Secrets for Sales Success
Know your customer's business.
Prospects expect you
to know their business, customers and competition as well
as you know your own product or service. Use annual reports,
trade journals, the Web to research your prospects. Know as
much about them as you can.
Sell benefits, not features.
The biggest mistake
sales representatives make is in focusing on what their product
or service is. Instead of focusing on what your product or
service does – focus on what it will do for the prospect –
how it will benefit the prospect.
Sell to the people most likely to buy. Make sure
you know the economic buyer, product buyer, and the influencers.
The best prospects are always are companies that already have
purchased a similar product or service, rather than those
who have never tried it.
Differentiate your product.
Answer the question “Why
should a prospect buy from you”. Changing the prospect’s minds
requires a lot of effort. Be prepared with four reasons a
prospect should buy from you.
See them – get in front of them.
There is no more
effective way that generate sales than one-to-one contact
– get in front of them in person or on the phone.
Focus on your second sale.
Nearly 85 percent of all
sales are produced by word of mouth – someone tells someone
who tells someone. Concentrate on developing future business
with this prospect and obtaining referrals.
Do your homework before you see a
prospect. Understand his/her company and what has been happening
to them. Gain rapport with the buyer and the influencers.
Question, Question, Question.
Ask questions that
require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Ask questions that
will lead the prospects to the realization that your company
can satisfy his/her needs. Have the prospect tell you their
decision making process and the key buying criteria that will
be used to select a vendor. Probe, probe, probe – that’s the
only way you will get to understand the prospect and their
Probe, Probe, Probe.
That’s the only way you will
get to understand the prospect and their needs. Don’t respond
with features and functions that meet the prospect’s need,
find out more information. Keep asking for more information
to enable you to properly present your product or service
to meet the unique needs of the prospect.
Listen. Your prospect should do the talking for more
than 50% of the meeting. The more you talk, the greater the
risk that the prospect will become bored, or worse, will find
reasons to not do business with you. Concentrate and take
notes on what the prospect is saying.
After the sale contact the customer in
person, by phone or in writing. Show your prospect that you
care about him or her. Make sure the sale, delivery, and installation
went smoothly and the prospect is satisfied.
Write out and rehearse your sales and telephone presentations.
Effective sales presentations are not “made on the fly”. Develop
a list of your major selling points, leading questions to
use to probe for more information, and answers to the most
- Write down objections. Show your prospect you are
truly listening to what they are saying by writing down their
objections. In this way, you can specifically answer their
objections by showing how they will benefit from your product
- Offer a first-time buyer incentive. Offer your prospect
something significant to make a decision now. This works well
with a guarantee.
- Offer a 100-percent guarantee. Guarantees should
be unconditional and should not have hidden clauses. Satisfaction
guaranteed – unconditionally.
Offer a choice when closing. “Would you rather have
this or this?” When the prospect selects an option they have
mentally purchased your product or service.
About the Author
Wilson, founder and CEO of Wilson Marketing Group Inc.,
has over 31 years of practical consulting experience in
business-to-business management and marketing.
A member of the Institute
Management Consultants, Ken has been awarded the
designation of Certified Management Consultant (CMC),
globally recognized certification of professional
achievement. Prior to founding the firm, Ken held executive positions with
Honeywell, IBM and Nortel.
He has also been a member of the
adjunct faculty at the Graduate School of Business at the
University of St. Thomas for over two decades, teaching
courses in strategy, product management, and marketing, and
has lectured on planning and strategy at the University of
Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.
has written numerous articles on planning, strategy and
marketing and has authored two
books: Strategic Marketing Planning
has a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the
University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from Queens
He would be
happy to answer your questions by e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone
©2004 by Ken Wilson All rights reserved.
Over 25 years experience providing strategy and marketing
consulting to manufacturers and business-to-business clients.
Proven experience you can trust.