Secrets to Soaring Sales

Ask for Referrals When You Follow Up, Too

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For the past couple of days, I’ve talked about asking for a referral with every sale. Now let’s combine this technique with another one previously covered to create a really powerful referral system.

I previously talked about why you should follow up with a thank you after each sale; people generally suffer buyer’s remorse immediately after a sale, and you’ll drastically decrease the rate of returns/refunds with a simple thank you reassuring your client of their wise investment.

But also ask for referrals in that “thank you” card. Leave your business card in the thank you note. Let them know who appreciative you are for the sale, and how much you’d appreciate sales from their friends, family, and colleagues.

Politely Asking for a Referral

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I mentioned yesterday that you should ask for a referral with every sale. I know some salespeople, though, are hesitant to do so because they’re afraid that they’ll come off as pushy or aggressive in doing so.

It doesn’t have to be pushy. Just say “Hey, if you had a good experience working with me today, I’d really appreciate it if you had your friends call me if they need help with a purchase.” Then give your business card.

That’s it. Nothing pushy. Nothing aggressive. And if they did enjoy working with you (which they should if you did everything right up to that point), then they likely will refer others they know to you.

Ask for a Referral with Every Sale!

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If you don’t ask for referrals, boy are you leaving a ton of money on the table. The value of even a small number of referrals can be enormous.

Let’s say you’re a realtor and your average commission per sale is $5,000. If you get just two successful referrals per month, that means you’ve made an extra $120,000 for the year!

Even if your commissions are more modest, let’s say $200 per sale, if you get one more successful referral per week, and you work 50 weeks in a year, you’ve just made yourself $10,000 extra for the year! And if you can get one successful referral per day, then suddenly your income has shot up by $50,000.

And the best part is that you don’t have to work any more hours! You’re making more money for doing the same amount of work!

Referrals are a great way to bring in some extra cash. Make sure to ask for them after each and every sale.

Once You Ask for a Sale, Keep Quiet!

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Far too often, I hear salespeople ask for a sale, and then when the prospect hesitates, they try to fill the silence with God knows what.

Hesitation on the part of the prospect is natural, especially if you sell high-priced items. If you did your job right, you probably gave the prospect a lot to consider, so let him or her consider! Give the prospect a moment to think things over, and wait until they fill the silence.

Don’t interpret the silence as doom and gloom. They may come back to you with an objection, but they may also come back to you with a “Yes! I’ll take it!” Silence can mean many things, so don’t try to interpret it yourself; wait for your prospect to fill the silence, and then he or she will tell you exactly what the silence means.

Don’t Be Afraid to Close

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I previously wrote about why you should avoid moving into your close too quickly; the flip side of this, though, is that you shouldn’t be afraid to close, either!

I see way too many salespeople bungle a sale simply because they never move into their close. They just keep talking or asking questions or doing anything other than closing! Although you shouldn’t be quick to move to your close, you shouldn’t be afraid to close, either!

Once you start picking up some signals from your prospect that they’re interested in buying, ask them if they would like to make the purchase. You don’t have to be pushing about it (in fact, I’d recommend not being pushy about it). Just ask the question.

It’s not pushy to do so. It’s not dirty to do so. Everybody expects you to ask for the sale; after all, you’re a salesperson! Doing so brings closure to the experience, and results in your commission check being written!

Follow Up After Your Sale

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Right after you make a sale, you should immediately send a thank you note to your client. The thank you note should reaffirm to your client that he or she made a good investment when he or she chose to buy your product or service.

Why? Because immediately after the sale is when clients are most likely to suffer “buyers’ remorse.” They’re most likely to feel that your product or service wasn’t worth it. If these thoughts are allowed to fester, it will only result in discontent in your product or service which could lead to the client asking for a refund, or simply deciding not to purchase anything else for you.

A simple thank you note that reminds your clients why their investments were a good one can go a long way in preventing this.

When a Benefit Simply Isn’t a Benefit

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As salespeople, we’re very used to dividing up our products or services into features and benefits. We also know that we should focus on benefits, and not features, in order to get people to buy.

Here’s the catch, though: if you try to sell a benefit that isn’t something your prospect is looking for, then it’s not really a benefit at all! Yes, it’s something beneficial and, yes, a lot of other people may be interested in that particular benefit, but if the prospect standing before you is not interested in that, it simply isn’t a benefit to him or her.

Your goal in the sales dialog is to uncover what your prospects needs and desires are. Then shape the benefits around what your prospect is looking for. To successfully make the sale, it needs to be all about the prospect, and even if something’s beneficial to another person, you need to offer benefits to the person standing before you right now.

Spend a Little More Time Qualifying

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I can’t count the number of salespeople who bitterly complained about interacting with a prospect for an hour, only to find out the prospect never had any intention to buy for at least a couple of months.

I’m going to propose some radical advice; maybe this isn’t the fault of the prospect, but the salesperson! Maybe the salesperson should have spend a little bit more time qualifying the prospect before blindly hopping in.

It doesn’t take long. Just ask a few questions. People are usually very honest about their intentions if you just ask. Sure, some people won’t be, but the vast majority of people are honest.

Objection Reduction

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I think far too many salespeople focus on “objection handling.” But this treats the symptom instead of the cause. This ignores the fact that we did something fundamentally wrong that caused the client to object in the first place.

Now I know a lot of you are scratching your heads right now and saying “But objections are good! If the person didn’t want what I’m selling they’d simply walk away; objecting without walking away means that they’re still interested!”

We’ve been taught this forever, that objections are actually good. And it’s one of the biggest myths in the sales profession. It’s something we tell ourselves to simply comfort ourselves, and feel better about objections.

But when I ask experienced, successful salespeople whether they receive more objections now, or when they were starting out, invariably people tell me they got more objections when they were starting out. Later on, they got better at selling, and people didn’t object nearly as much.

So, how do we reduce objections, instead of merely handling them? You need to spend more time qualifying your prospects. You need to ask more questions. You need to listen. You need to find out what really matters to them.

Once you know your client’s buying triggers, and what will make them buy, then you can much more easily sell to your clients.

SMALL Product Bonuses Can Lead to BIG Increases in Pricing!

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I remember when I was a kid, I had a trick that I could always use to talk my parents into getting me a bigger bottle of soda. I’d simply look at the prices, and point out to them that they could save me money by getting me the larger one!

Curious to see if this was still the case, I went to Safeway and found the price on a two-liter bottle of soda. It was $0.89 for all Pepsi products. I then went and found a 20-ounce soda bottle, and looked at the price. Now bear in mind that 20 ounces is three times smaller than two liters (~68 ounces), so the price should be one-third the cost, right? Wrong. The price was $1.69. A soda three times smaller costs nearly twice as much!

Why?

I think that there are two big differences between the two-liter bottle of soda and the 20-ounce bottle of soda:

1. The 20-ounce bottle of soda was in a refrigerator! It’s already chilled and ready for immediate consumption.
2. The 20-ounce bottle of soda was right next to the cash register, the perfect time for an impulse purchase!

These small little tweaks to the Pepsi soda made a much smaller product sell for much more than it normally would have. What tweaks can you make to your product or service to make the prices go up?

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