A few months ago, I read SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham, founder of the Huthwaite Corporation. It is the most deeply researched book you can possibly find on sales, analyzing the results of 35,000 sales calls to discern best practices over the years. This book introduced me to both the art and science behind sales. And since then, I have realized there is a lot to learn about perfecting sales.
Throughout the summer, I have spent a lot of time strengthening my skillset in sales and wanted to share a few best practices that have really worked for me:
- Listen more than you talk - Listen to the customers’ needs. Listen to their stories, complaints, praises, and everything in between. Use full-body listening even over the phone in order to truly understand what the customer cares about.
- Focus on the positive - Customers don’t like to talk with anyone who is bored, apathetic, and negative. They will not want to stay on the phone with you, let alone be sold on your product. Customers will want to get excited about your product and company if you’re excited. So be positive and excited.
- Be honest - On the flipside to the point above, if your company can’t or won’t do something, be upfront with the customer about it. Don’t make any false promises now if you want to avoid angry customer calls later.
- Thank the customer – Show your appreciation as much as you can to the customer so he/she keeps coming back. Treat your customer as well as you would treat your best friend.
- Measure, measure, measure - Know how many e-mails you’re sending, calls you’re making, and deals you’re closing. By tracking the funnel, you’ll be able to measure your improvements (or declines) and know what are the driving factors behind those changes. You’ll get great insight and stay motivated to hustle.