Two ways to Increase Your Sales In A Shrinking Economy

These are trying times, but it’s no excuse for lack of performance. Sales pros in every field can take advantage of this down market and actually increase their sales. In markets like this, the order takers are weeded out and the sales pros with a more systematic, pro-active and disciplined approach are rewarded.

Here are a couple of strategies to grow your sales in a down economy . . .

1. Develop a System.
Top performers use a process that helps them build solid sales relationships in a systematic and predictable way. I’m not talking about an inflexible process that standardizes every prospect/client interaction. Instead, it’s a loose framework that provides the structure for every interaction. Our process here at Silver Bullet Selling includes the following six steps:

  1. Pre-Call Planning
  2. Building Rapport
  3. Discovery
  4. Tailored Solution
  5. Addressing Concerns
  6. Closing the Sale

2. Set Goals that Drive Sales Activities
For example, a top performer we recently interviewed is a banker with a weekly goal of selling additional products and services to three clients. This banker knows it takes around 12 contacts to make a sale. So, every week she makes at least 40 calls (eight every day) to her current clients.

During the conversation, the banker asks questions to determine her client’s current and desired situation. Then she uses the right products and services of the bank to bridge the two. She closes the call by asking for a referral. Because of her activity, this banker is consistently in the top 5% on the score board.

So two key strategies for moving up regardless of the economic outlook are "system" and "activity." What are your experiences? Give me your own thoughts on driving forward in a down economy . . .

Based on 6,000 Interviews with Top Sales Professionals

Silver Bullet Selling is based on over 36,000 pages of notes from interviews, interactions and observations of more than 6,000 top-performing Sales Professionals and Managers . We also have thousands of pages of notes from interviews and observations of what some really poor Sales Professionals do too. That’s a lot of research.

Think of 11 filing cabinets stuffed full with dog-eared, tattered notes from Sales Professionals from dozens of industries including consumer durables, insurance, retail, banking, utilities, financial services, real estate and telecommunications. This research is the gold I mine to develop my ideas and opinions. In fact, these 36,000 pages are the evidence we used to build the Bullet Selling process.

The Bullet Selling process is consultative selling at its best. It refers to an interactive sales process that focuses on the buyer’s needs rather than the salesperson’s inventory. Bullet Selling requires you to work with the buyer toward a mutually beneficial solution, and it includes these six steps:

  • Step 1. Pre-Call Planning
  • Step 2. Building Rapport
  • Step 3. Discovery
  • Step 4: Tailored Solution
  • Step 5: Addressing Concerns
  • Step 6: Closing the Sale

The Bullet Selling process is not meant to be an inflexible process that standardizes every buyer interaction; it is intended to be used as a framework that provides a structure for every interaction. Each step of the Bullet Selling process builds on the previous step and is designed to help you build the relationship and close the sale.

The Bullet Selling process helps us succeed on purpose. This stuff really works. That’s why we’ve trained 10 of the Fortune 50 companies to use it every day. The process helps build the foundation for a solid relationship in a systematic and predictable way. We call it the Silver Bullet Selling process because it is the closest thing we know to a no-fail sales system. We know it works — we use it ourselves — and that’s why we guarantee it with all our consulting clients.

Clearly Define Your Meeting Objectives

Defining what success looks like is one of the most important fundamentals of running effective meetings. We need to understand before the meeting what we are trying to accomplish and then set the agenda with items that will help us efficiently accomplish it.  And don’t get too ambitious here.  Each meeting should try to accomplish only 1-3 objectives.

Sales is a Full Contact Communication Sport

In very much the same way, if you want to be very successful in sales then you need to learn how to communicate effectively to your audience in the sales arena. Few of us have had the pleasure of working with a Sales Professional with truly excellent communication skills. We’re talking about a professional who is able to succinctly and effectively communicate:

  • What he does and how he does it
  • His buyers’ current situation, desired situation, and the tailored solution that will create the bridge between the two
  • How his products and services benefit his buyer
  • On-target, non-confrontational responses to objections
  • Ask for the order in a clear and persuasive manner

The Bullet Selling process will help you become a much better communicator. And not just at work! It will help you develop what you want to say, how you want to say it, and even when you want to say it.

Successful Meetings Require Pre-Call Planning

We’ve run more than 10,000 sales meetings and have found that the best predictor of the outcome of the meeting is the pre-call planning that happens before the meeting.

Pre-call planning is all about walking into an appointment with a buyer and being totally prepared for and focused on the job at hand.  And when you’re prepared, you’re confident and pro-active.  Pre-call planning includes everything we should do to prepare for a meeting, from attire to directions to research.  The more prepared we are for the appointment, the more effective the meeting will generally go, increasing our probability of success.

A Proven Six-Step Process for Closing More Sales

The Book Sales People Have Been Waiting For.

Silver Bullet Selling (Bullet Selling) is the definitive book that enables sales people to execute the unique Silver Bullet consultative sales process on every sales call. After 11 years of teaching the Silver Bullet process to more than 250,000 sales people around the world, and culling through 30,000 pages of notes (that’s 11 filing cabinets full!) from over 6,000 interviews with top performers, it was time to distill down the essentials into a book on executing the consultative sales process.

Why this book right now? There are already several brilliant books that describe the consultative sales process in detail, including Mack Hanan’s 1970’s classic, Consultative Selling, and Neil Rackham’s best seller Spin Selling. While these books are long on theory, they come up short on application and execution. In other words, after reading one of these books you will definitely understand what consultative selling is, but you’ll have no idea how to implement it on your very next sales call.

That’s where Bullet Selling comes in. The magic of sales is in the execution, and that’s why Bullet Selling is so much more than just a regurgitation of consultative sales theory. Bullet Selling is the first book to take consultative selling theory and show how to apply it on every client or prospect interaction. Think of this book as a step-by-step implementation guide that will put the Bullet Sales process to work for sales professionals. To accomplish this Silver Bullet Selling is chockfull of true stories, examples, templates and exercises that enable you to execute the Silver Bullet process on your very next customer interaction. In addition, Bullet Selling includes exclusive upgrades to the consultative sales process that makes it even more effective.

Bullet Selling is for the entire universe of sales professionals, no matter what they’re selling. We certainly don’t want to offend anyone or imply that every sales position requires the same skills, because they don’t. However, no matter what the business, it all begins with an interaction between a sales professional and the customer, and becoming an expert at implementing the Bullet Sales process will enable you to achieve the success that motivated you to go into sales in the first place!

Bullet Selling is a book that gets tattered and dog-eared because sales people find it indispensable on sales calls. Bullet Selling includes checklists, examples, worksheets, practice exercises, templates and $500 tips that you can use on your very next sales call. It is also integrated with our website where you can go to find templates, newsletters, success stories, updates, products and join the Silver Bullet Community.

Bullet Selling is for you if you want to:

Make more sales
We know the techniques in Bullet Selling work because they are the same methods we successfully implement with our clients every day. It is not unusual for workshop participants to improve their sales more than 30% and some even double and triple their performance! We would expect the same significant results from readers who apply these techniques. By increasing your sales, you will make more money, earn more recognition and win more sales awards.

Deliver a world-class buying experience
Bullet Selling will guide you through the entire sales process from the initial prospecting call through closing the sale, asking for referrals and follow up. You will learn how to:

  • Pre-call plan. Use preliminary pleasantries, an Agenda Statement and Credibility Statement to help build rapport
  • Ask the right targeted questions that will help you better understand your customers’ unique situation and needs
  • Create a ‘selling gap’
  • Deliver a customized and tailored solution that satisfy your customers’ situation and needs
  • Sell to both the customers emotional and logical needs
  • Address concerns effectively in a non-confrontational manner
  • Vaccinate your prospects and clients against the competition
  • Effectively differentiate your products and services from the competition
  • Ask for the order and close the sale
  • Ask for referrals

Follow up after the sale
Develop deeper, more loyal relationships with your customers. The Bullet Sales process properly executed develops trust which in turn creates “sticky” customer relationships. Customer retention allows you to develop their accounts vertically and horizontally.

Live a take-charge, pro-active life
Bullet Selling is infused with the attitude that you can realize your vision and goals if you are willing to put in the effort and execute. The book builds enthusiasm, energy, a positive outlook and confidence.
Have more fun

Bullet Selling is an enjoyable and quick read. It is illustrated with dozens of great stories and punctuated with humor and “$500 Sales Tips.”

Bullet Selling is a page turner that focuses on the skills sales pros really need to succeed. Like If You’re Not Out Selling, You’re Being Outsold, our previous bestseller, Bullet Selling is written in an in-your-face, conversational style.

So if you’re ready, fasten your safety belt, put your seat and tray table in their full upright and locked positions, and take aim at the competition by buying the book and learning how to put Silver Bullet Selling to work for you!

Create Positive Buying Momentum with a Discovery Summary

Discovery Summary in Selling

After you’ve asked your discovery questions and have uncovered a lot of information, you want to do something that will create some positive buying momentum before offering your tailored solution. And I have just the right thing. It’s called the Discovery Summary.

The Discovery Summary is all that; it really is. Our research shows that many sales are actually made right here. When the summary is done well it accomplishes all these things:

  • The buyer feels good because he knows that you were really paying attention and listening to what he told you.
  • You build momentum by distilling what has just taken upwards of 60 minutes into a powerful 2-minute highlight reel.
  • You ensure that your understanding of your buyer’s situation is crystal clear and on target. If, for some reason, you did not summarize the situation accurately, your buyer will correct you.
  • You get to show your buyer that you are a highly competent professional who understands and cares about their situation.
  • You lower your buyer’s resistance and raise their receptivity to your tailored solution.
  • And sometimes it uncovers a nugget that defines the buying gap.

Not bad for a simple summary that takes less than 120 seconds to deliver. But, like everything else with Bullet Selling, it’s all in the execution. There are 6 steps to the Discovery Summary process: Continue reading “Create Positive Buying Momentum with a Discovery Summary”