In selling you can never rest on your laurels or past successes. You must constantly work on developing a sales plan that drives you forward to the next profitable sale. Our sales trainers have drawn up the following list of tips to help you improve your turnover and profit margin.
Start by setting yourself clear, defined business goals that you can use as the basis for developing your sales plan. Quantify your goals in a precise manner: for example, one more client visit a day, winning back a major client from the competition within four months, etc. The following nine activities should then be considered to help you achieve your sales plan:
1. Constantly look to expand your customer base. Do not underestimate the importance of canvassing for both potential and former customers. Hit the ‘phones and secure some new appointments today.
2. Make more time for your key customers. This can be achieved, for example, by looking at ways to improve your journey planning, or by adopting a systematic method for negotiation preparation. Set time limits for meetings with less important clients.
3. Maintain closer contact with your clients. This will help you to be more aware of any issues or problems your clients may be experiencing and to better understand each client’s needs and buying motives. You are then in a much better position to match the benefits your company has to offer with their needs.
4. Negotiate better by fighting every additional discount a client wants. Only allow an increased reduction if the client buys more of the product! You can often be more successful by being firm - clients appreciate sales people who stand their ground.
5. Be more tenacious when chasing orders. Emphasise to the client the points of your offer which are superior to the competition’s offer. Try to make your offer “incomparably” interesting. Don’t give up too soon.
6. Use your contacts. Allow your clients to recommend further contacts; follow up any leads made at an exhibition. Also make full use of private contacts.
7. Improve your market research. Try to find out as much as possible about your prospects. People are more inclined to buy if they feel you are on their wave length, or if you can make “small talk” about common interests.
8. Work on your attitude. Believe that you will be successful and convey this optimistic attitude to your clients. A positive attitude is an essential component of effective selling.
9. Make a commitment to improve yourself. Even the most experienced sales professional can fall into bad habits. Developing a sales plan also means making a commitment to develop yourself.