A new year is the perfect time to reevaluate your sales strategies. What went right in 2016 and what needs improvement? Use the holiday sales slump to think about ways you can do things different and better in 2017.
If your sales approach could use a little shaking up, try these 5 strategies to create record sales in 2017.
1. Spend time on current customers
Too often, sales is focused on finding new customers. Retaining your current clients, however, is actually the very best use of your time. Finding new clients is time consuming and expensive, so it makes economic sense to do whatever it take to keep your current roster satisfied before beginning the hunt for new accounts.
Think of ways you can wow your customers next year, such as these 10 tactics. When your clients love you, they’ll be more likely to increase their business with you. Maximizing their investment in your company is the cheapest way to boost your bottom line.
2. Use social media
Sales isn’t just about who you know; it’s also about what you know. Use social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter to find connections to your prospects. A referral or warm lead is always more effective than cold calling.
You can also use these sites to learn about the interests and experiences of your potential buyers. Arriving at a sales pitch armed with this type of knowledge allows you to more easily break the ice and make a meaningful connection. After all, people are more likely to purchase from someone they like and trust.
3. Invest in sales training
Quality training courses can easily pay for themselves in increased sales. Regularly attending sales training can help you improve your skills, learn new tactics, increase your confidence, and boost your technical chops. All of these things will ultimately make you a better salesperson who can bring in bigger, higher-paying clients and keep them over the long haul.
4. Focus on value, not price
Viewing sales as an opportunity to educate prospects about your products or services is an outdated strategy. So is selling based on price or, worse, offering discounts to make quick sales. Instead of telling buyers why your products/services are the best, you should instead be asking how you can help them achieve their goals.
Instead of giving a sales pitch, make your first meeting with a prospect a discovery period. Ask questions about the problems they are trying to solve. Then you can deliver true value by tailoring your products or services to their specific objectives. Make it your goal to help them achieve long-lasting results.
5. Become the authority
People buy from people and companies they trust, but how do you establish yourself as a credible expert upon whom they can rely? Try content marketing, which is providing valuable content (blog posts, social media shares, case studies, etc.) to your audience.
Think about the types of information your prospects are seeking and create materials to help answer their questions. By sharing your knowledge for free, you’ll create brand awareness in the eyes of prospects who are searching for answers, and also prove yourself to be a reliable resource they can trust.
Don’t Sell Yourself, or Your Brand, Short
Resist the urge to discount your products and service. Using a small discount to create sales that otherwise wouldn’t happen sounds like a smart tactic, but in fact, it can quickly spiral into a serious problem. Before making a sporadic decision, read our blog on the pitfalls of discounting. A little back-and-forth on pricing is normal between salespeople and customers. When discounting goes unchecked and begins to pervade your company culture, however, it can quickly turn into an ugly monster that eventually destroys your business.