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16 Secrets for Sales Success


  1. Know your customer's business. Prospects expect you to know their business, customers and competition as well as you know your own product or service. Use annual reports, trade journals, the Web to research your prospects. Know as much about them as you can.
  2. Sell benefits, not features. The biggest mistake sales representatives make is in focusing on what their product or service is. Instead of focusing on what your product or service does – focus on what it will do for the prospect – how it will benefit the prospect.
  3. Sell to the people most likely to buy. Make sure you know the economic buyer, product buyer, and the influencers. The best prospects are always are companies that already have purchased a similar product or service, rather than those who have never tried it.
  4. Differentiate your product. Answer the question “Why should a prospect buy from you”. Changing the prospect’s minds requires a lot of effort. Be prepared with four reasons a prospect should buy from you.
  5. See them – get in front of them. There is no more effective way that generate sales than one-to-one contact – get in front of them in person or on the phone.
  6. Focus on your second sale. Nearly 85 percent of all sales are produced by word of mouth – someone tells someone who tells someone. Concentrate on developing future business with this prospect and obtaining referrals.
  7. Build rapport. Do your homework before you see a prospect. Understand his/her company and what has been happening to them. Gain rapport with the buyer and the influencers.
  8. Question, Question, Question. Ask questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Ask questions that will lead the prospects to the realization that your company can satisfy his/her needs. Have the prospect tell you their decision making process and the key buying criteria that will be used to select a vendor. Probe, probe, probe – that’s the only way you will get to understand the prospect and their needs.
  9. Probe, Probe, Probe. That’s the only way you will get to understand the prospect and their needs. Don’t respond with features and functions that meet the prospect’s need, find out more information. Keep asking for more information to enable you to properly present your product or service to meet the unique needs of the prospect.
  10. Listen. Your prospect should do the talking for more than 50% of the meeting. The more you talk, the greater the risk that the prospect will become bored, or worse, will find reasons to not do business with you. Concentrate and take notes on what the prospect is saying.
  11. Follow up. After the sale contact the customer in person, by phone or in writing. Show your prospect that you care about him or her. Make sure the sale, delivery, and installation went smoothly and the prospect is satisfied.
  12. Write out and rehearse your sales and telephone presentations. Effective sales presentations are not “made on the fly”. Develop a list of your major selling points, leading questions to use to probe for more information, and answers to the most common objections.
  13. Write down objections. Show your prospect you are truly listening to what they are saying by writing down their objections. In this way, you can specifically answer their objections by showing how they will benefit from your product or service.
  14. Offer a first-time buyer incentive. Offer your prospect something significant to make a decision now. This works well with a guarantee.
  15. Offer a 100-percent guarantee. Guarantees should be unconditional and should not have hidden clauses. Satisfaction guaranteed – unconditionally.
  16. Offer a choice when closing. “Would you rather have this or this?” When the prospect selects an option they have mentally purchased your product or service.


About the Author:  Ken Wilson: Strategist, marketing guru, educator, facilitator, author, university lecturer and consultant, he can be reached at ken@wmg-mn.com  or 763-476-2216

Copyright ©2017 by Ken Wilson All rights reserved.

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