Sales Tips For the New Year
By the time the New Year rolls around, we all need a little refresher course on best practices, new tips on how to improve and old job and any pieces of advice that can give us an edge on the competition. Here are a few pointers from sales expert and long-time Dealerscope column Bob Janet, president of Sales Growth Now, who can be reached at Bob@BobJanet.com or 239-283-3870. You can also visit his web site at www.BobJanet.com.
- Using referrals is the easiest way to gain new customers. People like to buy where others have been successful. Here are three major steps to gain referrals:
- Make sure they know your telephone number!
Whenever you leave your telephone number, always say it very slowly at least two times. You will get more callbacks.
- Tell your customers all you do for them. If you do not tell them they will never know. And even if your competition does some of the same things, you will be the one the customer sees as adding value to their purchases.
- Out-market and out-sell your competition by doing things they can’t or will not do. Here are a few ways of doing it:
1. Build better relationships with the customers
2. Increase your service levels
3. Stay in touch with customers more often
- Shop your competition. Discover what they are doing well to gain and retain customers and do it better and more aggressively.
- Call your own business and act like a customer looking to buy a limited amount of products or services. If you do not get treated like a millionaire who is ready to spend a ton of money, if they do not fall all over you, you may want to train your staff in becoming 100 percent customer-centered.
– Use testimonials to tell prospects about yourself. Third party endorsements are believable and people love to buy where others have found satisfaction.Top sales producers use testimonials to attract prospects, advance the sale and close the sale.
- Acknowledging the customer’s presence will save the sale. Never let a customer stand for more than a few seconds before you acknowledge their presence. Once acknowledged, they will wait for you if you do not keep them waiting for an extended period of time.
- Get creative to lower your expenses:
Before going to Europe on business, Joe drove his Rolls-Royce to a bank in New York City and went in to ask for an immediate loan of $5,000. The loan officer, taken aback, requested collateral. “Well then, “Joe said, “here are the keys to my Rolls-Royce.” The loan officer promptly had the car driven into the bank’s underground parking.
Two weeks later, Joe walked through the bank’s doors and asked to settle up his loan and get his car back. “That will be $5,000 in principal and $20.30 in interest,” the loan officer said. Joe wrote out a check and started to walk away. “Wait, sir,” the loan officer said. “While you were gone, I found out you are a millionaire. Why in the world would you need to borrow $5,000?” Joe smiled. “Where else could I park my Rolls-Royce in Manhattan for two weeks and pay only $20.30?”
I don’t find it hard to increase my sales and profits; I just become more aggressive and differentiate myself from the competition. But to lower my expense, I find I have to be creative in putting myself in front of the buyer.
- Do not be afraid to sell at higher prices.
To sell your products and services at higher prices all you have to do is show the customer they are receiving more value when they make purchases from you instead of your competition. To show more value all you have to do is show more benefits.
- You can’t sell off of an empty wagon.
After arriving in the United States from Russia in the early 1800s, my Grandfather became a peddler to earn a living. At first he carried the products he sold on his back through the mountains and valleys of Pennsylvania. As he became more prosperous he bought a horse and wagon. He once told me he was more successful than his competition because he always had more items on his wagon to sell than his competition.
Once when I was lowering my inventory because business was slow, he told me I was making a mistake. “You cannot sell off an empty wagon,” he said.
I listened to him. My competitive edge over my competition was to offer consumers more choices ofproducts. When the completion faltered, I prospered.