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Thursday, 21 March 2013 04:37

How to Easily Double Your Sales

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Making a few tweaks to your sales behavior could make a huge difference in your sales revenue.

Doubling sales means spending twice as much time and money selling, right? Wrong. You could double sales by making relatively small incremental improvements to your sales process, according to Donal Daly, CEO of  The TAS Group.

Here's how it works:

1. Pre-qualify your sales leads just twenty percent more accurately.

The higher the quality of your sales leads, the less likely you are to be calling the wrong people. To make your sales leads just twenty percent better, take a look at where you've been selling successfully and where you haven't been doing so well.

Create a quick profile of your ideal customer and, using that as a point of contrast, define your most-likely-to-not-buy customer. Now go through your list of sales leads and cross out the ones that, based on these profiles, probably won't buy.

2. Disqualify your sales leads just twenty percent faster.

Even after you've winnowed your list, there will still be prospects on it who don't really need for your offering or have no money to buy it. Wasting time on these false opportunities means less time working on real ones.

Early in your first conversation, ask "What’s the priority of this problem?" "How will you handle it if you don't buy a solution?" Then listen carefully. Politely end the conversation if your offering isn't all that important to them.

3. Close just twenty percent more of your opportunities.

Obviously, the more opportunities that you close, the more customers you win and the more sales revenue you produce. While doubling or tripling your close rate is probably impossible, anybody could achieve a twenty percent improvement.

The easiest way to increase your close rate is to stop trying to sell and instead listen carefully for "go ahead signals" during conversations with potential customers. Put aside your fear of failure and ask for the business. It's that simple.

4. Increase the average value of each deal by just twenty percent.

There is a fixed amount of time and resources connected to every sales effort. Making two deals for $10,000 each takes far more time and effort than making single deal with one customer for $20,000.

Therefore, when you're involved in an opportunity, constantly be aware of additional ways that your firm might be help that customer. This is not upselling; it's providing better service to the customer.

These four changes act cumulatively on your sales revenue, like so:

    •    How much you're selling now: $100k

    •    After eliminating twenty percent of your bad leads: $120k (better time usage)

    •    After disqualifying twenty percent more non-opportunities: $144k (better time usage)

    •    After a twenty percent increase in your conversion rate: $173k

    •    After a twenty percent increase your average total per sale: $207k

Source: Geoffrey James writes the Sales Source column on Inc.com, the world's most visited sales-oriented blog. His newly published book is Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies From the World's Top Sales Experts. @Sales_Source

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 05:59

6 Ways to Be More Compelling

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Everyone has to sell something, most often themselves. Most pitches fall flat or offend. Here are six ways to make your offering compelling.

Selling something? Teaching something? Applying for a job? Trying to motivate people? If you are attempting any of these tasks, you better be compelling or you are simply wasting other people's time and your own energy. What's worse is you might be blowing great opportunities that may never come around again.

1. Find your contribution.

How is what you're doing a legitimate contribution to people's lives? When you're clear about why people indisputably need what you offer, the compelling part often takes care of itself. Oh, and just because you think people need your offering, doesn't mean they really do need it, or believe they do. Your job is to communicate the need in a way they'll understand and ultimately respond to.

2. Tell the truth. 

Being truthful is critical to long-term success. What you offer and what you say must be based on real facts. People sense exaggeration and will become cynical and defensive. 

3. Surprise and entertain. 

The surest way to get people's attention is with surprise. Provide an Aha! moment—an insight that makes your audience see something familiar, but with fresh eyes. A story they haven't yet heard. A fact they hadn't expected that changes their perspective and adds to your argument. Once you have their attention, make it fun, different, and intriguing. 

4. Be intentional. 

Compelling communication is naturally strategic. Decide the purpose of each statement, asking yourself what you want your audience to think, feel, and do at each line of your pitch? Once you figure out what to say and how, you must edit, edit, edit. There should be nothing in your pitch that leads the audience away from the desired goal. This will be difficult for those of you who believe that every fact is important and moving.  Be brutal and deliberate in your cuts.

5. Communicate appropriately. 

Thanks to social media, tons of data is now available to learn about your audience. That means the responsibility to speak to them in an appropriate way is now on you. The expectations of the audience need to be surpassed, perhaps even with shock value, but not in a way that offends them, tarnishes your image, and kills your credibility.  Study your audience and listen to your own pitch, with their perspective in mind. 

6. Rehearse.

Being compelling doesn't just have to do with what you say. It's also in how you say it. Rehearse. Repeat. If you're confident about what you do and how people benefit from it, that confidence will come through in your voice and the image you project, as well as in your written materials.

Source: Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies. @awesomeroar Article adapted from: Inc.com  

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 06:31

15 Questions That Win New Customers

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Work these questions into your customer conversations, and you'll find out everything you need to know.

When you're having a conversation (or series of conversations) with a potential customer, work these questions into the dialogue. Once you've gotten answers, you'll know exactly what you must do to turn the prospect into a customer.

  1. How did you get into this [line of work/industry]?
  2. What do you like best about your job?
  3. What do you wish you could improve?
  4. What could you tell me about your priorities?
  5. How are you currently addressing this [problem/opportunity]?
  6. How much is this [problem/opportunity] costing you?
  7. What could you tell me about your decision-making process?
  8. How do you handle budget considerations?What other options are you looking at?
  9. What could you tell me about the people involved in the process?
  10. What obstacles might be in the way of moving this forward?
  11. How will you be evaluating different options?
  12. How will the funding for the project be justified?
  13. How much attention is this [problem/opportunity] getting at the executive level?
  14. How does this sound as a next step? [Briefly describe.]

Note: Never interrogate the customer. Instead, use these questions to move the conversation gradually forward. This may well require multiple conversations.

Article adapted from Inc.com. Written by: Geoffrey James writes the Sales Source column on Inc.com, the world's most visited sales-oriented blog. His newly published book is Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies From the World's Top Sales Experts. @Sales_Source.

Thursday, 21 February 2013 05:31

Do Businesses Know What Their Customers Want?

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The customer is always right. But what happens when you don't always know what the customer needs? How can you prove your clients right when you don't even know what they're asking for? Get to know your customers and potential clients using these tips:

Existing customers and potential customers are not equal. Each group has its own set of needs and values. Adjust your marketing and sales to each group to better communicate with them.

Learn from your mistakes. When customers are telling you that efficient communication is what they value, make sure your customer service representatives can keep up. Give your customers what they want, and if you're receiving negative feedback, fix the problem as soon as possible.

Do your homework. Use customer service research to determine what your customers want and need. Making this investment in your company will allow you to assess where your company is doing well, and where it can improve to increase sales.

Familiarizing yourself with your client base will allow you to better serve their needs or at least anticipate them. Show your customers that you've done your research and make your company equipped to be the leader in the industry.

Source: Jaynie L. Smith

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