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How to master the art of the sale

There are approximately 1.57 million sales representatives in the United States. Each one will probably tell you that closing a sale is an art. If you’re struggling to make a sale — or even if you’re not — we want to share a few tips with you to become an even better salesperson.

 

1. Be the Expert

 

At the core of sales is trust. Your customers trust you to be the expert and authority on products. Your job as a salesperson is to foster this trust and be the go-to resource for questions related to your products and services. Make sure during the entire process you convey that level of expertise. Speak with confidence and certainty when meeting with customers and make sure you’re an active part of every step — including emails, phone calls, and voice messages!

 

It’s easy not to think through something as simple as a voicemail. Even then, make sure you’re using a self-assured tone. For example, don’t leave a message that says, “I’m so sorry to bother you, Mr. Jones. I’d love to speak to you if you get a chance. I understand if you’re busy and can’t call me back.”

 

Instead, use a clear, confident tone, like “Mr. Jones. I’m following up on our email last week. I’d love to chat about our new product. Please give me a call at your earliest convenience.”

 

 

2. Develop your expertise

 

You need to be the master of your product. You can’t be an expert without the knowledge to back it up, however. You must know your product or service inside and out first. Only when you know can you answer questions and further build rapport with your customers.

 

Make sure your knowledge doesn’t stop at your own product, however. You must also know your competitors’ products. Examine their pricing, strengths and weaknesses, marketing and reviews.

 

Take that expertise even further by examining your entire industry, not just your direct competitors—research other leading companies and practices. Strive to gain a more comprehensive view of the landscape. Only when you’re an expert in your field can you frame your product as the best choice for your client.

 

 

3. Be personable

 

The customer comes first. Your job is to provide your customer with a service or product. Remember, you’re not selling yourself. Make sure you lead with empathy. Try to put yourself in your client’s shoes. How can your product help them? What obstacles are they facing?

 

Focus on how your product will help your client’s operations, not just drive profit. Finally, and most importantly, focus on building relationships with your client.

 

 

4. Continue learning

 

Don’t just rely on your existing skills. There’s always room to grow and improve more. Actively look to enhance your skills and examine where you could improve.

 

Look for workshops and additional training and make sure to practice any newly acquired skills. Rehearse your pitches to make sure they’re refined and are backed by confidence and expertise.

 

 

5. Set goals

 

Make sure you’re setting goals for yourself and your team. Set goals each quarter but make sure your goals are reasonable. Your goals should push your abilities but also be reachable. To make appropriate goals make sure to examine your company’s growth. Determine a baseline on how much growth is possible in a year. Next, evaluate your team and potential. Make sure your goals are realistically in line with the previous figures. Then set short-term and long-term goals for your company.

 

However, not all sales will go well and you will ultimately not meet some of your goals. Make sure you’re managing your expectations and learning from failures and mistakes. If a deal doesn’t work out, think of it as a learning opportunity. Ask yourself, what went wrong? What could go better? What would you do differently next time? This type of self-examination will help you become even better at your craft and help you educate your staff and set future goals.

 

Like any craft, sales skills take time to craft. So be persistent in your skills and make sure to follow the steps above. They’ll take you to the next level and ensure more sales.

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