Training Tuesday:Tips for Getting More Referrals

Asking for referrals is the difference between the average salesperson and the superstar. It can be intimidating to ask a customer or prospect for a referral, but it is key to keeping your sales pipeline full. Below are some of our top tips on getting more referrals.

  1. Ask for simple introductions but know your ideal customer. Don’t add pressure by making it seem like a formal interaction, instead, ask for an introduction to a person who fits the characteristics of your preferred or ideal buyer. Making the referral project casual, but specific, allows you to ask more easily, and also makes it easier for the customer to provide a referral.
  2. Give as many referrals as you hope to get. If you can give a referral, it opens the door to ask for one as well. Plus, if you give referrals, it makes people feel happier and better about working with you, and therefore, makes them more likely to happily offer referrals to those in their professional network.
  3. Make it as easy as possible for your customer. Keep your ask specific – make sure they have an easy way to share your information, and a clear idea of who would be good to share it with. If you can make it easier for the customer, it limits the chance that they will say no or not have time to actually give the referral after you ask for one.
  4. Time your ask appropriately. Pay attention to when you ask for a referral. Time it to be after they express satisfaction with your services, or after you’ve successfully delivered on promises you made in your sales presentation.
  5. Say “Thank you.” If a customer does provide a referral, even if it doesn’t turn into a sale, be sure to say thank you to them. Showing that you are grateful for the time and effort they put in to giving that referral will make them more likely to give future referrals.

Training Tuesday:The 3 P’s of Value

Value-added selling is one of the best techniques to accurately represent and sell your product but also provide a reason for a prospect as to why they should buy from you and pay your prices. Understanding exactly what adds that kind of value can be tricky. Below are the top 3 things that we believe add value to your services.

  1. Personal – Keep the personal element at the forefront of your sales process. Focus on offering quality service at all stages of the sales process and the post-sale interactions you have with that customer. Additionally, adding value through additional services – like tech support or company-specific training – can also be a great technique. One other benefit of staying focused on the personal connection is that it increases the level of trust or credibility that your prospect or client has in your abilities and services.
  2. Perception – Seeing is believing/perceiving is believing. In this world of proving the worth of something, it’s all about what we believe the value to be. It’s the customer’s perception of the value you are adding that counts.
  3. Performance – You may get the business by creating the perception of greater value, but you keep it through performance. If you are selling all of this added value, you have to actually deliver it. You must prove and provide the value you promise in your sales presentation.

Remembering the 3 P’s of adding value can be a really helpful way to approach the technique of value-added selling.


Training Tuesday– Becoming a More Successful Salesperson

There are many ways to become a better salesperson, and one of the most successful is to continuously research and work to enhance your skills in small ways. Taking the time each and every day to actively work towards improving yourself and your sales skills, is the best way to increase your level of success in sales. To that end, below are some quick tips and tidbits that you can almost immediately apply to your selling techniques or mindset.

  • Be consistent and communicative – don’t leave prospects hanging and waiting to hear from you
  • Be enthusiastic. Have a sense of urgency in the way you treat your job and your life. Find ways to bring excitement and enthusiasm to every sale. Richard Branson says, “Boring your customer is worse than pissing them off.” It is incredibly powerful if you can be enthusiastic and happy in spite of your situation or others around you who may be less so.
  • With customers, be a chameleon. Adapt to their needs rather than expecting them to adapt to you.
  • Be a good listener. Sometimes a customer has had a bad day and just needs to talk about it – let them. Some people want to be listened to more than they want their problems solved.
  • Try to avoid arguments. Sometimes you can win the argument, but lose the sale, and being right isn’t always the most important thing.
  • Behave ethically at all times. Never sell your customer something you know they don’t need. Expect objections and be sure to have responses for the most common objections, but maintain honesty and integrity in these situations.
  • Conquer your “impostor syndrome.” You must let go of the thought that you might be an impostor, or that you don’t deserve greater success. Many of those around you, and even above you, likely have similar feelings about if they “deserve” their success. Once you become comfortable with the idea that you can be successful, you subconsciously open the door to more opportunities for success. Be the master of your destiny – take control of your life and career.
  • Set SMART goals. Goals should be:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Realistic
    • Timely

Training Tuesday:Sales Email Tips

Email may be a hard way to sell – but it is worth a little extra time to send stronger sales emails. Of course, email should never be your primary method of contact with a prospect unless you’ve already spoken with them. It is hard to get prospects to open and respond to emails, so we have some tips for improving your sales emails.

  1. The perfect time to deploy a sales email is after a call, as a follow up – with a call to action. If you’ve finished a phone call with a prospect, a follow up email is the perfect place to reiterate the key points of your discussion with them and to offer additional information that may be valuable to them. The email should also include some sort of planning for future conversations, or a call to action, otherwise prospects will question why you’ve sent it, and may begin to feel you are wasting their time.
  2. Craft the perfect subject line. Keep subject lines short and sweet – increasing numbers of emails are opened on smartphones, and they have a limited number of words shown in subject lines. Make sure it is clear what you are emailing them about and avoid misleading subject lines or irrelevant information.
  3. Keep formatting and fonts simple. Some email software will strip out fancy formatting and fonts on the receiving end, and that can result in jumbled emails if you don’t keep it simple. Stick to a simple font, and normal paragraph and line breaks.
  4. Maintain a conversational tone but keep it professional. You want to sound friendly and engaging, but remember that this is a prospective client, so avoid overly informal language or emojis. Also, double check your spelling and grammar, and always check for typos to avoid looking unprofessional.

Email can be a helpful and efficient sales tool when utilized properly in conjunction with other sales methods and tools, like phone calls and social media, but it is important to remember some simple rules for crafting professional and relevant emails.


Training Tuesday:Closing More Sales, More Easily

If you can’t “close the deal” then you aren’t really succeeding as a salesperson. The main goal of a sales presentation or meeting is to make a sale, and if you aren’t willing to ask for their business then you won’t get it. While closing can seem challenging, and does present unique difficulties, it can be conquered with practice.

Never reduce the price or offer a discount to try to win their business. If being the cheapest is your only way to close the deal, then you need to re-evaluate your sales presentation and figure out how you can add value for your prospects. It may be tempting to reduce the price, as this could be the fastest way to convince the prospect to sign a contract, but you should instead plan to have a few non-monetary concessions to offer a particularly stubborn prospect. If you can make a concession not based on finances or price, then you are more likely to convince the prospect that you are both winning from making this deal.

Avoid trying to use manipulative tactics. At this point, most prospects have been trained to recognize overly manipulative sales and closing tactics. If you really believe in what you are selling and saying, a prospect will be able to tell, and that belief and confidence is often more compelling than some manipulative or dishonest closing method. As part of that, it is important not to make a promise you can’t keep. Don’t offer something you can’t fully deliver just to close a sale. Having a bunch of unhappy customers down the line will eventually begin to affect your selling and closing success as the word spreads that you don’t deliver on promises made during the sales presentation.

Show that you are truly listening to your prospects and attempt to genuinely engage with them. Building rapport throughout the presentation will make a prospect more likely to say “Yes” when you ask for their business. If you can foster a sense of trust and understanding, that will build the prospect’s confidence in your ability to provide them with the best service.

Overall, closing the deal should feel like a natural continuation of the sales presentation. After all, if you’ve delivered a successful and impactful presentation, the prospect will be excited to work with you and take advantage of all of the great things you offer them.


Training Tuesday:Improving Your Sales Presentation

Some salespeople will tell you that they don’t have a set presentation, that they don’t like presentations, or even that they choose not to have a presentation because “just talking” to the prospect is better. While these things may suit some salespeople and clients, for the majority, it is important to have an excellent sales presentation. If you develop a presentation you are proud of, you can easily tweak it to suit specific prospective customers, reducing your stress levels, amount of time wasted, and increasing your chances of closing the sale. Plus, once you have a basic presentation that works, you can practice it, and the more you practice, the more confident and successful your sales pitch will be.

With all that in mind, below are some tips for improving your sales presentation:

  1. Give context about the industry. If you can give the client context about how your company is on the cutting edge of whatever trends are happening in your industry, or how your company will help them make strides towards the future of their industry, you make it even more attractive to work with you.
  2. Find their pain point – and tell that story. Show that you understand their issues and “pain points” and then you are in a strong position to share what they can gain from working with you. Making sure they feel understood – and making it clear that you understand their issues and have helped solve their exact problem before will instill a sense of confidence and comfort in working with you.
  3. Show them proof of the results. Give them evidence that what you are offering isn’t too good to be true. Offering proof of your success – or other companies’ successes due to your partnership allows them to see that you are the “real deal” and will be able to help them instead of making empty promises just to close a sale.
  4. Short, sweet, and visual. Make sure your presentation is short and to the point. You don’t need excess time or wordiness in the sales presentation, as it just makes the presentation boring and hard to remember. You can improve retention and attention by replacing words with visuals (infographics, pictures, charts) and by keeping your presentation length to just under 10 minutes.
  5. Let the prospect interrupt and give feedback. Allowing the prospect to interrupt your presentation will give you invaluable information about their needs, and about where you could change and improve your presentation. Asking for feedback after the presentation also allows a shy prospect the opportunity to ask questions or tell you what they need to know.

The most important key to a successful sales presentation is finding out the magical combination of techniques and elements that works for you, your industry, and your ideal or typical prospects.