Top Ten Sales Hacks

Let’s face it: salespeople don’t have the greatest reputation these days. That’s because too many of our sales forebears used shady, coercive, and downright nasty techniques. They would do anything to make the close the deal. You don’t want to be that kind of salesperson, do you?

Well, whether you’re an old hat or a sales newbie, these ten tips will make you the best salesperson you can be. Use these professionally-tested tips to grow your business, get the sales you deserve, and transform your customers into clients for life.

1. KNOW YOUR CLIENT.

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Prior planning and market research are crucial to making sales. If you’re going on a sales call, that means your customer plans to sit down with you and discuss a problem they’re experiencing. It’s your job to find a solution to that problem. But how are you going to do it if you don’t know anything about your customer?

You need to do your research. For instance, if you’re meeting with a business owner, find out everything you can about their business, their market, their successes and failures. This will build your credibility and show your customer that you actually care about their success — and when your customer feels cared for, good things happen.

2. KNOW YOUR PRODUCT.

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If you can’t answer every single question any customer could possibly ask you, then you’re doing something wrong. You need to know your product inside-out, upside-down and sideways. You need to know it in the daytime, at night and during Daylight Savings Time.

If you don’t know your product, you’re not going to be able to successfully communicate its features and benefits effectively to your customer. And if you can’t tell your customer about your product, the chances of you making a sale are slim to none.

3. BE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT!

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Believe me, your enthusiasm is contagious!

If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, you won’t be able to sell. This is an age-old sales adage that unfortunately, many people still don’t know or understand. One of the most effective sales methods is excitement.

If you’re passionate about your product, the customer will be able to see it. Excitement, like laughter, is often contagious. And in some cases, no matter what you’re saying, it’s your attitude that’s going to shine through to the customer. This above all else will make them decide whether or not they should buy from you.

4. KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET.

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There’s that old trope about how any salesman can turn a single point into a hour-long presentation. In many cases, it’s not that far from the truth. However, this is bad news when it comes to sales. There are many reasons why a salesperson might end up rambling on and on to the customer, such as nervousness, ignorance, or fear of silence. But whatever the reason — stop doing it.

No customer likes to feel verbally barraged by a waterfall of speech. The more unnecessary things you say, the more you are hurting your chances of making the sale. Keeping what you need to say clear and direct is a surefire way to build trust with your customer and ensure that communication between the two of you is on the same level.

This goes hand-in-hand with our next tip:

5. SHUT UP AND LISTEN!

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When you’re talking to your customer, you’re not listening to them. And one of the most important tips you will ever get in the art of sales is active listening. It builds trust and friendship, makes you seem more credible, and will cause the customer to feel like you’re his or her best friend.

To truly listen, you need to turn off your own inner monologue. This can be very difficult for some people, but just remember, you don’t need to do it for long. Only while your customer is speaking. Instead of planning what you’re going to say next, focus with all of your considerable mental energy on understanding and processing your customer’s words.

Not only will your customer love you for it, but they just might end up telling you how to close them. Most customers do — but most salespeople aren’t listening closely enough to hear it.

6. BE HONEST.

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…it’s is the most important quality.

Let’s get real. With the onset of the internet and lightning fast communication, the modern customer is more savvy than ever before. And with that savviness comes an almost extrasensory perception of when someone — especially a salesperson — is lying.

This, coupled with the fact that salespeople in general have a reputation for being sleazy liars (or at the very least, hyperbolists), makes it critical for you to always tell your customer the truth.

Remember when we said you should always know the answer to any question your customer could ask you? Well, there’s always going to be a curveball or two that you can’t predict. But if you don’t know the answer to a question, never pretend you do. Likewise, don’t withhold information that might cause the customer not to buy. Chances are, if they do end up buying, the information will come out in the end anyway. They will wish they hadn’t dealt with you and might even cancel the sale.

Your customers can tell when you’re lying, and they know when you’re telling the truth. They will respect you for saying, “I don’t know the answer to that, let me get back to you.” They won’t mind if you step out to make a phone call in order to find the right information for them. They will like you better for it!

7. BE PERSISTENT.

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Many salespeople mistake this commonly thrown-about phrase for persistence when asking for the sale. While there’s nothing wrong with persistence in a sales meeting, the best salespeople never have to resort to that. BE PERSISTENT really means never giving up.

One of the most challenging aspects of sales is continuing on while facing a seemingly endless amount of rejection and adversity. Some days, it might seem like the hardest thing in the world to pick up that phone and call a prospective client, or get in your car and drive to a meeting. You may feel like you are doomed to fail before you even begin. But that is the biggest danger facing new (and even veteran) salespeople — sales is a numbers game!

And don’t give up until you win!

It’s all about taking that rejection in stride, and knowing — not just hoping, but knowing — that somewhere, out there right now, is a huge sale to be made. You just have to find it. And every rejection brings you closer and closer to making a sale. Persistence is about prospecting when you don’t want to. It’s about going on appointments when you feel certain you aren’t going to make a sale. Persistence is the currency of sales. Be persistent until you get what you want. Not from your customers, but from yourself!

8. DON’T LOSE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR.

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While we’re on the topic of rejection, nobody is going to deny the fact that it sucks. Working hard to build trust with your customer only to have them reject you is a pretty bad feeling. That’s why it’s important for salespeople to always keep their sense of humor.

I worked at an insurance agency right out of college, and we were encouraged to make around 300 cold calls per day. Most people only managed around 100, and some people made far less simply because it could get so frustrating. People hate telemarketers; everyone knows that. Being told hundreds of times a day to “get lost”, or far worse, can be pretty demoralizing. So one of the guys I worked with ended every nasty conversation with, “Okay dude, keep it real.”

That might not seem too funny to you, but trust me, after being called every horrible name in the book, telling someone to “keep it real” as you hang up is one of the most hilarious things in the world. There are plenty of ways to keep your sense of humor. Just make sure you don’t lose it, no matter how bad things get. Laugh at yourself, laugh at the customer (just not to their face!) Being able to laugh is one of the most powerful tools in a salesperson’s belt to stay motivated.

9. UNDER PROMISE, OVER-DELIVER.

One mistake a lot of rookie salespeople make is promising things they will never be able to follow through on. Although it sounds good in the moment, this manages to single-handedly destroy any trust your customer might have gained in you once it becomes clear that you won’t be able to deliver. To counter this, professional salespeople promise less than they know they can deliver, so the customer is always pleasantly surprised.

When you under promise and over-deliver, the customer always feels like you are going the extra mile for them. This raises their regard and trust for you, and make it far more likely that they will want to deal with you again in the future. It’s also a great way for getting referrals. When you treat customers like friends, they want to introduce you to their friends. Under promising and over-delivering is an excellent way to grow your business.

And finally…

10. KNOW YOURSELF.

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Every single salesperson needs to understand right now that they are not as good as they could be. You are never as good as you could be, because there’s always room for improvement. To truly be successful, you need to study yourself the same way you study your customer and your product. Know your strengths, weaknesses, pet peeves and little habits. Armor yourself in your failures rather than hiding them deep down in the back of your memory.

When it comes to selling, believe in yourself. Have the confidence to know that no matter how many times you fail, it’s one step closer to success. Confidence in yourself is truly the most important thing when it comes to sales (and life!)

Above all, make sure you’re having a good time. Contrary to what many entry-level sales companies will tell you, a career in sales is not for everyone and anyone. It’s for people who love to sell. And in my experience, that’s not something that can be learned. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, don’t force it.

And if you want to become a real pro – then become a member in our awesome-sales-sauce group and learn the secrets of the pros!

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