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Heat up Your Team’s Sales Skills!

When we refer to “hot” salespeople, we are not talking about appearance. In fact, very attractive salespeople might hinder, rather than help sales, according to this study.

No matter what type of business you run, every team member or digital touchpoint plays a role in the selling process. From the first visit to your website…to setting an appointment or ordering a product.…and even to the types of posts you put up on social media…every experience of your brand is an opportunity to build loyalty and deepen a relationship or to turn a customer or prospect off.

Among the 20 traits of top salespeople is this important one: They don’t think of what they do as “selling.” They view it as building relationships, one at a time.

Many people are not comfortable asking for business. That’s understandable. Many customers don’t like to feel as if they are having extra products or services shoved down their throats either.

Soft-selling, or consultative selling, is a style of sales that revolves around building relationships, believing in your product, telling stories, and establishing trust over time. It’s a fact…people will buy from other people who they know, like, and trust. Here are some tips for how to “soft-sell.”

Some ways you can get your entire team trained in the selling process are:

  1. Come up with fun ideas to “role play” sales and up-sell skills during team meetings. Team members can coach each other and will be more comfortable sharing their selling tips with each other.
  2. Celebrate team successes, rather than focusing just on individual goals. High-pressure sales cultures often result in aggressive sales behaviors with customers. If someone is pushed to make a “quota,” she may push the customer too hard too.
  3. Understand what motivates your team. If you’re offering cash prizes and what people really want is more time off, you’ve missed the mark. Match the reward to the person or the team.
  4. Post sales results in a visible place and encourage people to contribute ideas to improving them. Listen to every idea – no matter how wacky or novel. If you want your team to contribute, you need to value their opinions.
  5. Role model the behaviors you’d like to see in your team. You need to “walk the talk” if you want your employees to learn. (If you’re not comfortable with your own sales skills, take a class or attend a session at an industry conference.)

Most small businesses can’t afford to hire a dedicated sales team – so everyone who works for the business ultimately plays a role in the company’s success. Building a “sales culture” within the organization will not only heat-up your bottom line, but it will make your place of business a warm and engaging place to be!