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How to Boost Your Sales Team's Morale

  
  
  

how to boost your sales team s moraleIf sales team morale has taken a beating due to sluggish sales, high turnover, or lackadaisical leadership, it's time to take action. Fortunately, boosting sales team morale doesn't have to take a lot of time or even significant changes in the way you already lead your team. Small changes can make a big difference in the way members of your sales team feel about their work, their co-workers, and their prospects.

The following tips can help you to boost sales team morale. You can incorporate these tips into the way you manage your sales team within a matter of weeks, helping you to turn a bad situation into a good one. When sales team morale improves, not only will sales come easier for your team members, but the entire team will enjoy a greater sense of unity and purpose.

1. Update Roles and Responsibilities

It's much easier for employees to find a sense of satisfaction and well-being in their jobs when they have a clear understanding of everything that's expected of them. Ambiguity results in frustration, and frustration inevitably leads to low sales team morale.

To make sure all of your sales reps understand their roles and responsibilities, start by reviewing their current job descriptions and seeing if they accurately depict what you want your reps to be doing. Visit with peak-performing sales reps and ask about the skills, knowledge, and work habits they have that are not specified in their job descriptions. Using your findings, create new job descriptions and make sure your sales reps thoroughly understand what's expected of them. It helps to communicate your expectations on a regular basis.

2. Set High Standards for Attitude

Employers set clear standards expectations when it comes to skills and experience, but they don't often set clear standards about attitude. How can you expect enthusiasm and a positive attitude from your sales reps if you don't first define what kind of attitude you expect and how to achieve it?

A positive, enthusiastic attitude doesn't come naturally to everyone, but everyone can learn to be optimistic, encouraging, and hopeful, especially if they have a good example to follow. If you want to boost your sales team morale, you must be that positive example. Don't let your sales reps get away with complaining, whining, or making excuses. Set your standards high, and stick to them.

3. Create Sales Process Milestones

Sales team morale improves when team members see and recognize their success, and you can help them to see their success by pointing out when they surpass milestones. Of course, in order to surpass milestones, those milestones have to be clearly defined.

Milestones give people short-term goals to work for, and as they pass each short-term goal, they get closer to their long-term goals. Reaching goals is highly satisfying and keeps sales reps motivated to continue the success they're enjoying. Even better, when your team can reach team milestones as a group, they root for each other, and sales team morale takes a huge leap.

When you update roles and responsibilities for your sales team, giving them clear direction in their positions, set high standards for attitude, and create sales process milestones to work toward, sales team morale will improve. As morale improves, not only will your sales reps be individually more happy and successful, but your entire team will work together better.

Sales Management Worksheet

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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How to Fall in Love With Your Sales Job

  
  
  

how to fall in love your sales jobEnjoying your job plays a major role in how productive and successful your job performance will be. But whether you are starting a new sales job and need to ramp up your enthusiasm to hit the ground running or you have hit a period of burnout and need to find your spark again, you can find ways to fall in love with your sales job. Here are some tips to boost your positive attitude so you can be perfectly poised for job success. 

Recast Rejection

Nobody likes to hear the word "no," but it can be especially difficult for sales people because so much of your job success is tied to getting an answer of "yes" instead. It is easy to reach a point of feeling beaten down by getting the negative answer so much. But rather than getting discouraged, which can create a self-perpetuating cycle of future defeat, learn to fall in love with hearing no instead. Every rejection is an opportunity to refine your sales technique and learn what works and what doesn't work. When you view rejection as a challenge, you can learn from it to overcome the objection next time.

Present Yourself as Valuable

Being a sales person is not just mindless work that anybody can do: it takes a combination of the right skills and personality traits. When your energy and enthusiasm are lagging, remind yourself that you have something valuable to offer not just your company, but your clients and potential clients, too. Spend a few extra moments each morning getting ready for the day and paying extra attention to your appearance so your outward look will present the respectable, professional image you want to convey.

Surround Yourself with Winners

Even though sales people want to succeed as individuals as much as possible and can engage in a little friendly competition, the truth remains that we all get by with a little help from our friends. Your peers have a big influence on your success, though. You can fall in love with your sales job when you spend time with positive, upbeat and motivated colleagues. Stay away from negative influences as much as possible.

Fake It Until You Make It

What do you do when you are in a long term slump and just can't get that level of motivation back? That's when it is time to fake it until you make it. You may want to utilize a time honored tactic of repeating positive affirmations, which has been a very useful for technique for the most successful people in all roles, including sales. If you have hit a string of bad luck with the sales calls or failed to win big deals, don't let yourself give into despair. Repeat positive words to yourself in the mirror about why you are a winner, that your clients will purchase from you and that you are successful. Even if you don't feel it's true at first, eventually your affirmations will help you believe what you are saying and to fall in love with your sales job again.

Job Search Readiness Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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5 Benefits of Using a Sales Recruiting Company

  
  
  

5 benefits of using a sales recruiting companyFinding qualified new sales employees can be a real challenge. When you're looking for new hires, there are several good reasons to enlist the assistance of a sales recruiting agency. Here are some of the top five benefits to using a sales recruiting company.

1. You have a large number of responsibilities.

Recruiting new staff is a very time consuming process. Today, most companies are operating with over-extended staff, all of whom have far more work to do than they can fit into a normal work week. It is a smart idea to outsource as many functions as you can, so that you can focus on all of the other important work you need to do. A sales recruiting agency has the time to devote to finding the right candidates.

2. You don't have a lot of experience.

Believe it or not, hiring a new sales person isn't something that just anybody can do, and it is both a skill and an art. A strong sales recruiting agency knows how to find the right candidates. If your experience in hiring sales people is limited or if you've made some bad hiring decisions in the past, you may not be as well trained in spotting both the skills and warning signs that differentiate a great hire and from a disastrous one. It is better to admit that you need help than to make a mistake. A sales recruiting agency specializes in finding the right employees, so you are in better hands when you trust the experts.

3. You need a lot of new employees quickly.

Companies' sales needs can fluctuate over time. You may be used to working with the same sales crew that you have, and that works out just fine for a long time and the services of a sales recruiting agency may not seem as necessary. But certain circumstances can create the need to quickly ramp up the size of your sales staff. Whether it's a big new product launch, a merger or rapid organizational expansion, sometimes the need to add more staff can happen more quickly than you can handle it on your own. A qualified sales recruiting agency can help you meet these needs easily.

4. Your organization is really small.

The size of your organization plays a major role in whether or not you should consider using the services of a sales recruiting agency. Larger companies are more likely to have an entire department dedicated to human resources, which can devote their time to all aspects of hiring, including recruiting new employees. Recruitment is a full time job in itself, and small businesses may not be able to devote the resources to it. A sales recruiting agency can be like a virtual extension of your business, without the full time salary to go along with it.

5. You have specialized needs.

Hiring a sales employee is generally done with the ultimate goal of choosing a candidate who will stick around for many years to come. But as most companies know, employment needs are far more flexible and varied today than they once were, and not every hire is intended to be a permanent, salaried one. Situations in which you might find it more useful to enlist the help of a sales recruiting agency include when you want to hire independent contractors or sales staff who specialize in a specific industry with which you are not as familiar. 

A lot of people and companies tend to adopt a very independent maverick sort of attitude that they can do everything on their own. But when you reach out to the help of other organizations, like a sales recruiting agency, you can find that it makes your company more successful, too. 

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SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

5 Steps to Ruining Your Sales Reputation

  
  
  

5 steps to ruining your sales reputationIn sales, your reputation can either destroy you or be your biggest asset. Your sales reputation is something that you nourish or damage every single day. Your day-to-day actions and your interactions and communications with co-workers, clients, and superiors are the building blocks of your reputation. Commit the following mistakes repeatedly, and you will ruin your sales reputation. Steer clear of these mistakes, and you will enjoy a reputation that will lead to sales, enviable jobs, and prestige in your industry.

1. Miss Deadlines

It's such a simple thing, but you can ruin your sales reputation simply by missing deadlines. A customer needs a product Tuesday, but you forgot to order it on time. Think they'll order from you again? No way. Your sales manager asks for a list of all of your third quarter sales by Friday, but you give it to him on Monday. Do you think he'll consider you for a promotion? Not if this behavior is typical.

If missing deadlines has become habitual for you, what can you do to turn things around and save your sales reputation? Consider whether or not you're over-committing. If you overschedule your days, you will have a difficult time accomplishing everything expected of you. If, after examining your schedule, you see an ordinary load, get tough with yourself. Don't go to bed until you've accomplished everything on your to-do list, and make an effort to plan ahead and hold personal calendaring sessions with yourself on a weekly basis.

2. Make Excuses

Sometimes there are valid excuses for failing to accomplish something or meet someone, but if making excuses has become your mode of operation, you could be ruining your sales reputation.

Next time you feel like making an excuse, stop and consider the situation. Often, when sales people habitually make excuses, it's because they don't take responsibility for their failures or for their successes. Instead of making excuses, be resourceful and do what you can to find solutions to the problems that will inevitably come up from time to time.

3. Don't Prepare for Sales Calls and Sales Meetings

You've talked about your products and services a million times before, so why bother preparing for sales calls and meetings? Failing to prepare can ruin your sales reputation. Hopefully, you already know your products and services inside out, but have your done your research about how your company's products can help each particular customer?

This kind of preparation takes time, but you'll get better at it with practice. Your sales reputation can really benefit from the personalized service you can offer when you take the time to adequately prepare.

4. Be Unresponsive

Answering e-mail can really be a drag sometimes, and who wants to answer work-related text messages in the evening? Like it or not, being unresponsive to e-mail and texts can ruin your sales reputation.

Sales reps sometimes make the mistake of thinking that not responding to an email means the same as saying "no" or simply telling people you're busy, but instead, it introduces ambiguity into the conversation. Your customers and co-workers may wonder if you got the message at all, and they might even surmise that you're avoiding them. Respect your customers, co-workers, and mangers by being responsive.

5. Ignore the Details

Sales can be full of details, and it's tough to keep track of everything, but your sales reputation depends on your paying attention to the small stuff. When you make lots of small mistakes, they add up over time. When you neglect to remember which customers like which products, you miss out on sales.

Sales reps who are good at details enjoy the most success. If you want to improve your sales reputation, sweat the small stuff. Make lists and set reminders if you have to, but do what it takes to remember the details.

Start today to build your sales reputation and enjoy greater success.

Find Sales Jobs

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Make Sales Recruiting Easy

  
  
  

how to make sales recruiting easySales recruiting seems like it can be a difficult job. The stakes can seem high because the risk of making the wrong hiring decision could be serious. But, believe it or not, sales recruiting doesn't have to be a big headache for you or your company. In fact, sales recruiting can even be fun and effective at the same time. Here are some tips you can implement to make this necessary task more successful and less difficult.

Refine Your Ideal

Any effort is difficult when you are not exactly sure of what your desired outcome will be. Just as you would not build a house without a blueprint, you also would not want to hire new sales people with a vague notion of the ideal candidate. Taking the time to refine the ideal sales person for your organization is an essential part of your sales recruiting effort. Once you have an idea in mind of the type of employee you want to recruit, the more you can focus your energy on finding such a person.

Use Social Media

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably at least heard about the widespread reach of social media. Today, social media platforms are one of the very best ways to extend your sales recruiting efforts to reach more potential candidates. Your efforts will likely be more successful if you cast a broad net, so you should utilize multiple social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Each of these three platforms also have the option to create specialized groups based on particular interests, so it may be useful to your sales recruiting to participate in or create such a group.

Engage in Real-Life Networking

No matter how common and effective social media tools may be, they still can't replace the benefits of real life, face to face contact. This more personal form of networking remains an important tool in your arsenal of recruitment tactics. You can look for potential new sales candidates at events like industry groups, public speaking groups like Toastmasters and even through your local chamber of commerce. Sales recruiting should always naturally occur while you are networking.

Sponsor Events

Sponsoring local events isn't just a great way to generate good publicity for your company and garner good will in your community, it's also a good sales recruiting tactic. Consider sponsorship of a local team as a way to attract new recruits. You may also want to consider sponsoring a fun community outing that will bring in a diverse cross section of community members, many of whom may be looking for their next opportunity.

Teach Seminars

Perhaps one of the best and most natural events to sponsor would be an educational and informational seminar for sales people, ideally in your industry. The seminar will help you attract the kind of candidates who are focused on remaining sharp and active in their field, and it makes them a captive audience to learn more about working for your business. Community colleges may also welcome guest instructors, which could help you find additional new recruits.

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SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Prevent a High Sales Position Turnover Rate at Your Company

  
  
  

how to prevent a high sales position turnover rate at your companyHigh sales position turnover can be a serious concern for any company. Putting aside issues of wasted hours teaching and re-teaching methods, software, and products, high turnover greatly damages the ability of a company to leverage the personal aspect of customer-salesperson relationships. Overall, it can be said that high turnover is one of the worst problems for a sales division to have--a cause for quite some concern, when you keep in mind that sales positions are prone to unusually high rates of turnover. In this article, we'll cover seven ways you can cut down on sales position turnover and start building a strong core of salespeople that will carry your company forward.

Hire With An Eye For The Future.

Hiring shouldn't be about getting the best employee for today--it should be about getting a new member for your sales team. Someone that will be a happy, productive coworker to the rest of your team. Sometimes that means hiring someone experienced that can match the rest of your team and seamlessly integrate. Other times that mean focusing on fresh graduates, so you can shape them to a unique way of doing things. 

Know Your Team Members. 

Once you have solid people in every sales position, you can start learning about them. Know who they are as employees and who they are as people. Know their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them to work hard, who they don't get along with, what they do when they get off work. By knowing your team, you can take efforts to make their work life work smoothly, their work with the team perfect, their inclination to leave zero.

Watch The Numbers. 

Numbers can tell you things about your team that you wouldn't expect. If someone has immense trouble with a particular type of work, or when working directly with a certain other team member, you need to know that and good metrics can reveal such 'hidden' information. Such problems can lead directly to high turnover--if your boss makes you do work you're terrible at, or work with people you can't stand, eventually you're going to head for the door. Happy people working to their strengths with people they like keep turnover down.

Set Expectations Properly. 

One of the lead drivers of high sales position turnover is the manager with unreasonable expectations. Goals set for a team should be challenging, so the team works hard, but something the team can hit with that extra effort--not something they'll miss often. Low morale and constant failure leads to high turnover. Especially if those failures are met with harsh words from above.

Communicate Clearly And Fairly. 

Communication from above needs to be clear and it needs to be fair. That means making sure that everyone knows what they're supposed to be doing, recognizing failures without harassing individuals, and knowing the situation 'on the ground' so that when you have something to say it's something worth saying--not 'blather' from an 'out of touch manager'. Bad communication leads to disgruntled employees, and disgruntled employees don't stay employees longer than they have to. 

Teach Your Team. 

Along with challenging but attainable work goals, you should be teaching your sales team new methods, introducing ideas they've never seen, pushing them to their full potential. This also helps with those weaknesses you've identified in getting to know your team--if you need someone doing something they're not good at, and don't want them becoming part of your sales position turnover problem, then you need to teach them to do it well. 

Compensate Appropriately. 

Compensation doesn't always mean money, especially for the best employees, the ones you wish you could pay more and know a competitor might. Benefits, access to the company car, tickets to an event and a day off to go to that event...that's the sort of compensation that keeps people around and keeps your sales position turnover rates healthy. 

How to Make Sales Compensation Work For Your Company

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Be the Worst Sales Manager in the World

  
  
  

how to be the worst sales manager in the worldSo you've given up on being the best? Realize it's easier and more fun to aim for becoming the worst sales manager in the world? Good for you, it's nice to set difficult goals and work towards them (you'll want to avoid doing that for your team in the future, though). Becoming the worst sales manager in the world isn't an easy task, however--there are many out there vying for the title, crippling their companies and making their sales teams miserable. You'll need to be truly terrible to seize the crown, but hopefully this article can get you started in the right direction with these six tips. 

Always Go With Your Gut.

'Metrics' and 'hard data' give too much insight into what a sales manager has going on. If you wanted to know all that, you'd be a member of the team, not the boss--so why read about it? Your instincts are as good as the data at least, like, 70.354% of the time anyway. Your gut, unaided by data, will lead you into easily avoided traps, get your entire team stuck in ruts with no way to identify the problem, and have you favoring subpar-but-charming team members and dressing down the disagreeable-but-excellent ones. You can't compete with that value when you're aiming for worst sales manager in the world!

Rule with Threats. 

Telling your team members that you'll fire them for little mistakes is sure to put an extra pep in their step--as they head out the door to a new employer. The ones that stay will become surly and lose respect for you and the company. That's a quick route to failure if one ever existed, so keep it up. Aggressive, hostile relationships with your team truly define a worst of the worst sales manager. Publicly embarrassing anyone that screws up works too--you might teach the team a valuable lesson by accident, but you'll mostly just tick everyone off and make them want to leave. 

Don't Bother Coaching. 

One on one coaching improves the bottom line way too much. In fact, any coaching at all might put your worst sales manager ambitions in jeopardy, so don't bother. Better to spend all your time playing secretary to your team. Fill out their paperwork, take their calls, do all the things that they could be doing but that your distrust of them requires you to do.  

Don't Stress Recruitment.

Don't take too much time looking at candidates when you're building your new team. Grabbing the guys willing to take the least money or the ones with the best pedigrees is a quick way of getting through the process, and whatever lazy metric you use to decide who to hire will inevitably pick a few terrible people, pushing you closer to your goal of being the world's worst sales manager. Maybe that excellent pedigree leads to an arrogant jerk that doesn't fit the company culture, maybe that cheap guys couldn't get jobs elsewhere because they're incompetent. 

Set Unrealistic Goals.

They' sometimes say that a sales manager should set goals that they don't expect to reach, and that's great advice for any sales manager trying to be terrible. Few things will better damage the morale of your team than constant unrealistic expectations, especially if you chew them out and ride them hard when they fail to perform. Constant failure builds character, or something. Not bottom lines, though.

Stop Learning. 

Close this website right now, it's doing you no good in your endeavors. The worst sales managers stop learning the latest sales techniques, stop keeping up with their competitor's innovations, and don’t get a head start on the next big inroads to customers. Learning is hard work, leave that to plebes--you're a sales manager and you don't have to know anything about sales anymore. The worst sales managers focus their efforts on yelling at people and dodging HR complaints.

5 Traits of a Great Sales Manager

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

3 Lessons Learned About Sales Mis-Hires

  
  
  

3 lessons learned about mishiresIt's tough to find top-performers for your company. The hiring process is fraught with landmines. It's time-consuming and expensive, and you never know if your new employee will be an asset to your company or a sales mis-hire. 

You can't just stop hiring, however, so it's wise to learn from your mis-hires and do the best you can to hire the highest performers in your industry. Before we get to three lessons you can learn from a sales mis-hire, let's discuss a few of the problems with the hiring process.

  • Recruiters don't seem to have enough good candidates
  • Resumes are full of hype
  • Reference checks don't seem to help much
  • Interviews aren't very revealing

If you've run into these problems before, take heart. There are things you can do to avoid a costly sales mis-hire this time around, and here are three of them.

Sales Mis-Hire Technique #1: Nail Down Exactly What You're Looking For

One of the biggest problems sales managers face in the hiring process is that they haven't thoroughly thought about what they're looking for. They want an employee who can come in and take care of problems, but they haven't articulated exactly what those problems are and what skills are necessary to fix those problems.

This takes some careful analysis, and you might find that it's best to get together with other managers in your company to discuss this. Charisma and likability aside, what exact skills, qualifications, and experience do you need in the position you're trying to fill? Just being able to articulate this will help you to find the right person for the job. It will also help you to write a job description that will weed out the wrong candidates and attract the right ones.

Sales Mis-Hire Technique #2: Develop Networks That Will Help You Identify Candidates

Another way to avoid a sales mis-hire is to develop networks of people who can refer excellent candidates to you. The best candidates are often working for someone else, not searching for jobs just when you need them. The only way to find such people is to know people who know them. How do you develop helpful networks to help you avoid a sales mis-hire?

  • Join LinkedIn and become an active participant
  • Join local industry groups
  • Attend sales-related conferences
  • Talk to people about your business and your open positions
  • Publish articles and then share them via social media
  • Volunteer in the local community

Sales Mis-Hire Technique #3: Ask Intellectually Honest Interview Questions

Managers often make a mistake that leads to a sales mis-hire, and that is asking typical interview questions that allow the candidate to brag about himself without giving helpful information. For example, a manager might ask a question like, "Can you tell me about a time when you were well-organized?" Of course the candidate is going to offer a glowing example of his or her organizational skills, but such a question doesn't lead to information that helps you to make a decision.

Instead, use more specific questions that force the candidate to be more thoughtful in his or her answers. For example, you could ask, "What accounts did you inherit in your last job and what accounts did you end up with? What happened in between?" This is a very specific question that will help you to understand the candidate's methods, habits, and mindset, giving you much better information for making a decision.

You can improve your chances of avoiding a sales mis-hire. By nailing down exactly what you're looking for, building your network, and asking intellectually honest interview questions, you'll get a much better idea of the kind of person you want to hire. You'll also have better discretion as you conduct interviews so you can avoid a costly sales mis-hire.

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SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Follow Up After a Good Sales Call

  
  
  

how to follow up after a good sales callFinally! A good sales call! It takes time, experience, practice, and a little bit of luck to have a good sales call, but after a successful sales call, don't just sit back and bask in the glory. You've got work to do. To capitalize on the success of your good sales call, you need to master the art of follow up.

What is Follow-up?

A follow-up is any contact you have after a good sales call to remind your prospects of you, your company, and the products or services you sell. People are bombarded with marketing every day, and if you don't set yourself apart from the others with multiple contacts, you may soon be forgotten. Following up also lets your prospects know that you're organized, professional, and willing to work hard to help them solve their problems.

There are many ways to follow up with prospects after a good sales call. Use one or more of these follow-up methods with each good sales call, and you'll find your network expanding and your sales increasing.

Send a Thank You Note

Always send a thank you note to a prospect who was gracious enough to spend time with you on the phone. Email is not the best format for thank you notes; it's too easy. Keep a stock of thank you cards and stamps in your office, and hand write thank you notes after good sales calls. Handwritten notes are so rare these days that they really get the attention of the recipient.

Schedule Follow-up in Your Calendar

After a good sales call, follow up about once a month for the next six months. So you don't forget and let someone fall through the cracks, put these follow-up times in your calendar. Calendaring software is the easiest way to track follow-up contacts.

Vary Your Follow Up

Show some creativity in your follow up and keep things varied. Call on the phone sometimes, and send an email at other times. Showing up in a person's snail mail is great, too. You can even follow up through social media. This follows the "Be Everywhere" principle of marketing and keeps you present in a prospect's mind.

Send Helpful Content

During your good sales call, you hopefully collected a little information about what a prospect is looking for or what problems he or she is facing. Follow up by sending useful articles that could help your prospect with current problems in the industry. This shows that you're really thinking about how to help.

Send Congratulations

If you see a prospect or his or her company portrayed positively in the news or online, send a note saying you were pleased to see and read about them. To find this kind of information, set up a Google Alert based on the company's or individual's name.

Make a Referral or Recommendation

Let's say that during your good sales call, a prospect tells you that he's having a hard time finding good employees. You know a fantastic HR consulting firm. Go ahead and refer your prospect to the consulting firm. You make the prospect happy. You make the consulting firm happy. And they're both happy with you. Win-win-win!

Send a Birthday Card

If you happen to have found out your prospect's birthday, go ahead and send a birthday card as a follow up. Everyone likes birthday cards. Keep track of information like birthday cards in contact software.

With a repertoire of follow-up strategies like this, you'll increase the breadth and depth of your pool of prospects, and in time, you'll also increase your sales. Prospects will come to know you as someone who cares for them as individuals and takes the time to make sure their needs are met, and this is the kind of reputation that will establish your success in the sales industry.

Job Search Readiness Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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Understanding Which Closing Strategy Works Best

  
  
  

understanding which closing strategy works bestSales reps experience the most success when they understand which closing strategy will work best in a given situation. Not all closing strategies are appropriate in all situations, and it takes experience and discretion to instinctively choose the right closing strategy for each transaction. By knowing and practicing your closing strategy options, however, you can increase your chances of making a sale.

The following is a solid, basic list of effective closing strategies that you can use in your sales appointments and meetings. Finding the strategies that work best for you will pay off hugely in the long run.

Ask Questions

After listening to a prospect's concerns and presenting your material, you can ask questions as your closing. Asking questions gives you important feedback that can help you position your product or service in the context of your potential customer's desires. Here are some questions you can use as part of your closing strategy:

  • Does this sound like something that would work for you?
  • Would this make your job easier?
  • How does this sound?
  • Would this help you to make your revenue goals?
  • Can you see this working in your operation?

These questions help your prospect to visualize how their lives would be improved with the help your products or services, and it puts the ball in their court; they have to make a decision.

Apply Time Pressure

Telling a prospect that time frame, features, or pricing may change if he or she doesn't make a decision is a more aggressive closing strategy, but it can be very effective in certain situations. Sometimes this kind of closing is called a thermometer close because you're turning up the heat. 

This closing strategy is most useful when you have a prospect who has been stringing you along, unable to make a firm decision. There are several ways you can apply time pressure. You can remind your prospect that their competitors might obtain a service or product first, creating an imbalance in the competition. You could also tell your prospect that if a sale isn't made by a certain date, his or her business goals could suffer.

Use this closing strategy wisely. It can be a turnoff if used indiscriminately, but when you use it appropriately it can lead to success.

Be Persistent

Being a sales person takes persistence, but sometimes you need to take your persistence to a higher level if you want to close a sale. To pursue a persistent close, all you do is simply continue to raise closing questions in order to get your prospect to change a "maybe" to a "yes." 

This closing strategy should only be used on prospects who are very interested by show reluctance that you can likely overcome. If you use this closing strategy with everyone, you'll soon get a reputation for being difficult or too aggressive. When the situation is right, however, persistence can be a very effective closing strategy.

Use Printed Materials

Bringing out printed company policies can be a great way to close a sale. For example, you could present a price list of volume discount schedules and say, "If you spend another $20,000, you'll get an additional 10 percent off the listed prices here." 

Printed materials bring the transaction into the here and now, the black and white. Essentially, it's saying, "Okay, we've discussed this, and now it's time to make a decision." You can also combine this with other closing strategies, like the time pressure strategy: "Our new price list is coming out next month, so I won't be able to guarantee these prices much longer."

Understand these closing strategies so you can use them well when you feel the time is right. When you're comfortable using a variety of closing strategies, you're much better able to meet your personal sales goals.

The B2B Sales Essentials Assessment

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