In the competitive field of sales, it’s crucial to have the right tools and strategies to help you succeed. Often it can feel like a race against the clock, where if you only had a little more experience, or had known one more technique, you could have closed that sale. Sadly, we don’t have a time machine that lets us fast forward decades into the future where we’ve gained every skill and know everything there is to know about sales. That’s when we turn to the experts.
With over 86 years of combined sales experience, we’ve compiled a group of sales executives and experts to give you tips on how to improve your sales.
Whether you're a seasoned sales professional or just starting out, this article is for you. So, sit back, grab a pen and paper, and let's dive into 13 Sales Tips from Sales Experts!
AJ Olander- Chief Strategic Officer (CSO) 18+ years of experience
1. Be curious.
That’s one of my favorite pieces of advice. Asking questions to truly understand the why’s behind how things are done and why clients are looking to change is incredibly helpful, if not invaluable, to your ability to understand and consequently help them solve a problem. Often times I’ve seen sellers get caught up in feature dumping or some version of focusing the conversation around what their product or service does… Specifically with Enterprise level customers; this is rarely going to help them get to an understanding of how you help. Rather, the curious line of questioning to truly understand will open the path to help you share examples that more directly relate.2. Practice story telling
. When selling a service superficially; a good deal of the value a customer will be looking for is the application of your service in similar circumstances (product type, industry, customer segment being called, etc). They will be looking for descriptions of how it was deployed and examples of learnings and outcomes along the way to give them the comfort that you understand the journey and potential pitfalls, and are competent enough to overcome them. This is often best accomplished by telling a story that allows the customer to hear, ask questions and ultimately relate to the process others have followed previously with their own tweaks to the effort.
Franny Goolsby- Senior Vice President, Sales- 15+ years of experience
3. Become an expert in your service/solution and master “story telling” with relevant examples that add value.
4. Use Office GIFs whenever you can… JK, but being authentic is a must in sales, people see through fake facades.
5. Just know if you're starting in Sales, you need grit and patience. Success in sales does not happen overnight.
Rachel Hernandez- Senior Vice President, Client Operations - 13+ years of experience
6. Leverage the principle of social proof. Customers will use the actions of others to inform their decisions, especially when customers view others as similar to themselves. You can unlock this principle in the sales process by telling the stories of customers who faced similar challenges, and the change they noticed when they bought your product/service.
7. Look for common ground. Find a mutual acquaintance, familiarity with a certain geographic area, a shared hobby or passion outside of work, and use that shared experience as a component of your relationship-building strategy.
Josh Dunn – Sales Veteran- 10+ years of experience
8. Listen more than you speak
, and when you speak, make sure you are reaffirming the prospect’s concerns and being inquisitive more than selling them.9.
Ensure you’re following industry trends
and news. Staying up to date on this kind of information is essential.
10. Engage in this order… Self, then product/service, then company.
Self: The buyer needs to trust and believe you first. This starts with either your handshake and eye contact, or the initial introductory statements you make on a call. Make sure you are NOT using the used car salesman approach, rather show you truly want to add value and solve a problem. Ask questions, and allow the buyer to walk you through their needs.
11. Remember the small details
Product/Service: After listening to the prospects opening remarks on their company, their G2M (Go to Market), and their pain points, share how you have helped other clients in a similar position and how your product or services can be a solution to their needs including relevant tech or past dealings.
Company: Finally, sell the company. Make sure you have mentioned your company culture, and any relevant info that lets the buyer know you are suitable for a partnership and that any investment they are willing to make is to be well taken care of.
. Usually, prospects or buyers will use specific keywords or phrases that may be different than the ones you usually use. It shows you are paying attention and care when you can adapt your solution in a very specific way, so try and use their same terminologies and acronyms as much as possible. It'll help them feel more comfortable and shows you're invested in the conversation.
Jim Powell-Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)- 30+ years of experience
12. Looking back at 30-plus years of selling, I would say confidence, rapport-building skills, and being able to paint a visual picture of the possibilities in the prospect’s mind are the keys to long-term business wins and relationships.
13. Always have a positive attitude as you face challenges and objections looking for that one opportunity that opens the door. The old cliché is correct, it takes a lot of “no’s” to get the right yes.