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Top 20 sales tips for sales success

Nick Bramley posted this on

Thanks to Nick Bramley for this guest blog. Nick and Victoria Tomlinson were recently accredited as trainers by the Institute of Leadership and Management for the University of York – everyone loved Nick’s session on his 20 top sales tips and here he has kindly agreed to share them with you.

Target customers

  1. Existing Customers – it is far easier to sell products and services to existing customers than to someone you don’t have a relationship with. If you have done a good job taking care of your customer in the past, and your products have performed well for them, they are usually willing to give any addition to your product line a try.  And because the relationship is in place, far less selling is required. Have or create an active existing customer engagement strategy.
  2. Dormant Customers – re-contact customers who have not purchased from your company for a period of time and find out why. There is often a 20%+ uplift in sales from an active revisit strategy.
  3. Lost Pitches or Proposals – if you lose out on a piece of work remember to keep in touch with the company, ask them how they are getting on with their new provider and identify new sales opportunities. A targeted follow up call 6 months after the contract has been awarded will highlight any under-performance and any opportunities for you.
  4. Networking – choose the right networking events, get your elevator pitch right and start building relationships.
  5. Data Management – either buy data or research a list of prospective customers yourself and then use it! Keep it clean for re-use later.
  6. Research and Reading – keep abreast of what’s happening in your sector and the sector that your target customers operate in; read local press, trade press, subscribe to newsletters, talk to your contacts – it will help you discover who’s in the market for your product or service.
  7. Antenna – whether it’s van spotting or looking out for companies expanding into new premises put your radar on high alert and look around you for new opportunities. Challenge your team to open their eyes and ears too – the impact can be significant.
  8. Telesales/Cold Calling – this requires specialist skill, so if this tactic is appropriate for your business consider employing an agency or trained individual.
  9. Direct Mail/E-shot – keep it focused, interesting and creative and this can work wonders.
  10. Advertise – keep it relevant and advertising can provide a great return on investment.
  11. PPC/Google Adwords – take specialist advice and this can help you attract more customers to your website.
  12. App Development – an App can be a great way to make it easier for customers to buy from you but is not always the right route just because it is new and fresh. Will it drive sales or at least generate qualified enquiries?
  13. Conferences/Seminars – excellent opportunities to spend time with like-minded people and get networking. Have a plan and execute it – stay off your phone at the breaks and talk to fellow delegates.
  14. Speaker Opportunities – and to really raise your profile, why not put yourself forward as a speaker at a conference or seminar?
  15. Exhibitions – can be hit or miss but attend the right exhibitions, plan your time well, capture data and follow up any sales leads and you can’t go wrong.
  16. Strategic Alliances and Affiliates – consider working with companies that offer a complementary product or service to you and show how you can offer your customers added value.
  17. Referrals – never ask for a referral too early, they need to have experienced your product or service, not just the promise of what it will do – timing is everything. Make sure you ask for referrals when your customers are most delighted with you and invest time educating those people you think would be best placed to refer you to potential customers – and don’t forget to reciprocate!
  18. Social Media – in the B2B world Twitter and LinkedIn provide excellent sales and relationship building opportunities for you to exploit. Take advice, get trained but get going……
  19. Targeted PR – an effective PR campaign will help to build your brand and manage your reputation. Make sure that you have a measure of success and expectations of any external agency you may engage.
  20. Active Local Engagement & Presence – How does your premise look to passing potential customers? Is it clear what you offer in terms of advantages of a relationships? Do you make it easy to do business with passers-by and neighbours?

Finally I would advise to get involved in local issues, events, sponsor something, like a local sports team or arts event . Low cost exposure to a local market means you get a lot of free PR.

Have you got any sales tips to share that were successful?

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