Renewed beliefs, best practices, and boosted confidence can turn any lackluster performance around.
Working in sales can be the best and worst job ever – often in the same day. When things are going well and you’re winning, it can make you feel like you’re taking the world by storm. But when a couple of losses turn into a few more, it becomes harder even to make the call or ask for the business.
But don’t worry, these ten do’s and don’ts can help you start a new sales winning streak today.
No. 1: Do review what you believe about what you sell.
When you’re not selling at the highest level, look for the root cause of what’s holding you back. Start by reviewing what you believe about your facility and your unique selling propositions. Such as:
- Do you believe that your facility is a safe place for families to visit?
- Do you believe that your facility is equipped to handle new groups coming in?
- Are you confident that you provide a great product and experience at the appropriate price?
- Do you believe that you have the right knowledge to offer prospective guests experiences they’re going to love?
If you say “yes” to each of these questions, then there is no reason that your prospective customer wouldn’t want to buy from you. Yes, it’s that simple.
If not, on the other hand, then it makes sense to consider what’s missing and address the weaknesses. Bottom line, if you don’t believe in what you’re selling, no one is going to buy it.
No. 2: Don’t stay on auto-pilot.
Chances are, if you were successful when you started, it’s because you were excited about what you sell and followed proven scripts and processes. When you notice your close ratios slipping, go back to your scripts. Consider:
- When you were first successful, what were you doing then that you’re not doing now?
- What assumptions are you making during sales conversations because you’ve heard the same objections repeatedly?
- What shortcuts have you begun to take that may be inhibiting your success?
- How different is your follow-up now than when you were first hungry for the business?
No. 3: Do act fast.
A big part of sales success is being in the right place when someone wants to buy. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have boundaries or work-life balance at all. But the fact is that the faster you can answer the phone, respond to an email, or send out a quote, the better your chances.
The real key is to set the right expectations with the prospective guest as quickly as possible. If you’re so busy you won’t be able to send a proposal until the following day, then it’s best to communicate that immediately.
Might sound like: “Great, McKenna, I think I have everything I need to put your event together. I’ve got several more meetings/tours today but if I get back to you by the end of the day tomorrow, will that work for you? When are you looking to make your decision?”
Not only does this set clear expectations with your prospect, but it also helps them to understand that your facility is obviously a popular and sought-after destination, which is never a bad thing.
Good communication habits are everything. One of the worst things you can do is meet with a prospect and then take an age to get back to them with a quote, sending the message that their business isn’t important to you.
No. 4: Do create urgency.
Part of acting fast is helping your customer understand that they should act fast as well. If someone thinks it’s no big deal to wait to book an event, then they’re less likely to respond to you timely. These lengthy sales cycles cost you time and money that you can’t afford. Create a sense of urgency that they need to book now to get the time slot they want.
Might sound like: “Perfect, Tailor, I’ve got everything I need to plan your wife’s 50th birthday party. All I need to lock in that time and date is just a $500 deposit. We can get the food selections in the next week once you have a better understanding of the number of attendees, but this will ensure someone doesn’t book over her date in the meantime.”
Might sound like: “I completely understand wanting to talk it over with your husband before making a final decision. I can put a 24-hour courtesy hold on the event and give you a call back at about this time tomorrow, so we don’t lose your preferred timeslot.
No. 5: Do get out of your own way.
We all have different preferences, budgets, and buying styles that impact how we make purchasing decisions. Remind yourself often that you are not your customer. Take the time to listen to a guest’s needs, hesitations, and learn what’s most important to them. And then, armed with that information and what you’ve gathered about their buying style, you’re able to educate them on how your facility can deliver the perfect event.
No. 6: Do let go of the fear.
What “no” means: they don’t want to buy. That’s it.
What “no” doesn’t mean: that you’re a terrible person who will never amount to anything and who will end up a broken shell of a human.
Rejection is painful, there’s no doubt about it. But do try to keep it in perspective and stay constructive about why you didn’t win this time. And try not to pack the rejection into your briefcase and carry it with you into the next sales meeting. Shake it off, remind yourself that you’re human, you’ve done many great things, and have seen a lot of success. Then get to the heart of why you didn’t close this time so you can improve your chances next time. You’ve got this. But the only person who’s questioning your ability is you.
No. 7: Don’t give up too soon.
When a prospect says they want to think about your proposal, try to resist the urge to look for the escape hatch in the conversation. You need to know what exactly is holding them back. I recently heard a top sales agent say to his coworkers about objections, “if by the end of the conversation, you don’t know what the real objection is, you haven’t done your job.”
I think you could take this a step further: “if you don’t know what’s holding (the prospect) back, you haven’t given yourself enough time to win the business. Objection management can be tricky, but what you need most is information.
Might sound like:
Objection: “I need to talk it over with my spouse.”
“Great, how do you feel about what we’ve talked about so far?” (look for hints into the real objection. If they don’t share, try to dig deeper).
“Ok, based on what we’ve talked about, how are you leaning towards booking the event?” (listen for the real objection and then dig deeper)
“What questions or concerns do you think he/she will have about what we’ve talked about? (listen for the real objection. If they say they have no idea, then try..)
“Sure, so I can help you as much as possible, do I have a good handle on the event details, or is there anything you think needs to change before you all would want to move forward?” (this is one last attempt to find out what is potentially holding them back. If all else fails, set the next step and create urgency.)
“Sure it makes sense to talk it over. So you don’t lose your date and time, I’ll go ahead and….” (set a clear next step of what steps you plan to take and when you’ll call them back to ensure they don’t lose their date or this awesome event you have planned.)
No. 8: Do rewind and reflect.
Take time to reflect after every sales conversation. What went well? What could you have done differently or better? What did you learn? Take that knowledge into your next call so you can grow and improve.
No. 9: Don’t be afraid to try again.
Sometimes when you rewind and reflect, you realize something that could have made all the difference to win the business. When that happens, don’t be afraid to call the prospect back and try again.
Might sound like:
“Hey Kara, it’s Sherry again. I know you said you might go in another direction, but something just occurred to me, and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner…(explain). So how does that sound?” (if you get this opportunity, don’t be afraid of it. You have nothing to lose. Take a low-pressure approach, and if it works out, great. If not, no big deal. You’ll be ready the next time.)
No. 10: Do press on.
Despite popular belief, this job isn’t easy. But it is worth it! Try to stay anchored in the fact that you are doing good work and you’re focused on helping families and groups have fun and enjoy quality time together. That’s a noble quest. If you’re committed to providing the best possible service and experience, the rest will fall into place. Good luck!
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