I was trained to sell in the early 1990’s under an amazing salesperson Kathleen. Before the internet. I have been selling over 30 years and always go back to my early training in sales. I know things have changed but here are some basic old school tips to help you become a better sales person.
1. Answer Your Phone And Talk Live
My husband drives me crazy because he will not answer his business phone, and he has lost sales because of avoiding customers. If you want the deal, it’s simple, answer your phone and talk to the person. Not text, not email but talking over the phone. That is why the phone was invented at first. Now sometimes you cannot answer the phone at the moment. Do not be rude and answer the phone if you are in a meeting. But be sure to return the call immediately after you are done with your appointment.
2. Be The First One In The Office
We all know the saying the early bird gets the worm. Well, it’s true. My mentor Kathleen would always go into work before the other workers, and just because she answered the phone, she would get new clients all the time. She also taught me that if you answer the phone early in the morning and another salesperson client calls in. When they start asking questions, you could care less about their event. Just explain you are the cleaning lady and can only take a name and number.
3. Be The Last One To Leave The Office
Same concept as number 2. I used to stay late because I was always the last one to work. It was amazing how many events I would pick up because the secretary was not at the front desk to rotate new calls. I usually picked up personal events and weddings. Most workers could not make personal calls during work hours, so it was a great way to increase my sales. And yes, I did you the line. “Sorry, I am just the cleaning lady” when I did not want to spend 30 minutes on the phone answering questions about another event.
4. Return Calls Within a 3 hours
If you do not return your calls promptly, your client will go elsewhere and buy. So keep on top of your messages. I have taken calls from 6 am until midnight.
5. If You Do Not Not Know The Answer...Do Not Make One Up
Storytelling has a time and place. For example, you are watching a play, reading a book, or having a bedtime story being told. The one pace storytelling does not have a place in is sales deals or anywhere in the business world. It comes off as a lie. If you do not know the answer to your client’s question, be honest. Tell them you need to do some research to get the correct information. That is ok not to know everything, and a client will appreciate your honesty. If you do need to research a question, be sure to contact your client as soon as possible with the correct information.
6. Do Not Flirt With Your Customer
Flirting can lead to other things which can get you fired. So always be professional and not flirt with your client. You should have enough confidence in yourself and your product to close a sale without having to lower your standards.
7. Do Not Lie To You Customers
I can imagine this salesman above saying, “My fish was this big.” Today it is a transparent world. If you tell your clients lies, not only will you lose the sale, you get a bad reputation. Being dishonest will affect your ability to work with an A+ company. So unless you want to sell Cutco Knives door to door, be honest and trustworthy.
8. Dress Appropriatly To Meet With Your Client
As we can see above, three ladies. Imagine they are all high school teachers at an all-boys Catholic School. Can you imagine the stir the one lady would bring in the classroom? Dress for your audience. If you are going to a law firm, make sure you wear a suit. If you are meeting at a factory meeting with a warehouse manager may choose nice dress pants and a dress shirt. If you are unsure who you are meeting with, it is better to overdress than underdress. But you should do your homework and know who you are meeting. Luckily today we have the internet to find out for you. And remember, girls, leggings are NOT dress pants..
9. Bring A Gift or Sample To Your Meeting
I worked in the world of special events. There was a lot of competition, especially in the 1990s. Companies had a lot of money to spend, and every event planner wanted to close the sale. So you had to make yourself stick out was bringing trays of assorted desserts, Starbucks drinks, lunches, etc. Clients appreciate a small gesture. And when I mean tiny, I mean gifts under $25, not cash but something thoughful.
10. Send A Hand Written Thank You Note After Your Meeting
Whether a text, email, or better yet, a handwritten note will make you stand out above the competition. Let the client know you appreciated them taking the time to meet with you to hear what you have to sell them. Trust me, that always makes you memorable.