Monday, May 11, 2015

Are YOU Making the Best Moves in Developing More Sales

If you are in business then you need to be a salesman.  That applies to rural industries as well.  Whether selling beef cattle, advising farmers or dealing with agricultural input products we all need to practice selling what we do and developing our product knowledge, to customers or potential customers.

The term “born salesman” is something that gets thrown around a lot in sales circles. Very often, when we think of a successful model for selling, we think of the guy who just oozes charisma. This is the type of person that can work a room like nobody else and has prospects and referrals booking up all their available free time.

But that probably doesn’t describe 99% of people in sales positions right now, and probably does not describe you, the reader. But does that mean that all hope is lost?

Of course not! Successful salesmen are made, not born. Here are 5 habits that can make you into a highly successful salesman:
1) They use CRM Software to track prospects – This is absolutely vital in this day and age. CRM software makes it possible to keep touching the prospects at set intervals. Most salesman are horrible at following up with prospects and that’s horrible for them because sales IS a numbers game. Even if you can’t physically see the prospect to make a call, very sophisticated CRM allows you to email/direct mail at set intervals. This is automated prospecting and needs to be in any serious salesman’s arsenal.

2) They use multiple channels to keep in touch – Like I mentioned previously about CRM Software, it’s sometimes not possible to actually see a prospect. So if that’s the case, you want to make sure you place a phone call, send a note, use cross referrals from close associates, create an online presence - send an email, or write a blog. Help them with their decision making and improve your visibility.  Attacking a prospect from all angles makes you more visible without necessarily being a burden on the prospect.

3) They keep in touch with customers post-sale – Successful salesman realize that their work is not done after the big sale. After the sale is where you establish the trust of being an advisor to them.

4) They ask for referrals – Most salesmen say they ask for referrals, but very few do it effectively. Saying “I’d appreciate it if you pass the word around about me” is not asking for referrals. Be direct and to the point about who they might be able to refer to you. If you are doing a good job for them, they should be happy to refer clients to you.

5) They treat customers like gold – This should seem obvious, but it’s not always. Current customers are your #1 priority and should always remain that way. Only after you exceed the needs of your clients do you begin your prospecting. That doesn’t mean that you go overboard, but you need to make sure they are happy. Retaining customers is every bit as important, maybe even more important according to many pundits, as getting new ones.

The above tips are hardly new or amazing, but still relevant.  

If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to sales success. 

Remember that being a successful salesman does not mean that you have to charm your way into every sale, but it does mean that you’re committed to following a system that will result in more leads into your sales funnel. The more leads in the funnel and the more touches you have with that prospect, the more sales you will have. The only difficult part is keeping track of who you talked to and when, but with technology these days, there is no excuse for not following up on quality leads.

Do not forget honesty - which might mean turning a prospect away, particularly where you believe the product you have may not meet their needs.  We need to sometimes do this with our turf seed, where possible clients have unrealistic expectations or are located in areas that are unsuitable.  You can sometimes be surprised how this approach can lead to new sales, often from unexpected sources.

[partially based on an article by Leslie Neal on

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