Marketing Guide — Techniques for Maximum Sales

Introduction

There’s a large body of research about the cognitive effects of stories for motivating behaviour change. And in a selling context, stories are a powerful way to illustrate the value of your solution to your prospect.

Although we may talk about managing time and attending time management workshops, we need to realize that we cannot really manage time; we can only manage ourselves. We cannot add more hours into a day, nor can we rearrange the time that is available to us each day. Since we can make some significant inroads with improving our efficiency by managing ourselves, let’s talk about things we can do so that we manage our own time.
There are people who attend time management sessions and return to work prepared to schedule themselves even more efficiently. Compare this to people who return feeling overwhelmed at the work they have to do, and so they do not get started at all. Make sure you are in the group that sees the benefits and takes reasonable steps to effect change. Don’t think that you have to do it all at once.

Productivity Techniques for Maximum Selling

Even if the professional sales person just puts one or two ideas into practice, they can become much more effective than they have ever been. One of the things that can perhaps get in the way of managing our own time is that there are so many tools and gadgets available for us today.
Here are the main tips that we recommend. As stated earlier, applying just one or two of these techniques can really supercharge your results. The potential is then there to apply more techniques as time goes on and make your results even greater.

Get rid of all that clutter! Purge your office area (and car, if that’s cluttered too) and get things organized. This is the task that often overwhelms people, especially those who take comfort from having all their “stuff” nearby. This includes organizing and backing up your computer files. We spend an inordinate amount of time looking for things when our workspace is not organized (just like we do at home when we can’t find our favorite shirt or pair of socks).

Use a master calendar. Combine your work and home calendars so that you are on top of all activities and don’t have to check multiple calendars in order to know where you should be. Make sure you can access them from all the places you go, not just your computer that is on your desk at work. There are lots of programs that can help you coordinate this.

Prioritize your task list. Use a numbering or lettering system and be dedicated to working on items at the top of your list so that they do not get neglected.

If you are on your computer a lot (i.e. doing a lot of phone sales), consider using dual computer screens. This allows you to work on one document on one screen while you have your priority list open on the other. If you don’t cover up your priority list, you are more likely to keep on track.

Change your e-mail habits. We have become accustomed to constant e-mail interruption, which is actually hampering our productivity. Although some of you will bristle at this suggestion, we recommend that you try it for a two week period: check your e-mail just twice a day. (I like first thing in the morning and after lunch.) Responses that will take you more than 10 minutes (because of research needed, for example) should be moved to your task list and assigned a priority, so that your e-mail inbox doesn’t get cluttered. E-mails that you can answer quickly can be replied to right away.

Customer Service

Customer service, that responsibility we have to provide our customers with what they need and want, can also be looked at through a slightly different lens. Customer service is about the ability to serve.

When we make a commitment to serve, we can include the idea of serving our clients and customers, whether they are external or internal. We focus on activities and principles which make strong connections and which complement our sales cycle and the activities which form the basis of customer focused selling. This means looking at what our customer needs before we consider what we, as sales people, want or need from the sale itself.

Selling More Enhancing Your Sales

Up-Selling
This means selling the customer more of your services than originally requested, or a better, more expensive service in the same area. For example, the customer may come in looking for a hoe. You suggest a rototiller, which would be much easier on his/her back and faster too!
If you choose this technique, you must be well prepared to explain the benefits of the product. If you can help the customer make an emotional connection to your service or product, they just might buy it. On the other hand, you have to be careful that you are still recommending something the customer needs, and that they don’t feel like you are pushing them to something that is on your own agenda.

Cross-Selling
This means selling the customer an additional item or items that complement the original request. For example, you may suggest that while the customer is getting a new car loan, they may want you to do a consolidation of their other loans. Or, electronics purchases can also include a service plan. Again, you have to present these benefits to the purchaser without being pushy.

Value-Added Selling
Historically, “value-added” is a concept in which a company purchases raw materials and does something to these materials that adds value to the buyer. “Value-added” now refers to how the seller changes, enhances, or improves the basic product to increase its value to the buyer. The salesperson finds out what is of value to the buyer and then finds ways to increase the value of the offering.

The value-added philosophy acknowledges there are two sets of needs in any sale: your buyer has a need to solve a problem, and you have a need to sell a product or a service for a profit. In a value- oriented sales environment, both of you achieve your goals. The value-oriented salesperson is constantly looking for ways to enhance his/her product, service, or company for the buyer, while preserving his/her margins.

When you embrace this philosophy, you are making a big commitment. You are making a commitment to your company by leveraging your sales time well. You are pursuing your commitment to sell more profitably. You are slowly making a commitment to your buyer to actively seek ways to increase the value of your offering to him or her. You are also making a commitment to yourself; a commitment to realizing the performance potential within you.

Value is in the eye of the beholder. Value is determined by a buyer’s unique set of factors, and we value other things besides price. As Mark Twain said, “It’s the difference of opinion that gives us the horse race.”

Facts and Myths
There are some myths about value-added selling. Some believe that value-added selling only applies to very complex technical sales. Wrong! Some of the most successful value-added organizations sell a commodity identical to those of four or five other companies in the area. They have simply learned how to differentiate or package their product. Both the salesperson and the vendor can add value to the product. This kills the myth that only managers or those high up in the chain of command can design and deliver added value for customers.

Some people think that because it’s not unique, it doesn’t count.

There are salespeople who remain silent about some of the special features or benefits of their product because everyone could say the same about their product. One example is the cell phone that can offer travellers some protection against being stranded along the road. Yes, every cell phone has that benefit, but not all companies, or all sales people, talk about that benefit. Plus, not all cell phone companies have service coverage along all roadways!

Phases of the Value-Added Sale

Ten Major Mistakes

There are ten major mistakes that salespeople make. List some possible remedies for each one:

  1. Failing to Close the Sale;
  2. Poor Demonstration;
  3. Negative Attitude;
  4. Arguing With the Customer;
  5. Inability to Qualify Our Buyer;
  6. Poor Presentation;
  7. Selling To the Wrong Person;
  8. Making False Claims;
  9. Giving Over-Technical Knowledge;
  10. Over-Talking or Under-Talking.

Finding New Clients

Networking
Events with strangers are our #1 fear; #2 is public speaking. Most people would prefer to do anything rather than enter a room full of strangers. Yet, for business and social reasons, we are obliged to do so.

Selling Price
The greater the cost of the product, the higher up the company ladder you have to go to make the sale. This means that you have to get comfortable working through the organization and finding your qualified buyer.

Don’t use a low price come-on to get yourself in the door. When you promote price, you attract low-price buyers. When we ask customers what really satisfies them, they tell us that it is not related to the lowest price of a product, but the relationship (and frequent contact) they have with the seller.
Remember that you are approaching customers using a customer focus. Approach them with the benefits of what you sell, and look at the value added features that you could be offering.

In Conclusion

No matter how hard you work and how well you design solutions for customers, if you are weak in closing sales, you will suffer in your career. While closing sales comes naturally to some, others will benefit from learning how to effectively use proven closing techniques.

This list represents the techniques that have proven to be effective over ​time. Just like learning the features and benefits of your product or service took time and patience, learning these closing techniques will take time, patience, and then a whole lot of practice.

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Dr Francesco Dergano

Dr Francesco Dergano

Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SkyDataSol