At this point in the year, it is probably clear which of your salespeople will have a relatively strong year and which ones will not. Clearly, the general business disruptions caused by COVID-19 have affected most companies, but some sales reps still outperform, and some underperform. Before you write off those who have been slipping, read these strategies for turning around a marginal sales performer.
While we have long used phone, email, web and other digital communications tools in selling, so many of our selling processes are still geared to in-person meetings and presentations. So we have not been fully prepared for the distance selling methods imposed by the Covid-19 crisis. Here are the four major limitations of distance selling and how you can overcome them.
Reading body language is a somewhat inexact science. Common things like folding arms or not making good eye contact may be comfort or personal habits. But changes in body language within a meeting can be very meaningful. Understanding the meanings of the most common forms of body language can have a big impact on your sales.
Do you think you’re a masterful listener? While you may demonstrate sparkles of listening brilliance at times, it’s important to be mindful of the common traps to avoid that will sabotage your communication, relationships and results.
The challenge is the same for every salesperson: What it will take to capture the customer’s imagination and allow you and your solutions stand out among the competition? Is it product features? Is it price? Is it how long your company has been in business? Maybe, but mostly it is the personal qualities that you, as a sale pro, bring to the relationship.
Performance-based sales incentive plans fail when your sales team perceives them as arbitrary, unfair and unachievable. But when the sales reps themselves are involved in creating the plan and believe it is fair to both them and the company, their focus turns to achieving the goals they set themselves.
Who needs salespeople if an Artificial Intelligence computer can listen to the customer’s needs and offer all the best solutions. Right? Nonsense! There is way more to selling that product selection and fact delivery. So don’t fear sales automation; what your customers want most from you is empathy. Empathy for your customers is your gateway to more sales.
In Part 1 of this two-part article, we have been preparing to play the sales negotiation game. We have gotten ourselves ready. We identified our negotiating partners and did some preliminaries in their style. We also did all the homework required to give us a solid background on the account. Now, let the sales negotiation games begin!
Choice Paralysis (or Analysis Paralysis or “The Paradox of Choice” as Barry Schwartz calls it) results when buyers are confronted with so many decisions that they end up walking away, too confused to reach a decision. Here I offer you one buying decision example where too many choices killed the sale, and another where skillful management of choice led to a close.
All sales reps tend to get into ruts that prevent them from achieving their best. For senior reps, the problem can be much worse, as they continue to use methods that simply don’t work with today’s customers. If you’ve got one of these too-experienced-for-his-own good people on your sales team, you need to learn how to freshen their game.