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Marketing and Branding Blog | SilkCards

Improve Your Sales Skills With These 9 Tips

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 6, 2016 9:30:00 AM / by Henry Fan

how to improve your sales skills

Looking for a few new methods to improve your sales skills and become a more influential and persuasive salesman (or woman)? If so, start by working on your specific set of skills and your attitude when working with prospects.

How to Improve Your Sales Skills

Considering that progress comes from within, reanalyze past mistakes and missed opportunities to figure out what’s holding you back and how you can overcome your limitations. If you need more guidance on how to enhance your sales performance, here are a few tips that will point you in the right direction in no time.

1. Set New Goals and Expand Your Skill Set

Start by redefining your mission and breaking it into more manageable tasks.

  • What are you trying to do here?
  • Do you intend to maximize your client base, consolidate your relationship with existing customers, or both?
  • From a marketing perspective, what type of goals are you pursuing?
  • Do you have to promote a new product, boost brand awareness, or target a new market?

During this phase, revisits your objectives and work on the sales skills and tactics that each goal requires to become attainable. Take an online course or find a mentor who could help you develop your selling and negotiation skills.

Related: How Sales Collateral Is Used to Close the Deal

2. Change Your Attitude and Approach to Selling

Opt for a more creative and convincing sales pitch elaborated with the needs, demands and expectations of your buyers in mind. For instance, if you have been promoting your clothing line as the most practical and affordable on the market, now would be a good time to emphasize other key attributes that could raise the interest of a larger segment of potential buyers such as its timeless appeal and superior fabric quality. Translate features into benefits to keep your prospects interested in the long run.

3. Explore Multiple Channels to Get to Your Potential Buyers

How do you reach your potential buyers, and how do you consolidate your relationship with people who may be inclined to make a purchase at some point in the future? Ideally, you should employ multiple strategies and target multiple channels to reach your target. Instead of simply introducing your products during industry-specific events and waiting for a miracle, opt for a plethora of creative, fresh marketing strategies to keep your merchandise and brand in the limelight.

Offer incentives, give your stuff for free for a very limited period of time, and encourage your public to respond to your call to action by providing an additional discount or access to valuable information in exchange for their contact information.

4. Learn the Art of the Ask

The art of the ask isn't just about closing a sale; it's about opening the door for a new one. No one knows your product, service, or work ethic better than someone who has previously bought from you. You should already be doing a follow up call a few days or weeks after you've finished with a customer (the time period will depend on the business). If you aren't, it's time to implement that into your sales process. If your customer is pleased with the job you've done, why not ask them for a word of mouth recommendation and introduction to someone else who can use your help? If they are not pleased, it's a perfect opportunity to make things right and learn for the future.

Industry permitting, offer an incentive for customers to refer friends or family. This can be anything from a free month of service to a batch of gourmet chocolate chip cookies.

Related: Why You Need to Be Cultivating Referrals from Past Clients

5. Hire a Sales Force

You don't have to put employees on the payroll to have salespeople out in the field. Consider joining a networking group that meets regularly. You'll be asked to describe your business and teach your fellow members how to "sell" you to a potential client. Once they are out in the field, your team can keep an ear out for the problems you solve and introduce you to people or businesses that may need what you provide.

In addition to getting referrals from your "sales team," you will become a resource for your clients when they are looking for other services. This allows you to help them even when you aren't directly solving their problems with your product.

6. Focus on Building Rapport

People prefer to do business with people they like. When your goal is to close a sale and move on, you miss out on a prime opportunity to create emotional connection and develop a long-standing relationship with your potential customer. By focusing on the relationship first, you open the door to not only one sale, but multiple sales through return customers and referrals.

Related: What Should I Say When Handing Out Business Cards?

7. Manage Your Time

You know that marketing and advertising are important and you schedule time in your calendar for these tasks, but do you schedule enough time to serve and maintain your existing customers? Sometimes, in the scramble for more business, we forget to attend to the business we've already gotten. If your current customers aren't happy, you may not have any future customers.

8. Listen, Listen, and Then Listen Some More

People just want to be heard. When you listen more than you talk, your potential client will feel understood. They will feel like you actually care about them and aren't just peddling your wares. When you do speak, they will listen more intently and believe that since you actually know what their problem is, you will have the solution. Also, by staying quiet a large part of the time, you aren't likely to oversell them and end up blowing the deal.

8. Sell Yourself

Business consultant Alan Weiss says, "The first sale is to yourself."

Are you completely sold on your product or service? Do you believe in the quality and value of what you have to offer? If not, your potential clients won't either. Before you try to convince someone else that you can solve their problem, convince yourself. This may just require a mindset shift, or it might mean educating yourself more about the product or making changes to your service.

9. Don’t Make Any Quality Compromises When Designing and Printing Promotional Materials

If your number one priority is to take your sales skills a step up without too much effort, continue this process by investing in premium promotional materials that display an optimal balance between form and function. By working closely with the print marketing consultants from 4colorprint.com, you get the opportunity to use every inch of space and every design idea that you may have in mind, such as color scheme, fonts, size, shape, materials and imprint method, in a unique, ingenious manner to draw attention to your company and products.

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Topics: sales

Henry Fan

Written by Henry Fan

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