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Most successful sellers and consultants believe that the key to their success is the ability to communicate effectively with clients, and to develop and grow strong relationships with them. They shift focus from price charged to value provided by using processes, skills and tools to sell more profitably, confidently and professionally. Here are a few ideas that you can consider for your business:

  1. Almost all buyers want something more than cheap price. Hence, you must sell all three dimensions of value – the product, your company and yourself.
  2. Invest time in both offensive and defensive selling activities. Offensive selling is the new business activities that you pursue, while defensive selling is the existing business you protect.
  3. Select the criteria that define good business for your company and decide which business to pursue and which not to pursue.
  4. Especially in industrial and institutional selling, penetrate your customers early enough to help buyers write specs, deep enough to create pull for your ideas and high enough to generate funding for your solution.
  5. Be aware of the pain areas and pressure points for the buyers and shift the focus of your sales presentation to value added and pain mitigation to avoid price objections.
  6. No matter how tempting it is, avoid disparaging the competition. Instead, point out how your solution is unique (which is the competition’s weakness) and the buyer will respect your approach.
  7. Become a valuable resource to your customers by understanding their business and helping them grow and run it more efficiently.
  8. Plan your sales call by asking yourself four key questions: What do I want to ask the buyer? What do I want to tell the buyer? What obstacles am I likely to face? What action do I want from the customer at the end of the call?
  9. Respect the buyer’s priorities and interaction style. Some prefer to socialize while others like to get down to business straightaway.
  10. Consider objections to be a natural step in the sales process. It could be a legitimate concern or a hidden resistance masked by an excuse. Root out the reason and resolve it to the buyers satisfaction.
  11. Follow through on your promises and seek permission from the buyer to follow-up on his commitments to ensure seamless execution of orders.
  12. Design and compose your sales letters carefully. Be concise, complete, clear, courteous and correct. A good sales letter offers you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd since very few sales people use them effectively.
  13. Work as hard to keep your customer’s business as you did to get the business originally. It might help to treat them as prospects because they are …. for your competition.
  14. Expand your business by asking existing customers for names of other people you could serve. Use referral selling to take the chill and fear out of the cold call.
  15. Organizational excellence is the natural outcome of individual and team excellence. The way you and your internal colleagues interact with each other and with your customers will define the productivity and growth opportunities for your Company.

Mr. Vincent D’Silva, Faculty – Indo-American Society for Corporate Training Programmes.