Sales Tips to Boost Your Career: How to Find and Connect with Decision-Makers
Working in the challenging world of sales you know that no one closes every potential deal, meaning there is always room for improvement. Chances are that you want to improve your own sales numbers, both for personal fulfillment and for tangible professional reasons such as to attain bonuses, commissions, and opportunities for advancements. You probably already have good sales and communication skills, but how can you improve and make them great? Explore these sales tips to help you move forward in your sales career.
How to Find the Decision-Maker in a Company
To ensure that you can close a sale, first determine that you are talking to the right person, also known as the decision-maker. This step can be more complex than you first think, because at many companies there are several people involved in making purchasing decisions. To give yourself the best chance of success, start by targeting the person with the most influence.
The best way to find this person is to ask a gatekeeper at the company, such as a secretary or receptionist, who you should talk to. You can help the gatekeeper determine who exactly you need by asking insightful questions such as:
- “Who else should I talk to?”
- “Who makes the final decision on this?”
- “Who makes recommendations on these types of decisions?”
- “Who signs off on the budget for this?”
These questions are particularly important because there are different levels and types of decision-makers:
- The traditional decision-maker: This person makes the actual decision to purchase the product. While it is often ideal to speak directly to decision-makers, sometimes they may be difficult to reach, or rely on the expertise of their subordinates (influencers) to make recommendations.
- The influencer: These people do not make the final decision but will advocate for your product if they like it. Influencers often have some authority, but not enough to sign off on the purchase. They often have a vested interest in the product as well, for example as managers in the department that will use the product.
- The budget decision-maker: This person authorizes the purchase by signing off on the budget. Depending on how purchases are approved in the company, this person can be the same as the decision-maker or another person, for example a supervisor, an executive or a manager in the finance department.
5 Tactics to Influence the Decision-Maker
Once you determine who the decision-maker is, influence them to purchase the product or service by connecting with them. Naturally, you need a great sales pitch, but the lead is more likely to do business with you if they also feel a genuine connection with you. The following sales tips can also be used on existing contacts to convince them to renew or add products and services. By continuing to work on your communication skills you can increase your sales figures and chances of getting a promotion or raise.
- Improve Your Voice Skills
It is not just what you say, but also how you say it. This is especially true for phone calls when leads are unable to see your face and your body language. Because of this, some employers pay for voice training for their sales associates, but you can also take steps to work on your voice yourself, for example by avoiding fillers, such as “um” or “okay”, when you talk.
Have a trusted friend or colleague listen to you speaking and give you not only sales tips, but also feedback on your pitch, tone, and volume. You can try out different headsets and microphones while doing this as well.
- Use Specific Numbers and Examples
Incorporate some storytelling into your sales pitch by using specific, illustrative examples of how your products have helped other customers.Before you do this, make sure that you are allowed to share that information or anonymize it as necessary. You can describe the positive results with numbers, statistics, graphs, photos, or anecdotes.
- Make the Decision-Maker Feel Important
One of the most effective sales tips is to make the lead feel important, which in turn will create positive associations with you as well. You can incorporate techniques such as using their name, complementing their business strategies, making statements like “I know you are really busy...”, and asking them about their day.
- Focus on Solving a Problem
You know what you can gain from using these sales tips, whether it is a bonus, recognition from your manager, taking pride in your work, or potential for promotion. When you want to close a sale, however, focus on the customer. How will the product benefit them? If you take the time to research their challenges, whether by asking them direct questions, reading about their competitors, or staying informed of current market trends, you have a better chance of closing the deal.
- Master Presentation Techniques
If you are making the sales pitch in person, incorporate common presentation techniques. Study the best techniques for body language, eye contact, and placement and posture. Even your initial handshake is important, since studies show that people form an opinion of someone within a few seconds of meeting them.
Sell Your Sales Skills on Monster
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