Top-Shelf Tip No. 199:

"The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus."

Bruce Lee

Six Ways To Break Through The Sales Barrier

How often have you invested time and attention in a potential customer only to find them dragging their feet and not committing to the sale? When you've given so much of your time to this type of prospect, it's easy to just cut bait and move on.

Instead of simply accepting those reasons and slipping away, recognize that your job is to overcome whatever objections the customer has. If everybody were ready to buy right away, sales would be easy and anybody could do it.

Danny Wong, contributor to Entrepreneur, says there are six things you can try to do to accelerate the sales process even when prospects show uncertainty and doubt, which we'll share in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Identify the deal-breakers. When customers hesitate to make a purchase, there is usually something specific that holds them up. Your first step is to find out exactly what is causing them to second-guess their decision. Ask what their "deal-breakers" are. Without this critical information, you will have no idea how to position yourself to overcome their objections.

2. Concentrate on the small victories. Getting customers to say "yes" to even just one thing is a huge achievement. Successful salespeople use this foot-in-the-door approach to seamlessly persuade prospects to commit to the sale and work around buyer hesitation.

First, do not let your prospect off the hook by allowing him or her to just agree to receive more information. Encourage the prospect to join a webinar or attend a product demonstration. Offer to send educational materials and schedule a follow-up call to see if there are any questions or comments. For the prospect's "yes" to be meaningful in terms of a future sale, he or she must show at least a small level of commitment.

3. Retry the 'needs discovery' step. The needs discovery process is arguably the most critical step in the sales cycle. Without knowing what your customer's problems are, you will have no idea whether you can solve the problems. It makes sense, then, to revisit the process of discovery if you are struggling to close the sale.

4. Prove your credibility. A good way to prove to customers that you are a valuable partner is by showing how you have helped similar customers in the past. Provide marketing materials that show your past successes, including testimonials and reviews, awards, certifications and case studies. By documenting the impact you have made on other companies, you will prove that you are the best option for them, too.

5. Leverage other decision-makers. Consider how many people your product can positively impact, and who among them has the authority to execute a purchase. If you are talking to only one or two of the people involved in the decision-making process, the odds are that you are missing somebody important. Consider engaging every decision-maker in a buying organization until you find at least one person who is excited and motivated to execute the sale. Once you have this person as your ambassador, making the sale becomes much easier.

6. Know when to cut your losses. Each customer has different needs, and your company simply may not be positioned to meet them. If a customer has deal-breakers that you cannot work through, or you have run into roadblock after roadblock, it may be time to move on.

This will save your business time and be more considerate to the prospect. Whenever possible, refer this person to a competitor who will better suit his or her needs. This will help the prospect out and build karma and goodwill you can cash in on if you are a better fit in the future.

Source: Danny Wong is an entrepreneur, marketer and writer. He is the co-founder of Blank Label, an award-winning luxury menswear company. He also leads marketing for Receiptful, a platform to supercharge all customer interactions for eCommerce stores, and Tenfold, a seamless click-to-dial solution for high-performance sales teams.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson



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