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Listen, listen, listen to sell, sell, sell

Salespeople have not had the best reputation over the years. This bad rap has however, created opportunities for the professional and honest salesperson. With a little help from marketing and promotional material, they are able to stand-out from the crowd.

“A successful salesperson is disciplined, not the cowboy type caricature that is often portrayed,” says Brett Wilson-Leach, a sales consultant with the boutique Melbourne real estate firm Rand Corporation.

Wilson-Leach goes on to say that the most important part of a salesperson’s communication armoury is the ability to listen. “Really good salespeople don’t come across as a salesperson,” he says. “Salespeople who talk over the top of customers or don’t provide direct answers quickly lose their respect and, in most cases, the sale.”

The current economic crisis has meant that salespeople across all industries have had to modify their approach. In Australia, Wilson-Leach says that the current turmoil in world economic markets has reduced sales figures by as much as 30 per cent at the top end of the real estate market. While he says the tightening of the market has made it more competitive for salespeople competing on the ground, he believes a good salesperson will still be able to carve out a niche for themselves regardless of the economic conditions.

“The good performers have a good attitude and keep doing the little things like talking to customers, refining their pitch and reviewing their business strategy on a regular basis,” he says. “To be a successful salesperson in the long-term you also need to set yourself goals. Without goals a good salesperson will lose focus and become an average salesperson.”

Aaron Mailey is an account manager with News Limited owned media publication The Australian. He says the recent economic downturn has made the market more “short-term”, but that a good salesperson will still be able to sell a good product. “The financial crisis and the deteriorating economic climate have made it more challenging for us to grow our advertising revenue as compared to previous years,” he says. “However, the fundamentals of building strong, long-lasting relationships have not changed and there still opportunities within the online sector for us to grow our business.”

The search by salespeople to find that extra edge in a tightening market has led to more and more professionals thinking outside the square. American sales expert Ari Galper advocates an “integrity in selling” approach, with the core message that you “don’t have to manipulate to be successful”. He believes that by focussing on a prospect’s problems, the salesperson is selling from a position of “total integrity”, which helps to create a “connection” with the prospect.

Aaron Mailey says honesty and integrity have always been the core components of a successful salesman over the long-term. “Relationships are the key in our business, and honesty and integrity are the keys to building strong, lasting relationships.”

Top tips to increase your sales
  1. It is easier to sell to an existing customer than a new customer. Sending your existing customers a letter or direct mail piece is by far the most efficient way of increasing your sales. Speak to Kwik Kopy about creating a direct mail piece to increase your sales.

  2. Focus on the benefit to your customers. The best headlines in marketing and sales pieces are those that promise a benefit to the reader. Don’t risk the message being lost – include it in the headline to increase your sales.

  3. Personalise your approach. Wherever possible, create customised marketing and sales material to cater for the special interests of your target audience. This approach would be suitable for material such as email newsletters, direct mail brochures and letters.

  4. Ask for referrals. Remember to ask loyal customers for referrals. You may want to give a small gift (such as a branded mug or a bottle of wine) to any customer whose referral results in new sales.

  5. Ask for the sale. Whether in person or through marketing and sales material, always remember to ask for the sale. Explain to the customer what they need to do now to obtain the benefits you have offered, and make it as easy as possible to order or sign up.

For more handy design and printing tips, head to your nearest Kwik Kopy Centre.

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