As a salesperson, you will always be driven to close the sale and convert prospects into customers, but today's salespeople need to master more skills than simply making the deal. Along with closing the sale, you should be focused on client relationships. Salespeople not only need to be able to close a deal, they should also be able to identify potential sales channels and build relationships with potential clients.
Before you can close a sale, you need to have a perspective customer to whom to pitch. For this reason, prospecting is an important skill for a salesperson. Those who are good at prospecting can identify potential customers whose needs may be fulfilled by their product or service. There are many ways to go about prospecting. On The Sales Blog, Anthony Iannarino published a post titled, "7 Ways to be Better at Prospecting." In it, he recommends playing to your strengths, but not focusing exclusively on them. "To prospect well, you need to focus your time and energy on what works best for you, but not exclusively. If you are great at cold calling, you should absolutely focus on cold calling. But that doesn't mean that you should never use email marketing, inbound marketing, networking, trade shows and conferences, direct mail, social networking or referrals. You should include all of these tools in your arsenal."
While closing is important, building lasting-trusting relationships with clients is crucial to long-term success. Building a relationship with clients in which you are paying attention to their needs and meeting them will likely lead to repeat customers and better word-of-mouth advertising. An Inc.com post titled "Successful Sales: How to Build Relationships and Still Close the Deal" by Jeff Haden states, "Relationships are built over time, and it's important that early in the process your prospective clients gain trust in your belief in your product or service and your seriousness about delivering value." Taking time to cultivate these relationships and actually listening to your clients will also help you develop your sales strategy, because these customers can help you identify how your product or service is beneficial to them.
Closing is a very important component of any sales strategy, but it is only one part of the sales tool kit. Knowing how to prospect and how to build client relationships will help you become better at pitching and closing sales.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for Small Business Pulse
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