Business Strategy

4 Simple Ways To Improve Your Sales Skills

4 Simple Ways To Improve Your Sales Skills

Image via Flickr by Sean MacEntee

Image via Flickr by Sean MacEntee

Today’s sales people face a greater challenge than ever before. Modern customers are incredibly sales savvy, and see manipulation coming from a mile away. You can’t rely on the standard spiel that may have served the traditional sales person in decades past. Today’s marketplace requires a carefully honed set of skills that will help you connect with buyers on a deeper and more authentic level. Use these tips to brush up on your skills and improve your approach.

Speak to Solutions

Don’t sell products, sell solutions. Rhapsodizing over the all-natural ingredients in a skin care line may seem like the right approach, but it doesn’t really tell your customers why they need the product. Instead of boasting about how your soap doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, rephrase your sales pitch to emphasize how the chemical-free approach will minimize skin irritation.

Find your customers’ pain points and identify the ways in which your products and services can ease those. You can thrive as an independent sales professional with a company like Amway by digging past the product pitch to focus on how you can turn your sales efforts into problem-solving expeditions.

Identify Each Stage of the Buying Process

Most customers cycle through a fairly predictable buying process. Examine these common steps and consider what they look like in your individual industry. Once you’re familiar with how the buying process looks for your products and services, you’ll be able to promptly identify where your customers are in the cycle, and how you can assist them in that particular phase.

The buying process typically consists of the following:

  • Need Recognition: Customers realize that they have a functional, social, or personal need for a product. This can range from a need for a safety solution to a need to invest in something that will facilitate self-improvement.
  • Information Search: Customers begin gathering information about their options for satisfying the previously identified need.
  • Alternative Evaluation: During this stage, prospective buyers compare their options both objectively and subjectively.
  • Purchase Decision: Shoppers make a choice and complete the purchase.
  • Post-Purchase Activities: Depending on satisfaction levels, customers may come back to purchase more, recommend the product to others, attempt to return the product, or complain about problems.

Harness the Power of Social Selling

Effective salespeople understand the power of technology for connecting with consumers in the digital world. Social selling is a strategy that uses social media sites to build sales. Shoppers who use social media typically have budgets that are 84 percent bigger than those who aren’t on social sites. Meanwhile, sellers who use social media to their advantage have a 66 percent higher quota attainment over those who do not.

Create a strong presence on social media sites and participate actively with your followers. You may find that a medium like Facebook or Twitter is far more effective for communicating with your buyers than personal emails, phone calls, or even in-person presentations.

Understand Your Audience

Get to know your target audience as intimately as possible. Think about who your preferred buyers are on all levels. What type of entertainment do they enjoy? How do they interact with friends and family? What are their personal and professional goals? Many businesses sell such a diverse range of products that you could approach nearly anyone for a sale. Rather than casting your net over too many people, however, you’ll find that it’s more effective to focus on a particular demographic.

For example, nutritional supplements can appeal to body builders, athletes, busy professionals, and more. However, focusing on the needs and habits of busy at-home moms who want weight loss and energy supplements will help you hone a selling strategy that really connects with this group, while a more general approach that’s meant to cater to everyone will lack that close, personal connection and may fall short of your entire audience.

Even a small change in your approach can yield significant results when you’re using the right sales strategies to get there. Focus your time and attention on the right areas, and you can form effective connections that translate into ongoing purchases.

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