If you’re in a sales role in your company, no doubt you’ve got your targets for this month, quarter, and year all planned out. You may have had a say in what those were going to be, or maybe not. Either way, you can knock them out of the park. This isn’t an article about fancy hacks and expensive software that’s going to change your life. No, this is a post about the good old-fashioned things any salesperson can do to make this year their best one yet.
If They Don’t Trust You, They Won’t Buy from You
The sales profession suffers from some pretty nasty stereotypes. From used cars to snake oil, sales reps get a bad rap for being smooth charmers who dupe their customers into buying expensive products they don’t need. You know you’re not like that, but unfortunately, you’ve got years of bad experiences working against you. Focus on building relationships with your customers rather than selling to them – that will come later. Understand their businesses, listen to their needs, and help them feel comfortable opening up to you. They’ll reveal the pain points their current solutions are causing, and you can make much more knowledgeable and personalized recommendations.
It’s a careful balance between professional and chummy, and you’ll have to watch yourself to make sure you don’t go too far one way or the other. Too formal, and you won’t build the trust you need to set yourself up as a credible source of information and guidance. Too informal, and you’ll lose all sense of urgency. You’ll find yourself making many, many trips to your prospect just to chat without ever getting to the point. In short, it’s OK (and even encouraged) to talk about things other than work. Learn about your prospects’ families, hobbies, and vacations, and ask about them the next time you see them. Just remember that you do ultimately want to bring them on board as a customer as well!
Positivity Makes a Great Impression
There’s a lot of negativity in the world today – refuse to bring it with you on your sales calls. When your customer asks how you are, don’t focus on the bad traffic or the rainy weather. If you’re having a truly terrible day and can’t think of a single positive thing to say, slap a big smile on your face and go with the simple, “I’m doing fine, thanks, how are you?” Otherwise, answer their query with an energetic and enthusiastic comment about something that’s going well to get the conversation started on the right note. They’ll remember your positive vibe long after you’ve left, and it will improve the way they hear everything else you have to say.
Gatekeepers Are People Too
So much of sales involves getting in front of decision-makers that reps sometimes brush past all the other people they meet on the way there. This is a big mistake, since those gatekeepers are way more than message takers. They get to decide who should meet with their boss, and a good word from them can tip the scales in your favor before you’ve even entered the room. On the flip side, be rude, brusque, or condescending to the secretaries and assistants you meet, and you can kiss your chances of getting behind the office door goodbye. On the off chance you do score a meeting, most decision-makers will ask their assistants for their impressions of you. You most certainly don’t want a bad report.
Find a Partner You Trust
None of these ideas are revolutionary – in fact, some might say they’re obvious or just part of being a decent human. But the sales industry wouldn’t have the reputation it does if all reps did these three things 100 percent of the time. While we’re on the subject, these are great traits to look for in a credit card processor for your company as well. You want a partner who puts your business first and who truly cares about your success before their own. That’s what we try to do every day at 360 Payments. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you how we’re different.
PS – Check out our top ten blog posts of 2017 here.
PPS – These five marketing trends will be everywhere in 2018 – are you ready?