It is often said that nothing happens until a sale is made. A corollary to that is if you make a lot of sales, a lot of things—and good things to boot—will happen.
I’m not here today to sell you some secret sauce to improve sales, but give you two simple, and very concrete, easy-to-understand, tactics or strategies that will improve your ability to sell and I’ll start with the simplest, most direct piece of advice:
Unless your prospect tells you directly to stop calling, keep calling.
We know after years of experience that it typically takes five contacts with a prospect before a sale is made, but it can take longer. Keeping the communication going is at the top of your list as a sales professional. If you aren’t communicating, you can’t be selling.
This doesn’t mean that you’re always applying pressure. Some great sales people live by the ABC rule—Always Be Closing—but “closing” in many settings doesn’t have to be a process that makes the prospect feel uncomfortable and this brings me to the second piece of guidance I have today:
See yourself as a doctor, not as a sales person.
In a good sales relationship, your job is to fully understand the problem that your prospect is experiencing and prescribe the best cure for it. Sadly, few doctors today have time to really sit down and talk to their patients, so you may have never experienced that kind of relationship with a physician.
In any case, the wise and experienced diagnostician asks questions and listens carefully to the answers. The patient does most of the talking. This should be the approach you take with your prospects.
If you work this way you’ll experience some immediate benefits. First, you’ll begin to see yourself as the true professional that you are. You’ll lose any of the baggage that sometimes comes with being in sales. Second, your prospects will realize that you care about them and that you are a thoughtful person. They will tell you more and might even reveal what’s really on their minds. That can give you a huge competitive advantage! Remember, if you come off as “salesy,” the first objective for your prospects will be to get you out of the room!
Further, when people find doctors they like, they try to keep them for as long as they can. If your clients see you in this kind of light, they will value your relationship in the same way.
Get the picture? Nothing I’ve outlined here is difficult. Be persistent, but care about the people you’re serving. That’s always a winning one-two combination.