Sales can look like an easy and lucrative career from the outside. However, you might have second thoughts when you find yourself sitting across from a prospective buyer as the adrenaline pumps through your veins. Working in sales is tough. It’s even tougher if you’re relying on your personal charm, ignoring inbound marketing, or failing to study up on buyer psychology.
The good news, though, is that people around the world make millions of successful sales every day. You can improve your salesmanship by learning classic and effective sales strategies that work in 2021.
9 Principles for Making a Sale Successfully
1. Attract qualified leads.
Sales leads, which are your prospective buyers, come in three types – cold, warm, and qualified. A cold lead is one you approach with no preparation, often through an unsolicited phone call. It generally takes 50-100 cold leads to result in one sale. Warm leads, on the other hand, have shown interest in your product or service. Maybe they gave you their email address, signed up for your newsletter, or followed you on social media. These potential buyers are easier to approach and more likely to buy. But remember that just because someone gave you their email address doesn’t mean they actually want, or can afford, what you have to sell.
Qualified leads are the best leads. These people know what they want, have the budget to pay for it, can make the buying decision themselves, and have a specific timeframe in which they want to purchase your product. Focus on qualified leads first. Then, turn your attention to warm leads. Cold calls should be your last priority.
2. Plan your touchpoints.
Before you send the first email, make the first phone call, or arrange the first meeting, know your plan for that sales lead. Keep a calendar that notes the days you plan to contact them. Write down specifically how you’ll contact them (email, phone, in-person, or social media). Identify the content you’ll contact them with. Will it be informational? Inspirational? Written? Audio? Video? Finally, identify your cutoff point. If a prospective buyer keeps you dangling for too long, they’re unlikely to buy. Know when to stop the contacts and move on.
3. Wow your customer.
No sales tactic works as effectively as simply having a fantastic product or service delivered at a fair price by a courteous person. Unleash your personal enthusiasm for your product, and, most importantly, demonstrate how effective your product is and why you love it so much.
4. Don’t overdo it.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver or what the customer doesn’t want. It’s an easy thing to do when you can feel a potential customer backing away from a purchase. You might think you’ll sweeten the deal by adding an extra or naming a better price. Those strategies sound plausible, but if the extra you’re offering doesn’t interest the customer, it won’t work. And no sales strategy that involves losing money is a smart one, so keep the price right.
5. See yourself as a problem-solver and a teacher.
Traditionally, sales professionals have viewed themselves as hawkers in an old-fashioned market. Modern sales doesn’t work like that. Now, you need to spend a lot of time understanding your prospective buyers’ problems, know how your product helps solve those problems, and then teach your prospective buyer what you know.
6. Get yourself a mentor and a partner.
You don’t have to do sales alone! In fact, it’s better if you work as an elite team composed of you, a partner, and an experienced sales mentor. Your sales partner should be someone you personally enjoy spending time with, but also someone whose skills complement your own. And your mentor, ideally, will be about 3-7 years ahead of you in the sales profession.
7. Focus on goals, not effort.
Has your boss ever reprimanded you for something you failed to do? And you thought, “But I worked so hard on that project! I deserve praise, not punishment.” It’s a painful truth, but it’s important to understand: Results matter. Effort doesn’t. So focus on the opportunities that you get you the most results with the least effort. It sounds lazy, but it’s efficient. Easy sales mean more sales, and more sales mean more income. Be realistic about this throughout your sales career if you intend to make it.
If sales were an easy field, everyone would get into it. But just because building a thriving sales career isn’t simple doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In fact, it’s easier to be an effective seller now than ever. A thoughtful yet enthusiastic approach directed at the right prospects will give you great results. Now, get out there and sell!