By Martin Limbeck, “NO is Short for Next Opportunity: How Top Sales Professionals Think“
You had the guts and the drive to start your own business. You now have a product, service or idea that potential clients need and want. But, now what? Simply establishing your business is not enough. Customers are not going to find you and hand you money. You must be able to sell it. You must know how to deliver a sales pitch, when to do so, and most importantly, how to sell so you are sure to close the deal.
Too many entrepreneurs are brave enough to get their businesses running, but don’t get it booming because they are not comfortable selling. Many are afraid to experience rejection. You must get over that fear to succeed. What good are sales techniques and methods if you don’t have the guts to apply them? It is critically important to overcome fears of rejection and embrace a positive attitude toward selling if you want real success.
Here are five key sales tips for entrepreneurs:
1. Be ready to win.
Trust yourself, believe in yourself, because in sales, everything starts with what we believe, with our drive to win. Visualize yourself shaking your client’s hand, presenting your pitch, and closing the deal. If you can see it, you can do it.
2. Play where the puck is going to be.
As former NHL player and head coach Wayne Gretzky said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” The same is true in closing a sale. The goal here is not to cram in as many sales phrases as you can and reel them off to your client. Rather, the goal is to anticipate your client’s next move and enrich your sales arsenal so that with any client, in any situation, faced with any objection, you are prepared enough to close the deal.
3. Eliciting interest is half the battle.
A customer who raises an objection is in no way a customer you are about to lose. In fact, an objection is proof of the fact that the customer is considering your offer. Capitalize on that. You will hear no, and you will hear it frequently. It’s normal. What’s important is what you do with that no.
When you hear the word ‘no,’ give some more thought to your client’s needs. Ask more questions. Listen carefully. Identify what your customer really wants. Be polite and persistent at the same time. Make adjustments. It’s hard work. Sometimes it takes four attempts. Or five. Or even six. It may take several days, weeks or months. But in the end, you would be surprised how many no’s you can turn into a yes.
4. Never grovel.
Even when the client makes it clear that he or she is in charge, it is forbidden for successful sales professionals to grovel, kowtow, or become submissive. A top salesperson has pride and a price. A high price-to-performance ratio means just that – not only a high price but also high performance to go with it.
5. Ask for the sale.
Remember what you’re there for. It’s neither to just offer professional advice, nor is it to explain all technical features of your product in the very last detail. You have one goal and that’s to close the deal. Don’t miss your chance. Focus. There is no wrong time to close the deal. The right time is anytime. But your client won’t throw their money after you. You need to ask for the sale.
Keep these tips in mind daily. Always be ready and prepared to pitch a sale and land it. It is important to understand that no never means that you should give up. On the contrary, a no means you should keep at it. In sales, rejection comes with the territory. Be ready to handle that rejection like a pro, because you are sales professional and you should be proud of it.
Martin Limbeck is an international sales authority, sought-after keynote speaker, dubbed “The Porsche of Sales” and author of”NO is Short for Next Opportunity: How Top Sales Professionals Think“. He has trained and inspired sales professionals in 16 countries for more than 20 years.