Expert's Opinion

How Do You Keep Sales Strong?

By Allen Guy, Author of Play to Win | June 3, 2013

Allen Guy explains how to win at sales.

Just as often as new products for home and personal care reach the market, so do the delivery outlets and sales reps for such merchandise.With existing products vying for shelf space in the consumer’s broom closest or makeup drawer, vendors are required to keep skills ahead of the competition to insure continued success. Therefore it’s important to take an inventory of your skill set and provide continual self-improvement.
The following eight steps help salespeople at all levels, genders and product offerings.
1.Understand Yourself – Interaction is key for success in selling. However if you don’t know who you are or what style personality you have, how will you reach the person across the counter from you? Ask yourself “how do others see me?” The answers to these questions provide knowledge you can use to your advantage when selling personal or household items.
2.Understand the Buyer – Too often today we live in a “one size fits all” world. If your approach to selling is “one size fits all,” you’ve grossly misunderstood your buyer. Have you taken time to understand what motivates your buyer? To help you understand your customers, identity their personality types, whether you are dealing with an individual or group. View them as members of a football team:
·The Quarterback takes control and is the key decision maker
·The Running Back is cheerful, energetic, and impulsive
·The Wide Receiver listens carefully, wants all the details before making a decision
·The Lineman is a workhorse who needs input from others
3. Know Your Product – Product knowledge sounds so basic but you’ll be surprised how many reps fail to truly understand their products and how those products will impact their clients. Have you quizzed yourself lately on your product knowledge?
4. Position Yourself for Success – On a basketball court, offensive and defensive players fight for position to rebound a missed shot. Sales reps contend for the all important customers. However, the rep who places himself or herself in the right position for a missed shot, either by themselves or others, has the best chance for closing the sale. Are you in the right position to find the leads to which you can present your product?
5. Plan The Call – Preparedness seems to be a luxury many of us can’t afford these days. The demands of work and home prevent us for fully equipping ourselves for each customer encounter or complacency overtakes us and convinces us “we’ve done this before, why prepare now?” Are you shortcutting your plan for success?
6.Implement the Plan – The best laid plans often fail because of poor execution. That’s why “practice” is so important. In the same way a pro football team wouldn’t step onto the field of battle without having practiced its plays, so a professional salesperson should not attempt to do battle without first taking the time to practice and hone one’s skills. Don’t skip practice today if you want to be the winner at the end of the game.
7.Ask For the Business – Regardless of the sales arena, salespeople often simply don’t ask the buyer to say “yes.” What’s so difficult about asking this question? Regardless of the answer, how much more could you sell by asking more often?
8. Follow through on the Sale – A common mistake in positioning oneself for future success is the lack of attention paid to follow through on a sale. We all know competition for our products is fierce yet we neglect to find solutions that set us apart from the others. Ensuring buyer satisfaction can prepare you for repeated opportunities. Is your motto “Carpe Diem” when it comes to customer follow-up?
About the Author
Allen Guy is the author of “Playing to Win: The Sport of Selling and How You Can Win the Game.” He is a veteran sales representative and manager with experience that spans more than twenty-five years and multiple industries. His training and success is evidenced by numerous awards from different companies recognizing him as one of the top performers among his peers.