No business can stay afloat if customers aren’t buying what they’re selling. So, every entrepreneur needs a strong sales strategy to get themselves off the ground and stay afloat. Sales can be one of the most challenging parts of running a business. You know your product is great — the struggle is getting other people to see it.
Many businesses don’t have the sales conversion rates they hope for, which indicates they need a revamped sales strategy. And even those companies doing brisk business sometimes leave a great deal of money on the table by ignoring some of the most successful tactics. We’ve compiled 3 easy tips to take your sales strategy to the next level.
Find Prospects’ Unconscious Needs.
Solution selling is popular, and many businesses use it because it makes intuitive sense. People buy a product because they need something. When you discover what that need is and propose a better solution for it than the competition does, you should generate a sale.
It works — some of the time. But in practice, it usually involves asking the prospect standard questions about their pain points and listening to the responses. It can sometimes seem less like a conversation and more like an interrogation. The sales strategy also assumes your primary competition comes from other businesses proposing their own solutions. But 40% of prospective sales end in “no decision.”
But you offered a solution that worked! So, why did this happen? It’s simple: Doing nothing is easy, and change is hard. Further, people don’t always know what they need. They think they do — but blind spots cloud their judgment.
To inspire your prospect to break from the status quo, you must do more than listen to what they say they need and discover their unconscious needs. Think about it: Every business tries to sell to the customer’s stated needs, and they all propose similar solutions. The customer won’t see much difference.
But you create urgency when you help prospects see the gaps in their current processes and notice missed opportunities. You also differentiate yourself from the pack. The potential customer is more likely to see you as a valued advisor — and will try your solution as something new.
Examine Your Follow-Up Strategy.
Any effective salesperson should have pretty thick skin, but let’s face it: Nobody likes to be told “no.” Hearing “no” multiple times can become downright embarrassing. People commonly worry about being too aggressive in their techniques, don’t want to be looked upon as a telemarketer, and certainly don’t want “Didn’t you hear me the first time?” shouted in their faces. After all, if a prospect is interested in a product, they’ll call you back, right?
Statistics show many salespeople seem to think that way: 48% of them never make a single follow-up attempt. Meanwhile, the number of sellers who keep following up drops more with each new “no.” Logic dictates that the more someone tells you “no,” the less and less likely they are to say “yes” each time. But research demonstrates that anywhere between 60–80% of prospects say “no” 4 times before closing a sale.
Are you surprised? Don’t be. People often take a long time to decide, especially about spending money. When they finally decide, the company that continues following up will be top of mind. Further, each follow-up is a new opportunity to build rapport — even if you get a “no.” Try instituting a “5 noes” sales strategy to your selling and notice the difference.
Remember Your Existing Customers.
Great job — you closed a sale! Now you’re ready to move on to the next prospect and do it again, right? Not so fast. You’ve accomplished the most challenging part of the job, but taking your new customer for granted is a fast way to lose them.
You know perfectly well that generating sales with new customers is hard, so it’s crucial to hold onto the ones you have. That means taking care of the people already patronizing your business. Are you answering your phone and emails? How about responding to customer concerns? Is your communication frequent? And are you demonstrating to your most valued customers how much you appreciate them? Many people don’t think of these actions as sales activities, but they make (or lose) money.
Further, existing customers can add additional revenue to your business if you engage wisely in up-selling and cross-selling. You already have a relationship with these people. You’ve gained their trust and shown them the value you provide. They’re much more likely to buy more from you than a prospect is to turn into a customer — and the process is much less expensive.
Focusing all your sales efforts on people who have yet to spend a dime with your business means neglecting your built-in audience. Redirect some of your time, effort, and budget to the people who already believe in you. They’re the ones most likely to make or break your business.