Whether we admit it or not, everyone can learn something new especially when it comes to sales. We sat down with our team to draw from the 100+ people years of sales experience. Through the years we’ve all collected some useful tips, tricks and best practices from sales experts. We culminated these ideas into a list of sales tips for business to business (B2B) sales. This is the first installment of our Sales Tips series.
Sales Tip #1 – Always get a business card
When you’re in a face-to-face meeting with a prospect it’s good to know who was in your meeting when it’s time to follow up. We’d estimate about 60% of the time the people in the meeting don’t have a business card with them. This is especially true in technical meetings. You’d be lucky if the Engineer handed you their last business card crinkled up in their wallet. As a handy tip, give the person your business card, flip it over to the blank side, then ask them to throw their contact information on the back so you know who’re you’re talking to. They’ll always do it, it would be rude not to. Now you’ve got their phone and/or email for follow up and you’ve taught them to bring their cards next time.
Sales Tip #2 – Use the phone
In today’s internet-age we’re inundated with real-time communication devices such as tablets and mobile phones. The availability of communication devices makes it’s easier to use electronic communication such as text, chatting, or emailing over talking. Don’t lose sight of how business people used to communicate “back in the day”, over the good old telephone. Resist temptation to send an email to a client or prospect. Digital communication lacks feeling, tonality and full-duplex communication – its 1s and 0s and nothing in between. Pick up the phone and make a call. You might learn something else you couldn’t learn from sending an email.
Sales Tip #3 – Nurture prospects
Sales wins usually don’t happen overnight, unless the occasional blue bird comes in. The information-age drives businesses to publish content on the web, which enables your clients and prospects access to more data and research. More research stretches out sales cycles. Develop a process to nurture your leads. Enlist help from marketing to tag team efforts and leverage technology such as lead nurturing to automatically stay in touch with your prospects to keep your funnel active.
Sales Tip #4 – Choose seating wisely
We’re all human, unless you’re working with a “sales machine” – we know a few. Our human nature is to work in groups/packs with people we’re familiar with. The next time you’re in a meeting with a client or prospect watch where their employees site. They’ll usually sit together on the same side of the table. Break up the party, before everyone sits down grab a seat next to the first person that sits down, not your colleague. If you’re traveling with colleagues ask them to sit across from you or next to another employee of your client/prospect. Breaking up groups will drive more interaction during your meetings.
Sales Tip #5 – Let the prospect talk first
As sales people, we tend to speak more than we listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more than you speak, especially in the first meeting. Prior to the meeting remind yourself you’ll let your prospect talk first. You’ll come off as easy going and demonstrate strong listening skills. Most people love to talk about themselves or their situation. Seize the opportunity and give your clients the floor first.
Grabbing a business card (even if it’s your own), using the phone, nurturing prospects, choosing seats wisely, and letting prospects speak first are five sales tips to consider. Our goal is to continue to publish sales tips in groups of five as part of this series. Each tip may not apply to you, but we hope you can take away at least one thing.
We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. What are your sales tips?
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