Tuesday, 21 July 2009

10 Basic Skills Every Salesman Should Have

Basic Skills Every Sales Person Should Have

In my experience, I am convinced that techniques and methods of sales are teachable to anyone who has the desire to learn. However, there are a few natural skills that are of great benefit if they already exist within those that want to be successful in sales. Without these, success will take a longer time but it can still be achieved. If there is no desire and dedication to learning or developing these skills, then the selling will be much more difficult and often very stressful.

Effective Communicator
Communication covers a lot of territory. I am not talking about superb orator skills here, but the ability to speak clearly and in a manner that is easy to understand. Sales is all about talking to people and getting them to understand what you are trying to communicate.

Ability to Listen
Along with speaking, a great salesperson knows when to stop talking and listen. They never cut someone off while they are talking, because in doing so they would fail to hear a key element in identifying what that person's needs might be.

Asks Great Questions
Salespeople are naturally inquisitive and know that in order to isolate what the real need or desire is in the buyer, they need to ask questions that will lead them to the answer. They naturally ask questions because they have a desire to help solve their problem.

Problem Solver
Another natural skill is the desire and ability to solve problems. Great salespeople are always solving problems. The ability to hone in on what the buyer's problem is and offering suggestions that will effectively solve the problem with respect to what products or services you sell, generally results with a sale.

Well Organized
I am not necessarily speaking of your personal surroundings, but more with your thoughts and methods of planning. Sales people have a keen ability to break things down into smaller steps and organize a plan of action. They know how to analyze what their goal is and in what order the steps need to be in in order to reach that goal.

Self-Starter and Self-Finisher
A successful sales person moves forward on their own. They never need anyone to tell them when it is time to go to work because they know that if they do not work they will not earn. They are also very persistent to finish what they start. They achieve their goals, even if they are small ones.

Positive Self Image
Having the attitude that they can do just about anything that they put their mind to is usually very common among sales people. They do not cower from meeting or talking to people or trying something new. They rarely allow negatives that are either spoken to them or about them to effect what they are trying to accomplish because they know who they are and what they are capable of doing.

Well Mannered and Courteous

The best sales people are very well mannered. You may not realize it, but good manners is a way of showing respect for others. People are attracted to those that respect them and mutual respect is fundamental in building lasting relationships with people..including buyers.

Naturally Persuasive
Another very common inherent skill with great salespeople is that they are very persuasive or know how to get what they want. They focus on what they want and they are persistent to keep chipping away until they get what they want. They almost never give up or give in.

Person of Integrity
A salesperson without integrity will have many struggles which will often include hopping from job to job. Honesty in sales is so important and it is almost impossible for this skill to be taught. You or the person you are looking to hire is either a person of integrity or are not. Be as analytical as possible on the evaluation of this skill.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Keeping Cash Flowing in a Down Economy

Keeping the Cash Flowing in a Down Economy

1. Get your mind focused on what you can control, and the opportunities that exist. Look for positive influences and people who take this climate as a welcome challenge.

2. Trim the fat. It’s easy for expenses to creep in over time; now is the time to examine each one. Re-negotiate payment terms if possible. Each employee must make a tangible contribution to profit, with numbers you can measure.

3. Stay liquid. If you know your business will cyclically have a negative cash flow, line up financing now - before you need it.

4. Your current clients are worth pure gold. Go the extra mile to retain them.

5. Go where the recession is not. Many industries do just fine in a recession, and the folks who are employed there make good target clients

Saturday, 11 July 2009

21 ways to increase your cash flow

Cash flow is essential during a downturn. Here are 21 ways to make sure you are maximizing your cash flow opportunities.....

1. Test & Measuring System - for everything
2. Improve Conversion, Use Phone Scripts – Incoming and Sales
3. Put Prices Up
4. Add on Sale – Cross sell & Up sell
5. Public Relations Article
6. Direct Mail to existing Clients with telemarketing backup
7. Cold Phone Call – Use script
8. Extend Supplier Credit – or any other creditors
9. Pre paid sales
10. Use Debt Collection Agency
11. Closed Door Sales – bring a friend
12. Packaged offer – Quick moving line with slow moving line
13. Product Range add on sale – limited campaign (this week only)
14. Reverse Host Beneficiary (sell other peoples product for % )
15. Increase stock turns – stock rationalisation (slow stock out )
16. Events – novelty events to generate publicity
17. Sell excess assets
18. Small ads – classified – spot ads - for lead generation
19. Sales Team Incentives
20. Split level Pricing
21. Referrals – Have a referral or non referral price & ask for a referral after sale

Friday, 10 July 2009

TRUST is the key to any sale

Here are some simple elements of trust that you must MASTER in order to make it possible for a relationship to blossom:

  1. Tell the truth. This is the number one element of trust AND relationships. Once truth has been violated, trust evaporates and may never return.
  2. Deliver what you promise. People hope and expect you to deliver on promises.
  3. Do what you say you will do. This is a test for being reliable and trustworthy.
  4. Communicate in a timely manner. Rapid response shows you are responsible, on top of it, and that you care.
  5. Bring value beyond your product or service. What you do to help others be more successful will be a true reflection of your character.
  6. Be on time. Being on time shows you respect the other person’s time. It also proves your reliability.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Brainstorming Ideas - Seeing the wood for the trees!

Sometimes you’re so close to a problem you can’t see how it will ever be solved. This situation is so common, it even has it’s own cliché – “you can’t see the wood for the trees”. Here’s a brainstorming game to help you see things differently, and aid the problem solving process.

Show these shapes to your team, and ask them to individually write down what they can see. You may find descriptions such as; three coloured shapes, or a green circle with a diagonal line, a red hexagon and a yellow thought bubble etc.

Some may have made a small creative leap and seen the top left figure as a green “forbidden” road sign. Others may have taken bigger creative leaps and see a winking, bearded face or an imminent solar eclipse on a cloudy day. It doesn’t matter if you can or can’t see these more outlandish images – there’s no right or wrong answer.

Looking at things in a fresh, new way can trigger a whole train-load of thoughts, and that’s the essence of effective brainstorming.

Get the team to look at the shapes again and see how they describe them differently, second time round.