1. Learn How to Prioritise Your Time Effectively
Managing your time doesn’t just mean turning up on time to meetings and getting enough sleep at night. One of the most important things you can do as a sales rep is to be as efficient as you can with your time. That is, prioritise the top leads: know which leads are more likely to result in a sale, and follow those first. Learn to recognise when a potential customer is a lost cause, and persevere only when you know you’re going to close the sale. Don’t just plan out the day or week ahead of you, but make sure you know what you need to do every step of the way during every sales pitch. That way, you’ll be able to fit more sales in a smaller space of time, and you’ll waste less time on leads that aren’t going anywhere.
2. Keep Your Enemies Close: Study the Competition
Of course it’s important that you understand who your main competitors are, and the products that they offer. But it goes deeper than that. In order to really understand how to give yourself an advantage when pitching a client, you need to know your competitors inside out. What products do they offer that could rival yours, and what are their main selling points? How do their products differ to yours, in price but also in value? What can you offer your customers that your competitors can’t? Being able to compare and contrast your business with your competitors gives you a strong advantage, as you know which points to focus your sales pitch on and how to convince customers that you’re the better choice.
3. Understand Your Target Market
If I asked you what kind of clients you’re trying to sell to, you should be able to give me more than a generic reply such as “small businesses”. You need to understand exactly who your target market is in order to know what to look for in future prospects. Study your previous sales to figure out exactly what your previous clients have in common with one another. Look for patterns – when they bought, why they bought, what made them choose you over a competitor. Understanding this will go a long way in securing you more leads and more sales.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out
The trick to being chosen over a competitor, and securing more sales, is to stand out. Especially if you’re part of a tough market, trying to outshine multiple larger companies. You need to figure out what you can offer that your competitors don’t, and what you can do to make sure you stand out in your client’s eye. If they’re meeting several sales representatives from different companies, why would they remember you? What about your attitude, ethos, or sales pitch is different? You should also make sure that your product stands out as superior in at least one way: a lower price, a higher quality or somehow a better fit for the client than your competitor’s product.
5. Exude Confidence and Self-Efficacy
A sales representative who sweats, stumbles over his words and struggles to answer simple questions about his product isn’t going to go very far in sales. To make a positive impression you need to exude the kind of confidence and charisma that will make the customer schedule another meeting just to chat with you again. Believe in yourself, train yourself to work well under pressure, and most importantly be proud of the product that you’re selling. Learn the ins and outs of your product and company so well that you can stay cool under any line of fire. Do this, and your customers will go away thinking that they’d be crazy to buy from anyone else.
6. Hone Your Sales Skills With Training
Whether you’re just starting out in the business world, or whether you’ve been a sales representative for a decade, you can always benefit from more training. No matter how good you are, you can always strive to perform better. As time goes on and companies learn more and more effective sales techniques, you need to keep up with the latest. Read books on sales, compare and contrast techniques with others in your company, and look out for local courses being held to hone your skills. The best sales reps keep learning throughout their entire career.
7. Maintain Relationships With Your Existing Customers
While you’re off chasing leads and trying to reel in new customers, you must make sure that your current accounts aren’t being neglected. Don’t feel that once you’ve reeled a customer in, you can forget about them. When was the last time you got in touch with your current customers to ask them how they’re getting on, and if there’s anything they want to talk to you about? Remember that your competitors are likely trying to pitch sales to the people who buy from you, so you need to stay in their good books. Make sure they know that you care about them so that you don’t lose them.
If you follow the above tips to the letter, you’re bound to find that your sales increase and your business grows, even if you’re part of a smaller company. With motivation and persistence, you’ll be able to rival the top sales reps in no time at all!