Selling is not a ‘common’ practice.

Selling is not a ‘common’ practice. It is NOT easy. There are so many people who believe anyone can sell anything and really believe that if you can ‘schmooze’, drink the ‘booze,’ and work the room, you can sell. That is so far from the truth and anyone who has made a lot of money in sales will be able to give you consistent guidelines as to how they achieved their success. So let’s take a simple but serious look at these guidelines to success in selling.

  1. Practice makes perfect. Yes, you must practice your openers, your pitch, how you handle objections, how you get through the gatekeeper and how to grab an executives’ attention in one minute or less.
  2. You need a plan. Strategies make for a solid sales approach. Running all over town, calling everyone you find online, ignoring the competition and losing sight of the consumers’ needs will never win you more business.
  3. You must create a solid sales plan and follow it religiously.
  4. Know your product(s) better than anyone.
  5. Know your competitions’ products and how to show the observable differences between you and the competition.

With so many options on line these days, sales professionals need to know how to crack the email code and get potential customers to talk to them either on the phone or face to face. The best way to accomplish this is to set phone appointments after the first inquiry that comes via a website or an online RFP system. A sense of urgency will set you apart from other competitors right from the beginning. Follow these simple steps to ensure you increase your conversion rate of closing more business.

  1. Make sure someone is looking constantly at your online inquiries.
  2. Immediately respond to the request by asking for a specific time to speak to a sales professional.
  3. Once you get a response, set up an official phone appointment with an Outlook invite.

By jumping on these online requests immediately and illustrating your commitment by setting an appointment, you are already showing your professionalism that in most cases goes far beyond the competition. Based on recent focus groups with clients who are involved in buying/procurement departments, we heard loud and clear their frustration with trying to get someone on the phone to quote prices. Let’s not make it harder for customers to buy something! In a decade of on demand purchasing through APPs and other sources, we need to improve our ability to create a seamless process in delivering service to our potential clients.
Remember; nothing in this world happens in business unless someone sells something. I am a firm believer that follow through, sense of urgency and a commitment to excellence will build more rapport than the ‘smooching, boozing, and chit chat’ with a customer. Do yourself a favor and organize your day, manage your time and make a commitment to immediate follow through. There is no time like the present to clean up your act and take charge of your destiny.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Author

Cindy NovotnyCindy Novotny has been branded a “Radical Mentor” by thousands of executives around the world for her straight forward, no nonsense approach to leadership. She began her company, Master Connection Associates, in 1989. MCA is a premiere international consulting and training organization that specializes in service delivery, sales and leadership performance. MCA’s work contributed to client success including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company earning an unprecedented two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards. For more information, visit Cindy’s website at

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