6 Tips to Sales Success

How well are you doing at sales? Are you closing 50 percent of the leads you sit down with? 30 percent? Ten? Well, if you feel you’re not closing as many as you should be, then this episode of PowerTips TV is for you.

Watch this weeks short, four minute episode (not including the outtakes) for six quick tips to improve your sales results!

What about you?

If you have insights on how you’ve improved your sales results, we’d love to hear from you! Please share your stories in the comment box below!

Are your prospects looking for specialists, or are you the perfect fit?

Are you the perfect choice for your customers? I have no doubt that you are. The fact that you are a loyal PowerTips reader proves that you’re committed to being the best at what you do.

But do they know that?

Do your potential clients arrive at your website and say, “This is exactly what I’m looking for.” Odds are the majority do not. And that’s to be expected. After all, here’s the type of content you’ll find on a typical remodelers website:

Our services include additions, kitchens, bathrooms, master suites, interiors, interior design, decks, porches, landscaping, finished basements, in-law suites …

Phew! And therein lies the rub. You offer all these great services and you want the world to know it. But this “we do it all” approach doesn’t necessarily leave your site visitors feeling warm and fuzzy. At least not in the short term.

You have 25 seconds (at most) to convince them that they should not hit the back button and go to the next result in their Google search. So how do you do that? One powerful way is via microsites.

A microsite is a website that is comprised of only a handful of pages and is dedicated to one specific service you provide.

The benefit of running microsites is two-fold: A) your site visitors know the moment they arrive that you specialize in the exact project they need completed. This is comforting and validating. B) You have a tool that helps you own the top position in Google search.

Lets look and both benefits more closely.

Benefit A: I’m Home!

Assume for a moment that you’re in the market for a red baseball bat.

Imagine, if you will, what a visit to the fictional website Anns Sporting Goods.com would look like. You probably envision a navigation bar listing all the sports (football, baseball, hockey, hiking etc.) tons of sub-navigation like Apparel, Equipment, Shoes, and so on.  A clearance items section, images of fit athletes running. Is that about right?

Now imagine visiting Anns Red Baseball Bats.com. How clean is the picture in your mind? You see nothing but red baseball bats, right? Every size, every shape, every age group.

Which website makes you feel like you’ve found what you’re looking for? More importantly, which website are you more likely to buy from?

The same principal applies to remodeling, with a bonus kicker: specialization carries a lot of weight. A dedicated website reeks of specialization. People feel comfortable with specialists.

Benefit B: Own Google results

Without getting into all the specifics of SEO, lets just say this is a strong tool in your quest for top Google rankings. Although there are many, many variables that go into Google’s algorithm, one thing you can count on is that the actual domain URL and the content on that page carries a lot of weight. Think about it, how do you think a website called HartfordKitchenRemodeling.com (not real) would perform when someone in Hartford searches for kitchen remodeling?

Of course there’s more to it than that. But in the end Google’s primary goal is to provide relevant content. It’s difficult to argue that the sample microsites above aren’t relevant to what the people were searching for.

Parting Thoughts

This is a “top of the funnel” web marketing strategy. Use microsites to get people into your world. Get them to submit a form, call or email you. You want them to know you are the best choice for their project. After that your primary site is perfect. In fact, after they submit the contact form, have it redirect them to your main site. Saying in fact,”Look what else we do!”

See, once they know they’ve found the right company, that’s when the “we do it all” approach becomes an asset. It reinforces that they’ve made the right choice because — hey, you do it all!

How about you?

Are you currently using microsites to capture more leads? How is it working? If not, what’s stopping you? I  look forward to reading your comments below!

Powerful Presentations–Every Time!

“It’s useless to be a good craftsperson . . . unless you can also sell what you create.  Your customers cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesperson.”

This was a paraphrase of a quote by David Ogilvy, one of America’s advertising legends and the message really struck me.  Just think about it, you can develop the very best solution to a exceptionally complex problem, but if you can’t present that idea in a way that will convince your prospects, all of your work has been wasted. The only time that you are able to present these ideas is during the sales presentation.  The way you conduct yourself during the few hours that you spend with your prospects is crucial to your sales success.  However, few remodelers look at it that way.  Far too many go to meeting after meeting after meeting with no plan of attack — they simply wing it.

But not professional salespeople.  Professionals have a plan and they work it.  They know exactly what they want to happen in each phase of the selling cycle and they work toward those goals.  They know that each element of their presentation builds upon the next and that they can’t move on until they’ve successfully completed each step. Professional salespeople don’t leave anything to chance and they pay attention to the six main elements that can make the difference in any sales presentation.

1.  Always Make a Good First Impression

You only have three seconds to make your first impression and thirty more seconds to revise it if the impression is not favorable. So don’t take any chances. Use common sense. Show up on time, with materials ready to go.  Your prospect’s time is also valuable, don’t take them for granted.

Dress neatly and professionally at all times.  It will make a difference.

Non-Verbal communications speaks volumes. People communicate information in a variety of ways:  7% through the spoken word, 38% through tone of voice and 55% through non-verbal communication.  Watch how you’re conveying information through your facial expressions, posture (stand up tall and confident), tone of voice, attitude (be enthusiastic), handshake and eye contact.

2.  Ask Questions to Draw People Out

Questions are like a funnel drawing information out and allowing you to screen your prospect’s input until only the most important information remains–the hotbuttons that must be addressed before they will buy.

Open-ended questions starting with Who, What, Where, Why, How and Tell me about . . . allow people to participate in the sales process.  It will feel less like a “pitch” and more like a discussion.

Open-ended questions encourage people to share, not only the facts, but their thoughts and emotions which give you important clues to how to sell them.  Remember, people buy on emotion and justify their decision through logic.

3.  Always Determine the Budget Early in the Sales Process

You can do this by asking if there is an investment amount in mind. You can’t give them the right solution until you know what you’re working with.  Don’t waste your time until you’ve agreed on basic budget parameters.

If your prospects don’t have an investment amount in mind, “bracket” a ballpark figure with a high and low number to see if their budget idea is at all realistic.

4.  Your Materials Should Be Organized and Neat

Presentation books are a must as it is the only concrete representation of your company. Use professional photos.  They make every project look great.

Be sure your contract is neat, clean, and unwrinkled.  A crumpled contract tells people that you haven’t used one lately. In other words, this person is not very successful.

5.  Know the Best Ways to Handle Objections

The best time to handle an objection is before they come up. Cover potential problems in your presentation.

Restate the objection in their words, clarify it in your own words, and qualify that it’s the last objection by saying “If we could solve this one issue, could we move ahead tonight?” If there are other objections, they should come up at this point.  Don’t waste your time answering one objection if it’s only a smokescreen for others.

Studies show that there are only six main objections in any one industry. Write down the objections you’re running into and develop responses.  Learn these responses until you can answer naturally. Then, practice, practice, practice.

6.  Always Ask for Their Business

65% of all sales calls do not include a direct request for business. Just think how many more sales you’ll close if you just ask.

Assume the sale–If you’ve done your job, closing is a natural part of the process.

Try, try, and try again.  Ask for the order a minimum of three times before you leave the appointment.  People want you to ask them to buy.  So by giving up too easily, you’re not doing your job as a remodeling salesperson.

If you’re not following these six guidelines, then you’re not covering the basics of selling.  In order to do your best job, observe your selling habits now, work to change them, and then watch how you’ll have grown and developed into a top-notch salesperson for your company.