What do salespeople do that’s a best practice?


    Back in October, I created a giveaway on my Facebook fan page. I offered a prize of several autographed books for the person who submitted the best sales tip.

    I received more than 260 responses, and thought it might be a good idea to share with you how your fellow brothers and sisters in the sales profession are thinking.

    Here are a few of the tips. I hope they inspire you to think and take some new (better) actions:

    • If you don’t care, neither will your client.
    • I find that being curious and genuinely interested in people has helped me grow my business and develop stronger relationships. It has also helped me to expand my professional networks.
    • Sales is not about selling. It is about relationships.
    • Make the call!
    • Always tell the truth.
    • Alter the way you interact with each and every person, but never change who you are.
    • My second favorite four-letter word is SOLD. My first is PAID.
    • Make doing business with you easy: no nonsense, no rules.
    • Do what you say you are going to do.
    • Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself.
    • Do it now — not tomorrow, not later, not after your coffee, not after you check your e-mail. Be known for your super-fast response.
    • Protect the base. After I’ve met a prospective or existing client, I write a handwritten note expressing my gratitude, indicating that I realize they have a choice in buying supplies but I thank them for choosing my company. Call me old fashioned, but it separates me from the rest.
    • My motto is: “No problem” — no matter what! People do not want to know why something cannot be done; they just want it fixed — repaired — made like new — without any excuses, period. The better, faster and with understanding of their point of view, the stronger your relationships with your customers will be.
    • Smile and mean it!
    • When you work hard consistently, the numbers will take care of themselves.
    • Be prepared. Know your client and their competition.
    • Never get complacent. Challenge yourself to be better. I asked my top salesperson after a really successful week if she was happy with the results. She said “no.” That is why she is my top salesperson.
    • Approach sales the way you desire to be approached.
    • Loose lips sink ships. I’ve seen more salespeople talk themselves OUT of a sale than into one.
    • I work in the hotel industry and my competition is all around me. What sets me apart from them is that I love my job!
    • It’s all about the customer, stupid.
    • Speak their language and you will get far.
    • I say to each client, “I am here to give you as much information as you need in order for you to make a completely informed decision.”
    • Confidence speaks louder than words.
    • Sales is a simple concept: Help people like you would want to be helped.
    • I don’t bring any of my tools, bags, computers, etc., to the door when talking to my customers. This forces me to build a rapport and ask questions, and takes away the “crutch” that I have in my bag. It’s proving to be an excellent way to gain sales, because it allows me to build the trust that is needed before I get into the details of the sale.
    • Do your homework to earn the right to have a conversation.
    • It’s difficult to take back a first impression.
    • Create a following by never following.
    • Print out your client list/call list, then turn your computer off and pick up the phone. No e-mail you send is going to be as good as the call I am going to make.

    Pretty good? These tips are from regular “hit the phone and the pavement” salespeople who are out in their market or their community making it happen. I applaud them. There will be more of these tips next week.

    But the winner? Bill Atkins. He owns Red Bank Limo in New Jersey. His tip was: Each day, pick two customers at random. It doesn’t have to be your biggest or newest customer. Tell them you don’t have any agenda for the call, but just called to see how they are doing. No sales pitches allowed. Focus on the long-term relationship you are building, not the sale.

    Good advice from everyone — for everyone.

    Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com.

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