For example, successful salespeople are often empathetic. Erica Feidner, named one of the ten greatest salespeople of all time by Inc., was known for inspiring customers’ musical ambitions while selling pianos. She not only sold a product; she cared about her clients’ end goals.
Here are some more traits top salespeople share:
Responsibility. Top salespeople take responsibility for their products, processes and performance. When something goes wrong to affect a sale, they skip the excuses to find a solution, either independently or by talking with their manager and peers.
Ambition. The best salespeople aim high and know that falling short doesn’t always mean failure. They use carefully planned strategies to achieve lofty goals and learn from the process.
Tenacity. Great salespeople never take no for an answer. They’re ready to overcome adversity and look for solutions. Tenacious salespeople don’t win every deal but they see objections as opportunities.
Trainability. Even after achieving goals, leading salespeople want to do better. They seek new, creative ways to improve their skills and learn from any source. The passion for self-improvement extends beyond office hours for these people.
Empathy. The ability to care about leads’ problems and goals helps salespeople build strong connections, making conversions more likely. Empathetic sales reps regularly put themselves in buyers’ shoes, whether it’s a lead they’re trying to convert or an ideal customer they need to understand.
Process flexibility. High-performing reps know that sales is as much a science as an art. They appreciate that well-refined processes make selling easier and trust their leaders’ sales strategies. They can also adapt their approach to different situations and challenge established processes when necessary.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses, then look into sales courses where you may need further support to reach your career potential.
Salespeople need to be genuinely curious about their prospects. They need to not only ask questions but make the questions sincere and provide feedback as to why they are asking the question so it doesn’t come off too ‘salesy’
Here are five of the best sales tips for anyone starting their career.
1. Know your product inside out
Confidence comes from understanding what you’re selling. Know your product’s features and (more importantly) its benefits so you can address customer questions with authority, instill trust and increase your chances of closing a sale.
If feasible, trying the product is the fastest and most natural way to become an expert.
2. Leave your comfort zone
Growth happens outside your comfort zone. By pushing yourself, you’ll overcome obstacles, learn new techniques and develop your sales skills, which are vital for long-term success.
Speak to as many different types of customers as you can. If you regularly work on deals via phone, push yourself to attend in-person sales meetings to hone your face-to-face communication skills.
3. Respect gatekeepers
Receptionists and assistants (the gatekeepers you speak to before reaching a decision-maker) can be powerful allies when you treat them respectfully. Positive relationships can unlock valuable information and doors that might otherwise stay closed.
Use gatekeepers’ names in conversation and ask how they are before pushing to speak to anyone else.
Learning from other salespeople’s experiences can fast-track your development. Seasoned reps and managers have valuable insights and lessons to share to help you avoid common pitfalls and repeat successful strategies.
Speak or sit with different teams and vary your mentors to collect diverse sales tips.
5. Respect your competitors
Healthy competition keeps you sharp and innovative. Acknowledging your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses allows you to position your product effectively, differentiate your approach and improve your sales techniques.
Sign up to competitors’ email newsletters and interact with them at sales events. You’ll gain industry knowledge and make useful connections.
Sales tips for effective prospecting
Pipedrive’s The State of Sales and Marketing 2021/22 report highlights that prospecting is the second-most time-consuming sales task after selling itself. Here are some salesperson tips to get it right.
6. Get to know your marketing team
Regular contact between sales and marketing aligns both teams’ efforts for better results. Together, they create cohesive lead-generation campaigns that resonate with their target audience, leading to more effective prospecting.
Arrange regular catch-ups and add your company’s marketers to your instant messaging channels for quick questions and rapport-building.
Having a CRM and email marketing in one tool has accelerated the preparation of campaigns, as there is no extra data export/import necessary.
Viktors PedčenkoCEO, Trainify
7. Ask for referrals
Satisfied customers will introduce you to valuable leads, as referrals carry a level of trust that’s hard to build through other means.
Word of mouth needs help to spread effectively. Ask people to tell colleagues, friends and family about your company or product. Give them business cards, brochures or other sales collateral to share and offer referral discounts if your company allows them.
Experiencing the purchase process from a prospect’s point of view can help you tailor your sales pitches while building trust.
Learn what your target customers consider important by signing up for sales demos and reading their content. If it’s affordable and practical, try their product before selling your own – it’ll loosen the seller-buyer dynamic and strengthen your relationship.
For example, if you sell to a software company, create a free account with them or start a trial. It’ll be a great ice-breaker for your early conversations.
9. Swap leads with colleagues when you’re hitting walls
Fresh eyes will bring new insights to a stalled deal. Your colleagues might offer unique perspectives or suggest alternative approaches to help you with prospecting.
Knowing your ideal customer’s sector will help you understand their pain points, giving you a head start in sales conversations.
Consider how someone in your target audience might stay on top of industry trends and follow suit. Industry reports, newsletters, LinkedIn communities and events all help.
Sales tips for efficient communication
Communication is at the heart of all successful transactions, collaborations and customer relationships. Here are some tips for connecting with buyers and colleagues.
11. Be ready to go off-script
It’s good to know what you’ll say in sales conversations; however, going off-script allows you to tailor your communication to each potential customer’s needs.
Adaptability shows potential customers you’re engaged, attentive and genuinely interested in their problems. Be an active listener and keep interactions with new customers natural to build trust and forge relationships.
Recording sales meetings (with permission) allows you to focus on conversations instead of taking notes. You can use an app like Fireflies to transcribe the audio efficiently afterward.
12. Get comfortable with silence
Silence during conversations encourages prospects to reflect and elaborate on their key points, often leading to more meaningful conversations and insights.
Instead of always being eager to keep discussions flowing, give people time to think and respond thoughtfully. This trick can also make internal conversations and meetings more productive.
13. Use a grammar checker to avoid mistakes
Error-free written communication demonstrates professionalism.
Writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. However, running emails and messages through a grammar-checking tool, like Grammarly, will weed out mistakes that might undermine your credibility.
Note: Grammarly is available as a desktop app, mobile app and browser plugin.
14. Use prospects’ preferred communication channels
Prospects will get back to you if it’s easy for them to do it. Interact with potential clients where they’re most comfortable, whether via email, phone, in-person or social media.
Ask for each lead’s communication preferences early on so you get it right and keep a record in your CRM for other users to see, in case they need to step in.
15. Avoid generic email subject lines
Engaging email subject lines grab prospects’ attention and increase the likelihood of them reading your messages.
Avoid overused phrases such as “just checking in”, “hi…” and “don’t miss out on this deal” because they are impersonal and won’t tempt the reader into opening the email.
Aim to intrigue instead – something like “[their company name] x [your company name]” sets a collaborative tone from the start.
16. Keep your cold email subject lines short
Snappy subject lines grip attention quickly, especially those containing personal information and numbers.
For example: “[their company name] x [your company name]” is more interesting than “Let’s have a chat about [their company name] and [your company name] potentially working together”.
Keep your subject lines under seven words so they appear in full on mobile screens. You can use an email subject line testing tool, like Send Check It, to see how the text will appear on desktop and mobile screens.
Here are three ways to make your sales and team meetings more productive.
17. Delay your follow-up email (in the right situations)
If you know a contact is forgetful but are confident they’re interested, create space between your meetings and follow-up emails. That way, if they forget to get back to you, the message will put your offering back in their mind without it coming across like a nag.
Open with, “It was great chatting with you” or similar to keep your tone natural and warm.
18. Write down meeting attendees’ names
Once you arrive at a sales meeting, discreetly note down all attendees’ names in order of where they’re sitting. You’ll learn them faster so you can personalize your interactions for the rest of the meeting.
19. Publicize your calendar to avoid scheduling ping-pong
Share your calendar via email or a third-party tool like Calendly to skip the back-and-forth of scheduling.
Analyze your performance to learn which parts of your sales process need the most attention.
If you qualify plenty of leads but struggle to close sales, you should work on your negotiation skills. If it’s the other way around, practice cold calling and outreach to find new opportunities.
Note: Peer-to-peer feedback is useful for spotting weaknesses in your sales game. Arrange with colleagues and your manager to swap honest assessments and advice.
23. Work with your peers
Collaboration fuels innovation. Share ideas and experiences with colleagues to find new ways of solving common sales problems.
If you don’t have time for regular in-person meetings, create a dedicated ideas channel in your instant messaging tool, intranet or email client and encourage people to share their tried-and-tested tactics.
Sales tips for closing deals
Closing a deal is one of the best feelings in sales. Experience it more often with these tips.
24. Keep colleagues looped in with a CRM
Smooth handoffs ensure deals don’t fall through the cracks when someone takes time off, becomes ill or gets too busy.
Skip the printed handovers in favor of a CRM system. A tool like Pipedrive acts as a central hub for your contact data so authorized staff members have all the info they need to pick up deals from colleagues at short notice.
Concessions allow you to tailor your offers to fit each prospect’s needs.
Discounts often help persuade leads to buy from you but you can also offer bonus products, exclusive content and extended warranties to help potential customers with their buying decisions.
26. Put value before features
Tell leads how your product will impact their lives rather than just providing a list of features. The real value lies in outcomes and envisioning them is a key part of buyers’ decision-making processes.
Find out what happy customers value most, then highlight those aspects when speaking to similar buyers. Set reminders to check in with recent converts – you can receive mobile and email activity reminder notifications in Pipedrive.
27. Offer to amend your contracts
Being willing to adjust contract terms (e.g., subscription lengths) shows buyers that you desire to find a mutually beneficial solution.
If you don’t have the authority to adjust terms, offer to take requests to your sales leader or legal department. Even a willingness to try can improve your relationship.
28. List common objections and practice responses
Anticipate leads’ concerns and practice your responses so you can handle objections confidently and guide conversations toward positive outcomes.
Record the objections you hear most and note whenever you overcome one. Ask colleagues for their advice on addressing specific concerns. You can build a library of sales enablement material to better equip yourself and other reps.
Sales tips for improving productivity
Most sales professionals juggle several tasks, from lead qualification and account management to prospecting and selling.
Work through your to-do lists faster with these productivity tips.
29. Set unusual meeting times
Most team and sales meetings run for 30 minutes or one hour by default. Create more time in your day by choosing non-standard lengths like 25 or 45 minutes.
If you can stick to these slightly shorter times without compromising on meeting content, you’ll free yourself and others up to write follow-up emails, debrief or make notes.
30. Automate basic tasks
Use sales technology, like CRM software, to automate routine tasks such as sending email follow-ups, scheduling sales calls and exporting useful data to other business areas.
Workflow automation reduces human error and gives you more time to plan successful sales strategies, build profitable relationships and close deals.
Note: Survey your team to identify repetitive tasks, then look for software to automate the most time-consuming work.
31. Allocate time to workload management
Sales leaders are responsible for managing their teams’ workloads (and can use Pipedrive to do it) but reps at all levels can organize their day-to-day task lists. Doing so will ensure you give the appropriate time to the most important tasks, improving your overall productivity.
If handwritten to-do lists don’t do it for you, try a project management tool instead. Apps like Trello, Asana and Notion all have unique benefits and most offer free trials.
Long, profitable customer relationships are the ultimate aim for businesses in all industries. Here are four tips to help you build them.
32. Be helpful even if a prospect doesn’t want to buy
Long-term business-customer relationships don’t always start with a sale. Provide value and assistance without any immediate expectations to earn buyers’ trust. Even if they don’t buy now, they could recommend you to someone else or become a client in the future.
33. Involve yourself in post-sale relationships
Staying engaged after you close a deal shows your commitment to the customer’s success and reinforces their decision to choose your product.
Also, use client testimonials from happy and unhappy customers to refine your sales pitch. Emphasize the positive factors and address the negative ones.
34. Own up to mistakes
The best salespeople take responsibility for their mistakes. Owning up when you’ve given a lead inaccurate information or forgotten to return their call shows integrity, which enhances trust.
Dishonesty is likely to smudge any chance of a long-term relationship and could land you in trouble with your employer.
Addressing prospects by name during conversations demonstrates attentiveness and respect, contributing to a positive rapport that moves deals faster.
Also, when you use someone’s name, you will likely remember it.
Sales tips for solid leadership
A sales team is only as effective as its manager. Learn how to lead your reps to success with these tips.
36. Monitor industry and audience trends
Continuous learning ensures you stay current on industry trends, challenges and customer behaviors. You’ll always relate to and communicate effectively with your team members and their clients.
Use a range of learning channels to keep your managerial development fresh and exciting and use what you learn to provide a regular “sales tip of the day”.
37. Open yourself up to communication
Be accessible through a range of communication channels so your reps can reach you easily. It will help them to feel supported so they can do their jobs confidently.
Once you’ve opened the channels, encourage people to use them. Reps should feel comfortable raising issues and inefficiencies without fear of criticism.
38. Offer solutions over criticism
When addressing challenges, focus on finding solutions instead of criticizing the people involved. A friendly approach fosters a positive team environment and encourages collaboration.
39. Lead by example
Actions will inspire your team better than any reward or speech. Demonstrate dedication, exemplary behavior and a strong work ethic to set the tone for your team’s performance.
When you make a mistake, own it. Team members will feel comfortable raising issues and ideas if they see their sales manager’s human side.
40. Speak up for and represent your team
Supporting and celebrating your team’s efforts boosts morale and fosters unity, especially when the acknowledgment is public. Use company-wide meetings to praise your best performers and advocate for your reps’ needs.
Maintaining strong relationships with your own manager and other department heads will get you the recognition and resources you need.
The best sales tips can make selling easier for reps and managers at any level.
Bookmark this article and use it as a cheat sheet when you’re short on ideas, returning to the role after time out or coaching someone else. While they’re no substitute for training and experience, our sales tricks will help you achieve sales success faster.
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