selling tips: how to stay top of the pile in sales

Every salesperson knows that there are good months and bad months in sales. The team leader board that decorates every sales office is a constant reminder that you are only as good as your last sale.

Improve in these three areas to ensure your name is top of the list and the commission keeps rolling in. 

Know what a client wants
It is good to identify how clients like to communicate. While some prefer the old fashioned telephone and meeting approach others favour quick email communications. Isobel Loch, strategic account manager at Randstad explains “Clients like competent, consistent and credible salespeople.” To demonstrate this to clients Isobel advises gathering all the facts before offering solutions and offer solutions that are relevant.

On meeting with clients Anne Creeley, strategic account manager at Randstad advises, those working in sales to “Always thank clients for the meeting - after the first meeting I always post a letter.” 

Prep, prep and more prep
Having an agenda and action log for meetings are always key to a good client meeting. Long gone are the days of heavy A4 brochures and fancy marketing literature as most industries will have cut back on these to save costs and to fit in with the digital age.

However, good quality material and a well thought out proposal go along way. There are plenty of free online tools now that salespeople can access if they don’t have access to traditional documents. Good salespeople will need to do what they say they will do by an agreed time so working to deadlines is important, a missed deadline can be the difference between a deal or no deal.

Keep in contact and carry on
Constant review of your new and existing client base will start to provide useful insights into behaviour and patterns that can help plan sales. Heard of the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule?

As a common rule of thumb in business; 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients. Therefore focus on the core area where sales are coming from and touch base with your cold list on a regular basis. However Anne explains that is important to not over look opportunities. She advises to “follow every lead given to you even if it seems only a very small opportunity - these can quickly grow.” 

Let me (occasionally) entertain you
Over the past 20 years, when it comes to client entertaining things have changed. Budgets have tightened, clients have less free time to go out, and corporate gift policies can prevent either the salesperson from giving away a pair of tickets or the client from receiving them (or both). And then there’s the fact that so much business is done digitally these days. This means when it comes to sales traditional tactics are required to stay in touch.

“Keep in regular contact with all your main clients as  they move jobs and can open up other opportunities for you. I have some contacts that I have dealt with for over 20 years,” Anne recommends. 

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