How to Increase Sales

5 steps to improve your sales career

In this special report, I?share with you five proven steps?for increasing your sales performance in only one week:

1. Keep up to date -?each industry has its own source of information and you should be tapping into this pipeline of insider knowledge

On a daily basis I keep in touch with what is happening in the industries I am targeting by reading the business pages of various newspapers (both print editions and online). What you find are news stories announcing developments in your sector.

In my case, I once read about an interior design company who had just completed a major project and were receiving many accolades for their work. I cold called their CEO?and suggested that we could?produce a newsletter featuring a major profile on this project with testimonial comments?from their clients. They could send the newsletter out to their database of prospects

No sooner?had I started my telephone conversation with the CEO he responded, "I am so glad you telephoned, we had just been discussing how we could?get more mileage out of the exposure this project had given us".?That week he signed up to a newsletter program and has been a client of ours now for the past five years.

If I had not been reading the business pages each day in the?Australian?Financial Review,?I would never have seen the editorial that led me to make that?telephone call.

2. Ensure your company has a file of up to date testimonials.

One of the secrets to my cold calling success is that I start the call by telling a story about one of my companies successes.

For example, "Look I have got an idea that may be of interest to you. Have you heard of XYZ company? They are very similar to your business and what we did was ...." At that point in the conversation I share how we could?offer them the same opportunity.

Sometimes they question the validity of my story. No problem, I simply read back to them my clients written testimonial. In most cases I?find myself finishing?the telephone call having made an appointment with a new prospect.

3. Be as regular as clockwork.

Have you noticed in life that we constantly block out segments of time to make sure we carry out the fundamentals. Take for example when we first wake up in the morning, even though we haven't written it down in our calendar we have set aside time to shower, get dressed, have breakfast?and?clean our teeth. We take this?approach because we know that for our?ongoing health and well-being we need to set aside time to make sure these activities are completed.

If you want to have a pipeline full of?prospects you need to schedule cold calls for at least an hour or so each day.

In my business, I mail?out 10 prospecting newsletters each day. I know that by the end of the week those newsletters will arrive on the desks of at least 50 new prospects.

By diligently making this a part of my schedule, each week the sales inquiries we receive are a direct result of sending out those newsletters as regular as clockwork.

4. Make sales activity the central focus of your week.

It amazes me the number of times I meet people who, having spent months growing their business, stop prospecting as soon as the dollars start rolling in.

I am just as guilty. Having worked so hard to pull in this business, when it arrives you say to yourself ? "you've worked hard, you've made those sales and for the time being you are on easy street - you can now take a break!"

As we all know, as soon as the money rolls in, it goes out the other door to pay bills.

Put your feet up for too long and your sales pipeline will shrivel up and you will be back to panic stations trying to make up for the time you wasted.

The secret to ongoing business success is to make sales the central focus of your week. Without those dollars coming in you have no business!

5. Don't wait until you're organised.

Remember, nothing is ever go to be perfect. For the rest of your business?career you are constantly going to?be refining your sales approach.?From my experience, this excuse is usually applied by people who either hate selling or doubt their ability.

Instead of facing their fear or lack of knowledge, they make excuses for their lack of sales activity by saying to themselves and others, "I will start making sales calls when I get all this paperwork and my systems in place."

Sales success comes from a constant?refining process, it is ongoing and will never stop. Every sales call you get a little bit better.

In the days when I used to buy books from a bookshop, when my wife was with me she would ask, "haven't you got enough sales books already?"

At last count I have well over 350 books relating to sales or business.?But like the sports star who wins an Olympic medal, the?successful people I've met in life never stop refining themselves and so I buy one sales book after another in the hope that I will find one little gold nugget of information that could turn around my career.

Nowadays I have a Kindle on my iPad,?which I?carry with me everywhere I go. It contains at least 50 to 60 sales books that I regularly re-read.

That is why I have featured a section on my website titled "Books worth reading", I believe that my sales success is not something I was born with but it?comes from the knowledge I have gained from rereading each of these books and then applying that knowledge each day.

Before you leave this site check out my "Books worth reading"?as each one of these books you read will give you great insight into improving your sales approach.

I challenge you in the coming seven days to at?least apply one of these points to your week. Success is not an overnight journey! Even now all these?years down the track I still have to remind myself of these five points on a regular basis. In some ways it would be wonderful if we were machines and our motions did not get in the way, but we aren't. I would like to leave you with one thought?:

"Gentlemen, after all, this business of selling narrows down to one thing ? just one thing ... Seeing the people! Show me any man of ordinary ability who will go out and earnestly tell his story to 4 or five people every day, and I will show you a man who just can't help making good!"

This quote comes from the excellent sales book: How I Raise Myself from Failure to Success Through Selling, by Frank Bettger.

Question: What have you done to improve your?sales performance?
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