Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Secrets to Sales

Mark Cuban discussed what makes a good saleperson a few days ago on his blog. Mark should know because that's how he got his start. Mark Cuban didn't fall into money by accident. I thought that I'd add a little to what Mark had to say by offering my six secrets to sales success.

1. First and foremost - you have to listen. The customer/client will tell you what is important to them and how they will be making their buying decision. If you are too busy thinking about what you are going to say next or too busy spouting off about every single feature on your product - then you'll miss what the customer is trying to tell you.

2. You have to know your product and the technology that makes it work. If you become the person that the customer turns to to get questions answered - then you are halfway home.

3. Don't be afraid to say that you don't know the answer to a question. Write the question down and promise to get the answer for the customer.

4. Follow-up on all action items and pricing requests. This one is key. If you say you are going to do something - DO IT!

5. Ask the hard questions to the customer. Ask if they have budget and what their time frame is. Know where you stand. Ask what the steps are for evaluation and then ask for the sale when you reach those steps. Let me say it again - don't be afraid to ask for the order. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. The customer won't think less of you if you ask for the order.

6. Don't try and make square pegs fit into round holes. Put another way - don't waste your time. If your product is not a fit for the customer's application - say so. Be honest with the customer and if you know a good fit - make a recommendation. That customer may be in a position where they do have an application that fits down the road. By the same token - if the customer doesn't have budget - don't waste your time. Get back to them when the time is right.

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