The new year has arrived, and business owners and sales teams everywhere are finding ways to turn over a new leaf. While you may have personal goals to exercise more often, cut back on fast food or learn a new language, what New Year’s resolutions have you made to be more successful in the coming months? Should improving your sales strategy be at the top of the list?
Being an effective salesperson is a skill that requires dedication. Now’s the perfect time to rethink (and update) your sales strategies to pave the way for more profits in the new year. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Learn how to prospect
Prospecting doesn’t just mean cold calling. Try new methods to reach potential customers. Some ideas could be emailing, leveraging social media or even networking at industry events to gauge interest in your building products.
Richard Stephens, director and co–founder of Angelfish Marketing, a Cheltenham based digital marketing agency, offers greater insight. He says, “In the past 40 years, a variety of more effective alternatives have emerged. While it’s likely naive to say cold calling is never effective, useful, or necessary, it’s crucial to elevate the rest of your prospecting strategy so it’s never your go-to tactic.”
Take time to build a connection
Sales is a human business. While it’s true that great building materials sell themselves, there should be a trusted source to facilitate the transaction and answer questions. These reasons, among others, is why it’s imperative to build a solid rapport with your customers.
In order to make lasting professional relationships, it’s important to: listen; understand customers’ and their needs; show respect; be knowledgeable; have patience; and remember you’re playing the long game. That connection, beyond the transaction, brings customers back and builds a solid relationship.
Acquaint your customers with products that complement each other. Often these are products that relate to or match the ones a customer is already interested in purchasing. For building product manufacturers, complementary building materials mean suggesting bathroom faucets along with sinks or exterior flood lights along with pathway lights.
On manufacturer websites, it’s common to find complementary products displayed in either horizontal or vertical banners on the product page along with options to purchase with a single click. To maximize complementary products, offer the widest product quantity range possible. Not only will your website be more eye-catching, but it also increases the likelihood that you’re able to heavily influence the buyer journey.
Laughter doesn’t just improve heart health, relieve stress and clear the mind, it’s also a tactic for builds relationships (which is paramount in sales). When customers feel happy, they’re more likely to buy. Using humor to relax tensions helps lower their guard and allows them to open their minds to you and your products.
Think about gently and briefly joking with customers. When it’s executed best, humor combines professionalism with friendship. Andrew Tarvin—comedian, humor speaker, and author of Humor that Works: The Missing Skill for Success and Happiness at Work recommends limiting self-deprecating humor. He says, “Self-deprecating humor is appropriate if you are in a high-status position and are perceived to have high status. It is good to use sparingly.”
Perfect the upsell
Upselling is a strategy that encourages customers to select and purchase higher-end and more expensive versions of a product they’re already interested in acquiring. Upselling may have the connotation of being somewhat self-serving, but that’s not the case. By taking someone from a basic model to one with more features, you’re not only increasing your bottom line, you’re helping your customer reach their goals with a better product experience.
To ethically upsell, consider the following: What do your customers need? Build a rapport and avoid strong-arm tactics. Never oversell or mislead. Stay honest.
When customers are presented with products that meet their needs from a trusted brand, they’re more likely to purchase. That’s because at the end of the day people want to do business with people that they like. Make it a pleasure to do business with you by being authentic.
Today, selling functions as a dialogue between buyers and sellers, which means it’s easier than ever to spot a shady deal or dealer. Be empathetic to their pain points. Be honest about what you know (and perhaps more importantly) what you don’t. If a customer asks a question that you aren’t entirely sure about, say so. Offer your expertise, and then offer to gather more information. If possible, bring in someone with more expertise to weigh in.
Doing so could not only save the sale, but also increase your and your company’s rapport with the customer. You also have the added benefit of learning something new yourself.
Create a memorable experience
The in-person and online experience offered by building product manufacturers should be one that is both impactful and memorable. Ask yourself, how you are offering an experience to your customers that makes them want to shop with you again and again and again? Afterall, the long-lasting companies don’t only exist to make profit, they’re just as driven by providing the best product they can. It’s what keeps them in business, and that’s what translates into profits.
By implementing new techniques (or just brushing up on the ones you already have), you’ll find yourself renewing your passion for sales. When customers feel your energy and get excited about what you have to offer, they’re more likely to specify and buy your building products. Leave every customer with positive vibes and they’ll keep coming back.