The Top 10 Sales Don’ts to Avoid at All Costs

ten

Every day people enter sales positions or start businesses.

They are either taught techniques and tricks of the trade, or they assume that certain behaviors are appropriate. Unfortunately, many of these people are doing the wrong things and therefore, not getting the results they seek.

Below are the top ten sales don’ts, listed from least offensive to screaming hot bad.

10. Do Not Hand Your Business Card to Everyone You Meet

First of all, they don’t want it. Secondly, you are telegraphing that you are interested in what you can get, not what they need. Only give your card to people who ask for it. This way you’ll know who really wants it. DO ask for the other person’s card every time. You’ll want to follow up with them, if only to send them a short note saying it was nice to meet them.

9. Do Not Prospect by Email

I’m not talking about email marketing which I believe in. I’m talking about prospecting; sending an unsolicited email to someone trying to gain their business. It doesn’t work for a whole host of reasons. Remember, the prospect wants to know that you want to do business with them specifically. Make them feel like you are working to gain their business by going the extra step of regular mail or phone.

8. Do Not Pitch on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a place to build relationships and position yourself as an industry expert. No one wants to be sold – anywhere. Plus, you don’t know whether you want to do business with someone just because you’re connected to them on LinkedIn. Use the platform to connect and build. Business will come naturally when and where it makes sense.

7. Do Not Connect with People Just to Sell to Them

People see that coming a mile away and will avoid you like the plague. Remember, people don’t like to be sold to. Have a reason to connect with people outside of selling to them. Or, if you find someone you think might be a potential client find out how you are connected to them and ask for an introduction.

6. Do Not Give a 30-second Commercial That is 2 minutes Long

I see this happen all the time. Someone starts and just doesn’t stop. The more you talk, the less people listen. So create a 30 or less second commercial and use it. If you can’t figure out how to say what value and results you bring in 30 seconds or less, get help figuring it out.

5. Do Not Lie

Enough said

4. Do Not Over-promise

It’s better to be realistic with what you can do. A lot of salespeople want the money so badly that they will agree to do anything the prospect wants. Then they find out that they can’t deliver.

3. Do Not Tell People Everything You Do

When you are in that sales appointment do not go on and on about your products/services, bells and whistles. To tell you the truth – they aren’t listening! They only care about a solution to the current problem they are having. So talk about your solution to their problem. Later you can share more as you build the relationship.

2. Do Not Sit Around and Wait for People to Call You

Sales is a verb. It’s an activity you have to engage in daily in order to grow your business.

… And the #1 most offensive Don’t?

1. Don’t Sell

Yep, I said it. There is no place in sales for selling. We see selling as convincing, cajoling, or persuading. That’s not what it’s all about. Sales is about matching a solution to a problem. So don’t sell. Listen, learn, and connect what you have to offer to the problem they are having.

Have you committed any of these don’ts? That’s okay. We all have at one point or another. Moving forward, remove them from your practices and you’ll see your sales increase.


Guitar Amp Dial Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "The Top 10 Sales Don’ts to Avoid at All Costs" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

The Top 10 Sales Don’ts to Avoid at All Costs

ten

Every day people enter sales positions or start businesses.

They are either taught techniques and tricks of the trade, or they assume that certain behaviors are appropriate. Unfortunately, many of these people are doing the wrong things and therefore, not getting the results they seek.

Below are the top ten sales don’ts, listed from least offensive to screaming hot bad.

10. Do Not Hand Your Business Card to Everyone You Meet

First of all, they don’t want it. Secondly, you are telegraphing that you are interested in what you can get, not what they need. Only give your card to people who ask for it. This way you’ll know who really wants it. DO ask for the other person’s card every time. You’ll want to follow up with them, if only to send them a short note saying it was nice to meet them.

9. Do Not Prospect by Email

I’m not talking about email marketing which I believe in. I’m talking about prospecting; sending an unsolicited email to someone trying to gain their business. It doesn’t work for a whole host of reasons. Remember, the prospect wants to know that you want to do business with them specifically. Make them feel like you are working to gain their business by going the extra step of regular mail or phone.

8. Do Not Pitch on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a place to build relationships and position yourself as an industry expert. No one wants to be sold – anywhere. Plus, you don’t know whether you want to do business with someone just because you’re connected to them on LinkedIn. Use the platform to connect and build. Business will come naturally when and where it makes sense.

7. Do Not Connect with People Just to Sell to Them

People see that coming a mile away and will avoid you like the plague. Remember, people don’t like to be sold to. Have a reason to connect with people outside of selling to them. Or, if you find someone you think might be a potential client find out how you are connected to them and ask for an introduction.

6. Do Not Give a 30-second Commercial That is 2 minutes Long

I see this happen all the time. Someone starts and just doesn’t stop. The more you talk, the less people listen. So create a 30 or less second commercial and use it. If you can’t figure out how to say what value and results you bring in 30 seconds or less, get help figuring it out.

5. Do Not Lie

Enough said

4. Do Not Over-promise

It’s better to be realistic with what you can do. A lot of salespeople want the money so badly that they will agree to do anything the prospect wants. Then they find out that they can’t deliver.

3. Do Not Tell People Everything You Do

When you are in that sales appointment do not go on and on about your products/services, bells and whistles. To tell you the truth – they aren’t listening! They only care about a solution to the current problem they are having. So talk about your solution to their problem. Later you can share more as you build the relationship.

2. Do Not Sit Around and Wait for People to Call You

Sales is a verb. It’s an activity you have to engage in daily in order to grow your business.

… And the #1 most offensive Don’t?

1. Don’t Sell

Yep, I said it. There is no place in sales for selling. We see selling as convincing, cajoling, or persuading. That’s not what it’s all about. Sales is about matching a solution to a problem. So don’t sell. Listen, learn, and connect what you have to offer to the problem they are having.

Have you committed any of these don’ts? That’s okay. We all have at one point or another. Moving forward, remove them from your practices and you’ll see your sales increase.


Guitar Amp Dial Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "The Top 10 Sales Don’ts to Avoid at All Costs" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Startups Put Data in Farmers' Hands

By Jacob Bunge Farmers and entrepreneurs are starting to compete with agribusiness giants over the newest commodity being harvested on U.S. farms—one measured in bytes, not bushels.Startups including Farmobile LLC, Granular Inc. and Grower Information Services Cooperative are developing computer systems that will enable farmers to capture data streaming from their tractors and combines, store it in digital silos and market it to agriculture companies or futures traders. Such platforms could allow farmers to reap larger profits from a technology revolution sweeping the U.S. Farm Belt and give them more control over the information generated on their fields.The efforts in some cases would challenge a wave of data-analysis tools from big agricultural companies such as Monsanto Co., DuPont Co., Deere & Co. and Cargill Inc. Those systems harness modern planters, combines and other machinery outfitted with sensors to track planting, spraying and harvesting, then crunch that data to provide farm-management guidance that these firms say can help farmers curb costs and grow larger crops. The companies say farmers own their data, and it won’t be sold to third parties.Some farmers and entrepreneurs say crop producers can get the most from their data by compiling and analyzing it themselves—for instance, to determine the best time to apply fertilizer to their soil and how much. Then, farmers could profit further by selling data to seed, pesticide and equipment makers seeking a glimpse into how and when farmers use machinery and crop supplies. The new ventures come as farmers weigh the potential benefits of sharing their data with large agricultural firms against privacy concerns and fears that agribusinesses could leverage farm-level information to charge higher rates for seeds, pesticides and other supplies.“We need to get farmers involved in this because it’s their information,” said Dewey Hukill, board president of Grower Information Services Cooperative, or GISC, a farmer-owned cooperative that is building a platform to collect its members’ data. The cooperative has signed up about 1,500 members across 37 states.Members of the Lubbock, Texas-based co-op eventually will be able to choose to have their data scrubbed of identifying details, combined with other farmers’ information and sold to prospective buyers. Farmers who participate would share in the proceeds. “If there is any monetary value, we think it needs to go back to the grower,” Mr. Hukill said.Advancements in wireless technology, inexpensive sensors to monitor seeding rates and data-crunching techniques honed in Silicon Valley have helped agricultural companies build systems to help farmers examine which seeds to use in different soils or whether they’re underutilizing farm equipment.Monsanto, the world’s largest seed maker by sales, has spent more than $1 billion on acquisitions over the past three years on farming hardware and data analysis capabilities. DuPont, which has teamed up with Deere and other groups as it develops its own service, anticipates generating as much as $500 million a year in revenue from computerized farming services.The Climate Pro service from Monsanto’s Climate Corp. division costs $3 per acre a year. DuPont charges $150 a month for its Encirca premium suite of farm-management tools, with an initial $450 setup fee. Both offer basic versions free of charge.Startups like Farmobile and Granular say farmers should have greater control over how their information is used.Farmobile’s transmitters, about the size of a paperback book, download information from the diagnostic systems of tractors and other machinery and beam it to a remote server, allowing farm managers to monitor operations and make quick adjustments. Farmobile charges farmers $1,250 a year for its data transmitter and mobile application, which allows farmers to track their tractors and combines in real-time, monitoring performance and chemical use.Next year Farmobile, which is based in a suburb of Kansas City, Mo., plans to open an electronic marketplace where pesticide companies, tractor makers or commodity traders could search for data on farmers’ harvests and quote prices to individual farmers to see detailed information. If a farmer sells, proceeds would be split evenly between the farmer and Farmobile.“We’re monetizing something [farmers] hadn’t monetized before,” said Jason Tatge, co-founder and chief executive of Farmobile, which is funded by its founders and has about 140 farmers using its transmitters this year.Granular, which sells farm-management software, also envisions a platform that would allow farmers to store and potentially market their data, said CEO Sid Gorham, who previously ran the mobile division of market-research firm Nielsen NV. Granular has raised $25 million in venture capital from firms including Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.The San Francisco company is working to aggregate data from large-scale farms to allow its farmer users to compare prices and performance of farm supplies like seeds to see if they are getting the best deal. Allowing farmers to market their data could become possible late next year, Mr. Gorham said. “We’d give our farmers the first crack [at using the data] before selling it.”Granular charges about $3 per acre a year for its farm management platform, which automates some budgeting and inventory functions and projects profits.Companies developing markets for farm data say it’s not their intention to displace big seed and machinery suppliers but to give farmers a platform that would enable them to manage their own information. Storing and selling their own data wouldn’t necessarily bar a farmer from sharing information with a seed company to get a planting recommendation, they say.Meanwhile, companies developing the data silos expect it will take several years to set up comprehensive databases spanning significant swaths of big crop-producing states. Farmers, many of whom struggle with the idea of big companies or traders gaining an intimate view of their farms, will also have to be won over to make the concept work.Some farmers, however, see the potential for a new revenue stream from their crop information. “At this point, I’m pretty comfortable with allowing my data to be aggregated into other [data sets],” said Zachary Hunnicutt, a Nebraska farmer who has been testing Farmobile’s system. “It’s [potentially] another income flow and a way to help people make better decisions around agriculture.”Field-level information on crops, collected in near real-time, would find ready purchasers among traders of agricultural futures such as corn and wheat, said Jon Marcus, principal of Chicago-based brokerage firm Lakefront Futures & Options LLC. “It’s invaluable if it’s done correctly,” he said.Big grain companies, too, could be buyers. “It’ll be a source of input that we would eventually put a price on,” said Soren Schroder, chief executive of Bunge Ltd., among the world’s biggest purchasers of agricultural commodities. FMC Corp., a major supplier of crop chemicals, would be interested in purchasing “more grower-level agronomic data” to help the company develop new products, though it would depend on the quality of the data and the price, according to a spokesman. Write to Jacob Bunge at jacob.bunge@wsj.com

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Cracking the Sales Code with These Two Basic Principles

cracking the sales code

The classified ad screamed: “$600/Month Guaranteed!”

This was a lot of money back in the day.

I was a new high school graduate and had only a vague notion of the saying in business that “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” I would learn soon enough.

It was my first big sales job. I would be selling vacuum cleaners, cold-calling door-to-door. But the company managers weren’t demanding sales numbers, just behaviors.

The sales training was not what I expected. The sales trainer was not Alec Baldwin in the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” pounding the ABC’s of AIDA (sales-speak for “Always Be Closing” and “Attention, Interest, Desire, Action”).

Sales was more than FAB. Selling was not just:

  • Features — describing what product is.
  • Advantages — what it does.
  • Benefits — the value to the customer.

Instead, George, my trainer and mentor, taught two basics:

  1. Think behaviors, not ‘dollars’; and
  2. Practice influence, don’t ‘sell.’

Door-to-door selling taught me that sales is first about behaviors. Get your behaviors right, and the money follows.

The sales funnel statistics were simple. At the top, at the widest, was the action that I had to perform as a condition of employment for that 600 bucks.  The job was easy; knock on 100 doors a day, six days a week.

It didn’t matter what happened. No one home or not interested? I just had to bang on doors. This behavior, I was assured, would lead to three invitations to return that evening to present the machine. For every three presentations, one sale would result. The company numbers worked for me. As I got better, I needed fewer numbers at the funnel’s wide top to get a sale at the narrow bottom.

The second skill George, my mentor, taught, was to influence, to persuade.  Good sales training programs remind us the first step in the sales process is to establish rapport. The prospect must respond and then trust you.

Earning the confidence of the prospect begins with the other person making a move in the salesman’s direction. In door-to-door sales, that microscopic move was getting the homeowner to respond and to open the door.

If you’re not knocking on doors, what might that look like? That first response could be getting an email reply.

If the prospect will not open the door, or answer the phone, or return an email, there is no relationship. And there will be no sale.

Please understand, I am not minimizing the skills and the teachable science of salesmanship. Rather, I learned in cold calling that sales also includes the art and craft of personal interaction.

Always try to get your prospective customer to make a move in your direction.

Here’s what it looks like when selling is life and death: in hostage negotiations. Have you ever wondered how those guys from the FBI talk their way in and get live bodies out?

It might go something like this. The hostage negotiator (sales guy) will spend considerable time establishing a personal connection with the criminals.

Our negotiator will suggest bag lunches be brought in to feed the hostages and delivered on plastic trays.

At the end of the lunch, the negotiator will ask for the trays to be returned.

If the hostage-taker complies and returns the trays, then the negotiator knows that within 72 hours the hostages will be released.

Hostage negotiators, like sales professionals, understand that the start of persuasion is to get the ‘prospect’ to begin to respect the power of the negotiator-salesman. The micro-obedience begins with the returning of a worthless plastic tray.

The negotiator will then suggest ever-increasing incremental exchanges until the hostages are set free. The power comes from persuading the other person to make moves.

Whatever you’re selling, remember to focus first on behaving a certain way, and then on persuading and influencing your prospect.

Classified Ads Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Cracking the Sales Code with These Two Basic Principles" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Cracking the Sales Code with These Two Basic Principles

cracking the sales code

The classified ad screamed: “$600/Month Guaranteed!”

This was a lot of money back in the day.

I was a new high school graduate and had only a vague notion of the saying in business that “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” I would learn soon enough.

It was my first big sales job. I would be selling vacuum cleaners, cold-calling door-to-door. But the company managers weren’t demanding sales numbers, just behaviors.

The sales training was not what I expected. The sales trainer was not Alec Baldwin in the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” pounding the ABC’s of AIDA (sales-speak for “Always Be Closing” and “Attention, Interest, Desire, Action”).

Sales was more than FAB. Selling was not just:

  • Features — describing what product is.
  • Advantages — what it does.
  • Benefits — the value to the customer.

Instead, George, my trainer and mentor, taught two basics:

  1. Think behaviors, not ‘dollars’; and
  2. Practice influence, don’t ‘sell.’

Door-to-door selling taught me that sales is first about behaviors. Get your behaviors right, and the money follows.

The sales funnel statistics were simple. At the top, at the widest, was the action that I had to perform as a condition of employment for that 600 bucks.  The job was easy; knock on 100 doors a day, six days a week.

It didn’t matter what happened. No one home or not interested? I just had to bang on doors. This behavior, I was assured, would lead to three invitations to return that evening to present the machine. For every three presentations, one sale would result. The company numbers worked for me. As I got better, I needed fewer numbers at the funnel’s wide top to get a sale at the narrow bottom.

The second skill George, my mentor, taught, was to influence, to persuade.  Good sales training programs remind us the first step in the sales process is to establish rapport. The prospect must respond and then trust you.

Earning the confidence of the prospect begins with the other person making a move in the salesman’s direction. In door-to-door sales, that microscopic move was getting the homeowner to respond and to open the door.

If you’re not knocking on doors, what might that look like? That first response could be getting an email reply.

If the prospect will not open the door, or answer the phone, or return an email, there is no relationship. And there will be no sale.

Please understand, I am not minimizing the skills and the teachable science of salesmanship. Rather, I learned in cold calling that sales also includes the art and craft of personal interaction.

Always try to get your prospective customer to make a move in your direction.

Here’s what it looks like when selling is life and death: in hostage negotiations. Have you ever wondered how those guys from the FBI talk their way in and get live bodies out?

It might go something like this. The hostage negotiator (sales guy) will spend considerable time establishing a personal connection with the criminals.

Our negotiator will suggest bag lunches be brought in to feed the hostages and delivered on plastic trays.

At the end of the lunch, the negotiator will ask for the trays to be returned.

If the hostage-taker complies and returns the trays, then the negotiator knows that within 72 hours the hostages will be released.

Hostage negotiators, like sales professionals, understand that the start of persuasion is to get the ‘prospect’ to begin to respect the power of the negotiator-salesman. The micro-obedience begins with the returning of a worthless plastic tray.

The negotiator will then suggest ever-increasing incremental exchanges until the hostages are set free. The power comes from persuading the other person to make moves.

Whatever you’re selling, remember to focus first on behaving a certain way, and then on persuading and influencing your prospect.

Classified Ads Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Cracking the Sales Code with These Two Basic Principles" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Service Providers See Gold in Shares of Startups

By Telis Demos And Liz Hoffman Startup Casper Sleep Inc. has blanketed New York subways with catchy ads promising “the perfect mattress,” ordered online and shipped free. Those ads were designed by one of Casper’s shareholders. Brooklyn-based branding company Red Antler was paid, in part, in stock for working with the company in its early days.Red Antler belongs to a growing class of service providers that are looking to profit on the soaring valuations of young startups by taking payment in stock instead of cash. There are 115 private companies valued at more than $1 billion, up from 64 a year ago, according to Dow Jones VentureSource, and the rise of what the industry calls unicorns has drawn a growing pool of vendors seeking equity stakes.“It’s a core part of our business model,” said JB Osborne, Red Antler’s co-founder. The firm regularly takes small stakes in young companies such as Casper, and it often helps firms craft pitches to venture capitalists before their first big fund-raising rounds. Casper is valued at over $550 million, The Wall Street Journal has reported.While shares-for-service swaps give companies like Red Antler a shot at big profits, they are also in line for big losses if the startups fail. During the dot-com bust, some West Coast law firms that took stakes in their clients watched the value of their shares evaporate. And, increasingly, huge private funding rounds are allowing startups to delay going public, which limits investors’ ability to turn paper gains into actual ones.Still, many service providers are willing the take the gamble as they watch the value of some young startups skyrocket. Seven-year-old home-rental service Airbnb Inc. was valued at $25.5 billion in a recent funding round, and messaging service Snapchat Inc., founded in 2011 by college dropout Evan Spiegel, was valued at $16 billion earlier this year, the Journal has reported. The strategy has paid off handsomely for some. In 2011, two-year-old Uber Technologies Inc. tapped Bradley Tusk to help the car-service app navigate the governments that held the key to its ability to expand into new cities. Mr. Tusk, a past campaign manager for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, accepted Uber stock as payment for his services.Today, Uber is valued at $51 billion, the Journal has reported, up from $330 million at the end of 2011, increasing, on paper, the value of Mr. Tusk’s small stake more than 150-fold.Mr. Tusk recently launched a political consulting firm that will take stock in some clients and cash from others. He is confident the strategy will pay off, in part because he believes the political advice he gives to companies like Uber will help them grow. Companies operating in the “sharing economy” often face resistance from governments and organized trade groups, which can hamper their expansion.“We’d be crazy to take equity…if we didn’t think we were able to create more value,” he said.Consigliere Brand Capital, a branding and marketing firm launched in 2010 by Madison Avenue veterans, also aims to help its clients grow. It sometimes takes equity as payment and also invests its own cash in startups, alongside venture-capital firms, in formal fundraisings. Its portfolio includes beauty-subscription service Birchbox and Harry’s Razor Co., which sells shaving supplies.“These companies are growing very quickly,” said Brent Vartan, the firm’s chief strategy officer. “We’re going to be along for that ride, creatively and financially.”Veterans of the dot-com bust, however, warn that the ride could be bumpy. Valuations for some private startups have begun to decline from their peaks, with firms such as Box Inc. going public at prices below where they previously raised money privately. A 2012 study by a Harvard researcher found that three in four startups fail to return investors’ capital.And even with big winners, opportunities to reap profits on the investments can take years to materialize. More than 40 companies have joined the list of startups valued at more than $1 billion in 2015, but only three billion-dollar startups have gone public this year, according to VentureSource. While a marketplace has emerged to help private investors sell startup shares, it remains opaque and, as the Journal reported in July, has attracted regulatory scrutiny.Some service providers would rather take the cash. Adam Goldstein, co-founder of online hiring marketplace Vettery, which works with a number of young startups, says his firm prefers to take cash instead of equity.“Companies are generally only willing to give equity when they’re young, and when it’s hardest to predict if they’ll be a success,” said Mr. Goldstein. “The odds of an exit are low. Getting paid is tough.”Some startup founders, meanwhile, are reluctant to part with potentially valuable stock. Erik Norwood, an entrepreneur based in Austin, said he has been approached by former employees of companies including Microsoft Corp. and Dell Inc. seeking equity in exchange for handling marketing for his “smart-home” startup, Curb, which is working on a prototype of its energy-monitoring smart-home device. While equity can help him buy services he doesn’t have the cash for, Mr. Norwood said he is wary of giving away too much of his firm.“Everyone who used to ask for cash is now asking for equity,” he said. “They start seeing the bigger picture and wonder, ‘How do I get a piece of this?’ As a founder, you have to be a little careful.” Write to Telis Demos at telis.demos@wsj.com and Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com

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5 Easy Ways To Sell Without Being Pushy Or Obnoxious

easy ways to sell

One of the greatest fears entrepreneurs face when selling is being too pushy. Nobody wants to come off like one of those obnoxious salespeople.

You know what I’m talking about. Those people who are more interested in shoving their product or service down your throat than they are in actually figuring out what you need. Despite your protestations, they push and push until you finally find a way to escape from the conversation.

You know that nobody likes dealing with that type of person. So when you’re selling, you’re deathly afraid of being that person. Let’s face it. Selling is hard. Really hard.

Getting someone to buy your product or service can create a lot of pressure. You want to make sure that you’re approaching each prospect the right way. You don’t want to be too pushy, but you also don’t want lose sales because you’re too afraid to close. It’s a like walking a tightrope.

You have to strike the right balance between getting your point across and not pushing your prospect into a corner. Fortunately, this is much easier than it sounds.

There are easy ways to sell and techniques you can use to ease into the sale rather than rushing into it. Below is a list of actionable easy ways to sell and tips you can use to enhance your sales process and ultimately close more deals.

1. Remove the Pressure

This is one of the most important tips on this list, but for many, it’s the hardest. You’re trying to build a successful business. In order to do this, you need clients.

Not only that, you might depend on your business as your primary source of income. Because of this, it’s easy to feel pressured to get each prospect to buy from you. This pressure can cause you to make mistakes. It can make you rush straight into your sales pitch rather than taking the time to get to know you prospect.

However, it’s important to realize that this pressure can cause you to become that pushy, aggressive person when you’re trying to sell. In the end, this will cause you to lose more than you win.

It requires you to change your mindset. Instead of believing that you absolutely must get this sale right now, understand that in the end, it’s more effective to work your sales process until it’s time to close.

2. Take Your Time

One of the best easy ways to sell while not being pushy is to take your time. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is rushing straight to the sales pitch. It’s like asking someone to marry after the first date!

If you come off like you’re desperate for the sale, it will turn your prospect off. Remember, you want your prospect to be as comfortable as possible.

This is why it’s so important to develop your own sales process. A sales process helps you organize your sales interactions by giving you steps to follow before you actually close the deal.

Your sales process should include the following:

  • Introduction: How will you begin the sales interaction? What’s your elevator pitch?
  • Needs Discovery: What does your customer need? What are their pain points? How can your company help?
  • Solution: This where you present your solution. Make sure you’re addressing their needs and pain points.
  • The Close: Make sure there’s no further objections and ask for the business.

Your sales process should include these four points. When you follow a viable sales process, you can find a way to provide the solution your prospect needs.

3. Let Your Prospect Do the Talking

If you follow this sales tip, there will be no way that you will appear to be too pushy. Why? Because you’re not doing the talking. After all, it’s hard to be aggressive when it’s your prospect that is speaking, right?

Encouraging your prospect to do the talking will make it much easier to sell without being aggressive. It also helps you understand your prospect more, which means your chances of winning the sale increase.

The best way to get your prospects talking is to ask great questions. Anyone in sales knows this.

Good open-ended questions will encourage your prospect to open up to you. When they feel comfortable talking to you, it will be much easier to earn their trust. The more they talk, the deeper the connection you’re able to build with them.

4. Make Your Prospect Feel Comfortable

The more comfortable your prospect is, the better your chances will be of earning their business. Being aggressive will make your prospects feel nervous and tense, which is why it’s so ineffective.

One of the easy ways to sell and get your prospect to feel comfortable with you is to smile and relax when you’re interacting. Use humor to get them in a better mood.

When you show that you’re comfortable and relaxed, your prospect will feel the same way. Do whatever you can to put your customer at ease and you won’t have to worry about pushing them to buy.

5. Focus On Their Problems, Not Your Product

You’ve probably heard it said many times: your customer doesn’t care about your company, product, or service. They care about themselves. They care about solving their problems.

This is another rookie mistake that pushy salespeople make.

They rush into the pitch without any regard for the prospects needs and pain points. This sends the message that you see the prospect as nothing more than a dollar sign. Then you go on and on about your product without even addressing what your prospect really needs.

This is another reason why it’s so important to take your time and get your prospects to talk. Find out what their problems are and figure out ways to solve them.

You want to become a partner and a consultant to your prospect. Not just someone who wants to sell them something.

This approach can take more time, but it’s more effective in the long run.

The important thing to remember about these easy ways to sell is that they work together to create an approach that actually helps your prospect. That’s what this is all about. Your objective is not to sell your product or service. Your objective is to make your prospect’s life easier.

If you follow these five easy ways to sell, it will be impossible for you to become that pushy, obnoxious, ultra-salesy entrepreneur that nobody likes. As a matter of fact, it will cause your prospects to see you as someone who genuinely cares about their needs and concerns.

Remember, when you focus on selling solutions instead of products, your sales interactions will be much more successful.

How do you avoid coming off as pushy?

Pushy Salesman Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "5 Easy Ways To Sell Without Being Pushy Or Obnoxious" was first published on Small Business Trends



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5 Easy Ways To Sell Without Being Pushy Or Obnoxious

easy ways to sell

One of the greatest fears entrepreneurs face when selling is being too pushy. Nobody wants to come off like one of those obnoxious salespeople.

You know what I’m talking about. Those people who are more interested in shoving their product or service down your throat than they are in actually figuring out what you need. Despite your protestations, they push and push until you finally find a way to escape from the conversation.

You know that nobody likes dealing with that type of person. So when you’re selling, you’re deathly afraid of being that person. Let’s face it. Selling is hard. Really hard.

Getting someone to buy your product or service can create a lot of pressure. You want to make sure that you’re approaching each prospect the right way. You don’t want to be too pushy, but you also don’t want lose sales because you’re too afraid to close. It’s a like walking a tightrope.

You have to strike the right balance between getting your point across and not pushing your prospect into a corner. Fortunately, this is much easier than it sounds.

There are easy ways to sell and techniques you can use to ease into the sale rather than rushing into it. Below is a list of actionable easy ways to sell and tips you can use to enhance your sales process and ultimately close more deals.

1. Remove the Pressure

This is one of the most important tips on this list, but for many, it’s the hardest. You’re trying to build a successful business. In order to do this, you need clients.

Not only that, you might depend on your business as your primary source of income. Because of this, it’s easy to feel pressured to get each prospect to buy from you. This pressure can cause you to make mistakes. It can make you rush straight into your sales pitch rather than taking the time to get to know you prospect.

However, it’s important to realize that this pressure can cause you to become that pushy, aggressive person when you’re trying to sell. In the end, this will cause you to lose more than you win.

It requires you to change your mindset. Instead of believing that you absolutely must get this sale right now, understand that in the end, it’s more effective to work your sales process until it’s time to close.

2. Take Your Time

One of the best easy ways to sell while not being pushy is to take your time. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is rushing straight to the sales pitch. It’s like asking someone to marry after the first date!

If you come off like you’re desperate for the sale, it will turn your prospect off. Remember, you want your prospect to be as comfortable as possible.

This is why it’s so important to develop your own sales process. A sales process helps you organize your sales interactions by giving you steps to follow before you actually close the deal.

Your sales process should include the following:

  • Introduction: How will you begin the sales interaction? What’s your elevator pitch?
  • Needs Discovery: What does your customer need? What are their pain points? How can your company help?
  • Solution: This where you present your solution. Make sure you’re addressing their needs and pain points.
  • The Close: Make sure there’s no further objections and ask for the business.

Your sales process should include these four points. When you follow a viable sales process, you can find a way to provide the solution your prospect needs.

3. Let Your Prospect Do the Talking

If you follow this sales tip, there will be no way that you will appear to be too pushy. Why? Because you’re not doing the talking. After all, it’s hard to be aggressive when it’s your prospect that is speaking, right?

Encouraging your prospect to do the talking will make it much easier to sell without being aggressive. It also helps you understand your prospect more, which means your chances of winning the sale increase.

The best way to get your prospects talking is to ask great questions. Anyone in sales knows this.

Good open-ended questions will encourage your prospect to open up to you. When they feel comfortable talking to you, it will be much easier to earn their trust. The more they talk, the deeper the connection you’re able to build with them.

4. Make Your Prospect Feel Comfortable

The more comfortable your prospect is, the better your chances will be of earning their business. Being aggressive will make your prospects feel nervous and tense, which is why it’s so ineffective.

One of the easy ways to sell and get your prospect to feel comfortable with you is to smile and relax when you’re interacting. Use humor to get them in a better mood.

When you show that you’re comfortable and relaxed, your prospect will feel the same way. Do whatever you can to put your customer at ease and you won’t have to worry about pushing them to buy.

5. Focus On Their Problems, Not Your Product

You’ve probably heard it said many times: your customer doesn’t care about your company, product, or service. They care about themselves. They care about solving their problems.

This is another rookie mistake that pushy salespeople make.

They rush into the pitch without any regard for the prospects needs and pain points. This sends the message that you see the prospect as nothing more than a dollar sign. Then you go on and on about your product without even addressing what your prospect really needs.

This is another reason why it’s so important to take your time and get your prospects to talk. Find out what their problems are and figure out ways to solve them.

You want to become a partner and a consultant to your prospect. Not just someone who wants to sell them something.

This approach can take more time, but it’s more effective in the long run.

The important thing to remember about these easy ways to sell is that they work together to create an approach that actually helps your prospect. That’s what this is all about. Your objective is not to sell your product or service. Your objective is to make your prospect’s life easier.

If you follow these five easy ways to sell, it will be impossible for you to become that pushy, obnoxious, ultra-salesy entrepreneur that nobody likes. As a matter of fact, it will cause your prospects to see you as someone who genuinely cares about their needs and concerns.

Remember, when you focus on selling solutions instead of products, your sales interactions will be much more successful.

How do you avoid coming off as pushy?

Pushy Salesman Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "5 Easy Ways To Sell Without Being Pushy Or Obnoxious" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Google Kills Flash Advertising in Chrome for Good

Like many of its industry counterparts, Google is eliminating Flash-enabled ads on Chrome.


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You Won’t Believe How Easy it Is to Break the Samsung Galaxy Note 5

break galaxy note 5

“The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is our easiest to break mobile device.”

OK, so that’s not how the company is advertising the Note 5, except for maybe in the Bizzaro world.

But Samsung is admitting its new product has a pretty serious design flaw. The Note 5’s stylus can be inserted into its silo in both directions, but one of those directions can cause permanent damage to the phone’s functionality and disable the stylus detection feature.

The Verge reports:

“The flaw is particularly annoying because of the ease with which the S Pen can be inserted into the Note 5 the wrong way. With previous versions of the Note, it was impossible (or simply very difficult) to put the stylus in blunt end first, but the Note 5’s redesigned S Pen means it’s the same shape all the way down its length, and can be pushed into the phone just as easily the right way as the wrong way round.”

Samsung issued a statement recently advising users to carefully read the Note’s user manual. The company advises: “We highly recommend our Galaxy Note5 users follow the instructions in the user guide to ensure they do not experience such an unexpected scenario caused by reinserting the S pen in the other way around.”

However, Android Police says Samsung was “aware of this issue when it shipped the Note 5 and still did not seek to actively address it — the official manual for the phone very clearly states that the S Pen should not be placed in the device backward, lest damage occur to the phone or pen.”

They also include a video in their report showing the breakage in action.

The Note 5 was introduced earlier this month. Its upgrades from the previous Note include a more comfortable ergonomic design featuring a curved back and narrower bezel.

Another new feature allows users to write down ideas or quick notes when the screen is off even if it is locked. Samsung says PDF files can now be annotated with the S Pen and users can use ‘Scroll capture’ to capture Web articles or images even if they are long. That assumes, of course, the pen doesn’t break.

Meanwhile, Wired gives the Note 5 and its sister phone the S6 Edge an 8 out 10, saying they’re both “great phones.”

The publication adds:

“With about 10 minutes of customization — downloading the right theme and hiding the right apps — they’re exceptional phones.”

The Note 5 is available now from all major U.S. carriers, and sells for between $700 and $750.

Image: Samsung

This article, "You Won’t Believe How Easy it Is to Break the Samsung Galaxy Note 5" was first published on Small Business Trends



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You Won’t Believe How Easy it Is to Break the Samsung Galaxy Note 5

break galaxy note 5

“The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is our easiest to break mobile device.”

OK, so that’s not how the company is advertising the Note 5, except for maybe in the Bizzaro world.

But Samsung is admitting its new product has a pretty serious design flaw. The Note 5’s stylus can be inserted into its silo in both directions, but one of those directions can cause permanent damage to the phone’s functionality and disable the stylus detection feature.

The Verge reports:

“The flaw is particularly annoying because of the ease with which the S Pen can be inserted into the Note 5 the wrong way. With previous versions of the Note, it was impossible (or simply very difficult) to put the stylus in blunt end first, but the Note 5’s redesigned S Pen means it’s the same shape all the way down its length, and can be pushed into the phone just as easily the right way as the wrong way round.”

Samsung issued a statement recently advising users to carefully read the Note’s user manual. The company advises: “We highly recommend our Galaxy Note5 users follow the instructions in the user guide to ensure they do not experience such an unexpected scenario caused by reinserting the S pen in the other way around.”

However, Android Police says Samsung was “aware of this issue when it shipped the Note 5 and still did not seek to actively address it — the official manual for the phone very clearly states that the S Pen should not be placed in the device backward, lest damage occur to the phone or pen.”

They also include a video in their report showing the breakage in action.

The Note 5 was introduced earlier this month. Its upgrades from the previous Note include a more comfortable ergonomic design featuring a curved back and narrower bezel.

Another new feature allows users to write down ideas or quick notes when the screen is off even if it is locked. Samsung says PDF files can now be annotated with the S Pen and users can use ‘Scroll capture’ to capture Web articles or images even if they are long. That assumes, of course, the pen doesn’t break.

Meanwhile, Wired gives the Note 5 and its sister phone the S6 Edge an 8 out 10, saying they’re both “great phones.”

The publication adds:

“With about 10 minutes of customization — downloading the right theme and hiding the right apps — they’re exceptional phones.”

The Note 5 is available now from all major U.S. carriers, and sells for between $700 and $750.

Image: Samsung

This article, "You Won’t Believe How Easy it Is to Break the Samsung Galaxy Note 5" was first published on Small Business Trends



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