You’re up. You’ve pitched your prospect. You’ve given your presentation. The time has come for you to close to deal. Do you know what to do? Do you know how to sell?
What are you going to do?
Some people default to giving their prospect a way out. They say something like “I could send you some more information and let you think about it.” Some people try to pressure people into a sale, only to be giving back refunds the next day due to buyers remorse.
The reality is that most people freeze.
We all look for a way out of a sales situation. There’s no beating around the bush with this article. Sales are super uncomfortable.
That’s why the good sales reps get all the perks. People who know how to sell, know how to make it rain. They do the work that no one else wants to do and they get rewarded for it.
So what is it that makes someone a good sales person? How come some people are so naturally influential while others come across as sleazy or manipulative?
In all of my experiences, I’ve been able to devise a few techniques or tips that will help you close more deals, get more sales and ultimately expand your network.
Let’s get started.
#1 – Smile When You Talk
Bruno Mars came on Juliana’s Spotify the other day. Her and I were in the kitchen and we started dancing.
I said something like “man Bruno Mars… he’s got it.”
Then Jules said “I love how you can picture him smiling when you hear him sing.”
Think about it, in almost every Bruno Mars song, you can listen to his music and it actually sounds like he is smiling. How do you know? You can’t see him. You’re not watching a video, but it’s true. You definitely know that he’s smiling.
Whether you’re on the other end of the phone or if you’re in a face to face meeting or even if you’re out to lunch chatting over some potential ideas… smile.
Business is largely irrational. People do business with people that they like and trust. We do business with people that make us feel good.
So the easiest way to make someone feel good is to smile.
By the way, I’m not suggesting that you fake smile or that you put on a facade. I’m suggesting that you go into every conversation with a positive attitude. Approach every phone call with the intention to try and “make this person’s life a little better.”
People truly can feel and appreciate when you are going out of your way to be of service and in the long run, the sales reps who make other people feel good about themselves are rewarded 10x over.
#2 – Be Upfront With Your Intentions
When I first started taking sales seriously, I was just like everyone else.
I was so nervous to say what I really wanted, so I would find ways to ease into the sale. It took some real practice and some dealing with self doubt, but eventually, I was able to build the confidence to tell people what I want.
Here’s an example…
When we first started Stodzy, I would be on a sales call and I would ask a prospect what their budget was. I would hint at the idea that I could bend my services and my time around what they wanted. I was so desperate to please other people that I compromised our business because I would set expectations that I couldn’t possibly match.
Now, a conversation goes something like this.
Prospect: We don’t have a big budget for this so how can you make this work for us?
Me: I probably can’t
Prospect: Don’t you want to work with us?
Me: Of course I do, but if I am going to take your money, I am doing so with the expectation that we will provide a certain result. I can’t get the result you’re after with that much money. For this to be mutually beneficial I will need at least $4000 a month from you. If you don’t have that much to spend, then I suggest you save your money.
I’m sure there’s a master sales person out there who has some amazing conversation funnel that can handle these rebuttals perfectly. I’m sure there are techniques available to prove worth and to deflect the “burden of choice” back onto the prospect.
I don’t have time for that. My aim in my sales process is to win the business. I don’t plan on winning business by being the cheapest. If the only differentiating factor I have is that I am the cheapest, then the only way for me to out do myself is to continue dropping my price.
That’s a race to the bottom.
So what do I do instead?
#3 – Be The Best
It blows my mind how much money and energy upstart companies spend bringing in new business, and how few resources companies spend keeping their business.
Here’s an obvious secret that sales reps don’t talk about.
It’s way more profitable to keep your customers then it is to get new ones.
When people talk about sales, they hardly ever talk about service. They hardly ever talk about customer service and friendliness. They hardly ever talk about going above and beyond.
I’ve been with PNC Bank since I lived in Philadelphia. I had kept them when I moved to Ft. Lauderdale. PNC doesn’t have branch locations in Nashville, but I still use them.
Because the thought of calling Bank of America or Wells Fargo and dealing with them gives me a panic attack. The service reps on the phone at PNC are always so nice to me. Believe it or not, I can still call my old branch in South Florida, tell them who I am, and they will all be happy to hear from me.
Think about that. I am literally inconveniencing myself to use a bank that doesn’t even exist in my neighborhood, simply because they are more pleasant to deal with.
Your customer service agents (btw, if your business is small, that means that you are the customer service agent) are your most valuable assets. They are your revenue drivers. They are your retention, your new sales, your revenue and your up sell. They are your best sales tool you have.
Over deliver on service and your current customers will refer you business. They will be the best sales reps you’ve ever had.
#4 – Talk To More People
Hands down, the biggest sales problem that failing businesses have is they aren’t getting in front of enough people. Learning how to sell is learning how to be persistent.
There are those sales people who always bring in the highest numbers, and everyone else is asking “how does she do that?” Everyone wants to know how to sell like they do.
It’s not magic. Most of the time, it’s not even skill. Most of the time, the sales person with the highest numbers is simply making the most calls.
If it were that easy, then why doesn’t everyone do it?
Well it’s simple really, people don’t make enough connections because most of us don’t like being told no.
Rejection sucks. It always sucks, no matter what. Yet, the more people you talk to, the more opportunities you have. Sometimes, it’s just a numbers game. Sometimes, it’s as simple as “the guy who knocks on the most doors win.”
Let’s Get To Work
I could go on and on about this. Sales is something I feel really passionate about because without the ability to sell, your skills are essentially worthless.
You could be the best heart surgeon in the world, but if no one wants to work with you, then what good is your amazing talent?
If you learn no other skills in life, I would suggest learning how to sell.
Are there tactics and tricks that you can learn? Of course there is. For starters, I recommended reading You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar. It was hands down the most important sales book I ever read.
What I’m trying to say is that you don’t need to over complicate things. What you need to do is learn how to build a conversation, learn how to find ways to serve people, learn how to go out of your way to solve people’s problems, and then the rest is easy.
So get out there. Go tell people about your idea! Tell anyone who will listen to you. Tell your friends, tell someone walking down the street. Tell the person serving you coffee.
If you believe in your idea enough, then you will be jumping at the opportunity to talk about it to anyone who will listen.
The question is, what are you really willing to do?