Secret of Sales…..

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It’s your own fault that you can’t make any sales.

I am sorry but I have been selling for far too long to believe in any external factors. If you work hard, on many levels, your sales happen. If you don’t, it’s your competition who wins, fact.

There is nothing wrong in not being able to sell, especially at first, when you only start a business. Sales is something you need to learn and master. It takes time but it’s not that difficult.

However, making the same sales mistakes over and over is more than wrong. This post outlines exactly those.

Before we go any further, this is a long post, probably too long for most of you to read. That’s too bad because the real secret to making more sales is hidden somewhere in this copy and I am not going to tell you where. I want you to find it yourself, use it and then thank me for changing your life forever.

Ready?

1. You don’t have a story

A boring sales guy is remembered for life but he makes no sales. If you go to your sales presentation without a story, nothing unusual to tell the prospect then there’s no business for you, there, your reality check. You will end up sitting in front of your prospect either talking about yourself or trying to please them so much that they will think of one thing only, to get you the hell out through the door.

In order to make a sale you have to impress the prospect with your story, with something that will make you memorable but also likeable. Your story can be funny or tragic but it needs to have this something.

Think you don’t have a story? What about your vision and mission for your business? Are they not good enough?

2. You don’t have the guts to sell

If you go to a sales call hoping that the client will lead the meeting, then you don’t have the guts to sell, full stop.

But guess what, there are thousands of sales people in your industry or region, maybe even more. Only one of them will get the job though, guess which one…

If you want to be that guy you have to be the one that leads. You have to be the one that comes with IDEAS and SOLUTIONS where others just brag about themselves. You also have to be the one who controls the entire sales call. Remember, it is you who make the sale, not your prospect.

How to do it?

Ask smart questions and let your prospect talk. Come to the meeting with ideas, real life ones that are definitely going to help the prospect. Do not talk about yourself, instead introduce those ideas as early as possible. I can guarantee you that your prospect is more interested in them than in how many years you are in business.

3. You don’t practice communicating

When was the last time you stood in front of the mirror and practiced your presentation? When was the last time you rehearsed your lines, your power questions and your ideas? Never.

If you want to sell you have to learn to communicate your ideas. Enough said.

How to practice communicating? Join your local Toastmasters, you will learn everything you need to know there.

4. You do not invest in your branding

You love to judge your prospects, right? Their crappy business cards and website make you think how lousy they might be. Their office location or state of the art meeting room makes you think how great it will be to milk them.

But here is the thing, they do the same. They look at your website, promotional materials and the content of your email and make up their minds about you. They research you, check your Twitter and Facebook, they look at your profile pictures and all the crap you post there. Then they look for your blog …..

In fact, their mind about doing business with your is often made up before you come to the meeting. Think about it.

5. You try to be like the big boys

I see this one so often. Small business owners pretending they run a multinational firm or something even bigger. Their copy is bloated with big words, statements and all that corporate crap. Their email is two sentences long but the disclaimer below it is longer than the Chinese Wall. Their proposal has longer T&Cs than my mortgage contract and their image is, well you get the idea.

In reality it is dead easy to see through such disguise but the impression it makes is far from ideal. Sure, you might get some business this way but I can guarantee you that it will be out of pity.

6. You don’t focus enough

Ever given up after few attempts to make a sale? Sure you have! And most likely you went on to work on other aspects of your business, right?

Here is the thing, if you want to make sales, it has to be the only thing on your mind, full stop.

7. You write crap promo copy

Nothing will stop your sales tracks better than crappy introductory email sent to a prospect. No one is going to meet with you if they have no clue what you are talking about in your email or if it talks about you only.

The same goes for your website and other promotional materials.

Learn how to write great promo copy or hire someone to do it for you. You will see the difference in your sales.

8. You are not willing to leave your comfort zone

Selling is easy but, also demanding. If you want to make sales only by doing the things you love and avoiding all the stuff you hate (like speaking in public or cold calling or who knows what else) then good luck.

Sales is about doing all the things you don’t want to do and being great at them in order to be able to do the stuff you love later. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

Want to make more sales? Leave your comfort zone and do things you would never think of doing before you went into business (sales calls included).

9. You do not believe in yourself

I bet you whine a lot about your sales.

“Whooo, I don’t know how to sell. I don’t like selling. I don’t want to be selling”.

Who cares? Want to run a business, sell. Don’t know how to do it, learn it. Don’t like it? Get used to it. Don’t want to? Sign up for the dole.

10. You are not original

I know that your competition is successful, well done to them. But you won’t make any sales by merely copying what they do. You have to be original and you have to be yourself. You have to stand out from your competition and show your prospects that in fact, you are better.

How to do this? Read the reason #1 above again.

11. You neglect the obvious

I have said it many times and I am going to say it again. If you are not going ahead with the times then you are bound to fail. These days selling is as much about social networking as it is about making phone calls or attending networking events. If people expect you to be on Twitter or Facebook, be there. If they ask for your Youtube channel, have one. Don’t neglect the obvious stuff that you need to have.

Of course, you can break out. I did that with not using email and phone, sure. But my business model allows for that. Chances are it would not work out in yours. So make sure that you do all the stuff that people expect from you in your industry. Just do them better than your competition.

12. You don’t do the important stuff

Maybe you send a cold call email or two, follow-up with few prospects but the bulk of your time goes for tweaking your system (if you have one), fiddling with that new CRM software or who knows what else.

Focus on the important stuff, finding prospects, getting in touch and presenting and you will see the sales happening like mad. Promise.

13. You are desperate to make sales

Many people I know, especially now, since the economy is still down are desperate for any sale. And you can tell straight away. They bargain their own price, they agree to anything the prospect says. They will even show their bank account details, just to make a sale.

If you are like them, I can guarantee you that the only sales you will make will be cheap jobs from chancers, who will probably never going to pay you anyway. Either way, you lose.

14. You are afraid to charge real money

On the other hand, maybe you are not desperate. You may just be too scared to mention your real price and always give the lower one. Hey, the prospect sees through this and believe me, only a crook will do business with you. A good prospect will feel insecure by a business that under charges itself.

Work out your price and stick to it. If you did all the math, then it is the right price you should be charging. The only thing left to do is to find the prospects who are willing to pay for the quality of your work.

15. You have no plan

Business is all about consistency and following your vision, trying to make it happen. So is selling. However, many small business owners do it when they have the time or when their sales are down. They have no plan. Actually, I bet that you have no plan. You don’t have a list of your top 50 prospects that you want to be doing business with and you are not going after them.

Wrong!

16. You do not learn new things

I mentioned this in the last post already. The only people who win in business are those who realize that you need to constantly learn new things and do not be afraid to invest into getting the best knowledge possible.

I don’t think that there’s anything left to add here.

17. You are in it for the wrong reasons

There is a rule of selling that I actually learned quite late in my selling career. In order to make sales you have to honestly believe and want to solve your prospects problems. Selling is not about you, your business, your great or lousy work or your family that wants to go on holidays. Selling is all about solving your prospects problems and until you start truly believing that you can do that, you will never make a sale. That’s it.

Selling is not a gift you have to be born with. It is not a skill you have to posses and cannot master. Quite the contrary. You can learn how to make more sales, you can learn how to deliver great presentations and get your prospects to sign on the dotted line and all of this knowledge is not a secret. I write about it in my book, “The Smart Business’ Guide to Winning New Work” and teach you exactly how to make sales.

Now try all this and see that you are a successful salesman of the year……..

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  1. October 10, 2012 at 10:23 am

    A lot of what you said is true, planning being key I think. But there are certainly different levels of selling. Someone selling small ticket items might be able to get by without having personal branding or a story.

    • October 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Yes my friend, there are different ways of selling for each one of us but this is really important as I have experienced in my life and around me. Thanks for appreciating\..

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