8 Steps to Increase Your Earning Potential
One of my first managers, Perry Samuels, taught me a valuable lesson early on in my career. He would say, “Don’t skip steps.” He had over forty years of a successful career in sales and shared with me that most sellers skip steps. He explained many sellers meet clients and try to close them on the next call and then move to the next prospect. While you may close a few clients with that system, you can create a lifetime of customers by committing to the fundamental steps of sales. It may take extra time and energy up front, but in the end, you will gain your clients’ respect and earn their business for life. I have incorporated the system Perry taught me over thirty years ago, and I coach my team with the same philosophy today.
Follow these eight recommendations for each client for the best chance of earning and retaining their business.
1. Winning Attitude. It starts with the right mindset. You must recommit every day to accomplish your outcomes. You need to have extreme confidence in yourself and your abilities. You will face rejection daily, so staying positive through each experience is key.
2. Prospecting. It’s critical to your financial and personal growth. You need to embrace the concept of prospecting. This is the lifeline of your business. You need to be strategic in whom you target with the greatest potential. Stop chasing small accounts that don’t have the spending potential. Spend your time focused on big accounts with the ability to invest in the strategy you recommend.
3. Probe. Ask great questions to understand where your opportunity is to help the client. Being prepared with thoughtful questions based on the research you did prior to the call will set you apart from your competition. You need to listen more and talk less. Asking great questions and letting the customer talk is a huge benefit.
4. Presentation. Make certain you present thoughtful solutions to your client’s needs. Your outcome is to overdeliver on their expectations. Spend time reviewing your notes from the initial meeting to make sure you are presenting answers to their biggest challenges.
5. Objections. You will encounter various objections from your prospect. They may challenge you to see how knowledgeable and committed you are to help them. Anticipate those objections by role-playing with your manager or co-worker. Ask how your client will measure and view the success of the campaign. The extra time you spend thinking from your client’s perspective can be a game changer.
6. Ask for the business. You have done the work; now it’s time to ask for the business. Most of us love the rapport and relationship building. When you follow the basics, you have earned the right to ask how you can help.
7. Make your mark. Once the sale is complete, the real work begins. You have invested a lot of time and energy into gaining them as a customer. I would ask how they prefer to communicate. Do they prefer weekly phone calls, email, face-to-face meetings or monthly updates? I would create a system that makes it easier on the customer. Staying connected and accessible is critical to retaining them.
8. Recommendations. A happy customer is willing to introduce you to other decision makers they know. Ninety-one percent of customers say they would give referrals, but only 11 percent of salespeople ask for them. (This is from Dale Carnegie, “How important are Sales Referrals for B2B sales?”) Most people are connected to over 100 contacts. Make asking for a referral a part of your routine. Asking for referrals from satisfied customers will shorten the sales cycle for you.
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