a million things at once. If not properly managed, this can obviously lead to an extraordinary amount of stress—and stress is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to success.
Meditation has long been recommended to reduce stress levels and increase focus. That didn’t prevent me from thinking it was entirely too hokey and a total waste of my time, though. I tried it for two whole days in a row before making up every excuse in the world about why it wasn’t going to work for me.
No matter what field you’re in, there’s an established flow on how to best land a sale. You can tweak it to fit your particular industry of course, but there are seven essential steps to success, known as the Sales Cycle.
Like the circle of life, you should look at your sales cycle as a never-ending loop; new leads converting to contacts that turn into closed deals who refer more new leads. But over time, even really good salespeople tend to focus more time and energy on the tasks they excel at while paying less attention to other, equally important aspects of selling.
To be a master salesperson, you must master the entire process! Let’s take a look at the seven steps of the Sales Cycle and see if you can spot one you may be neglecting in your business.