13 Practical Steps to Improve Sales Today

By Brian Azar

1. Believe in yourself. In the early stages of your career, you will work hard and make personal sacrifices. Your self-confidence will build as you set and meet realistic goals.

2. Do your homework. Gather as much information as possible about your clients’ past, present and future.

3. Organize. Take notes, keep up-to-date records, an appointment calendar, etc.; hire an assistant (if you can afford one), and file everything in its proper place.

4. Ask a lot of questions – and get the answers. Know your clients as human beings – in the office and out. Empathize; compassion and understanding work wonders. Don’t prejudge.

5. Be enthusiastic, outgoing and visible and your customer base will grow. Use advertising, telemarketing and newsletters; make contacts through cold calls and referrals. Become comfortable with the telephone, project your personality, develop a calling schedule.

6. Know your market and understand industry jargon. When you can interpret your client’s business and personal needs, you can understand problems and help find solutions. Think how you would feel if you were in your client’s position.

7. Belief in your product and the help you can give your customers will create genuine enthusiasm. Study your competition. Are they defining new markets or redefining existing ones? Match your persistence to theirs.

8. Plan, prioritize and delegate. Ask for help when you need it. Help others; they will return your favors.

9. Become your own time manager. Before you can manage your clients’ time as a cost-effective tool, you must learn to manage your own time.

10. Learn how to say no. If you do not intend to fulfill a request, say so. Choose your commitments carefully and keep the ones you make. Be direct and truthful.

11. Conquer rejection. Be prepared for negative feedback; when properly handled, rejection can build character.

12. Develop strong relationships with your customers. Offer help, stay in contact, be flexible. Anticipate your customers’ needs and concerns, remain open to their suggestions and ask for continuous feedback.

13. Tie up those loose ends. When closing, give your client well-thought-out solutions to any last-minute objections. After the sale, keep in touch to resolve any needs, and follow up as quickly as you can.