Outside Sales: 16 Tips For Success
Some of you may be new to the world of sales. If so, let’s begin by offering a quick definition. Here’s the difference between an outside salesperson and an inside salesperson. Inside salespeople work from inside the office and make outbound calls. Whereas, outside salespeople travel to their prospects to meet them face-to-face.
Here are sixteen outside sales tips to ensure your face-to-face meetings go well. Use these and you should be on track to putting more revenue in your pocket than ever before.
1) Have specific goals.
Benchmarks are crucial. Without them, there’s no way to determine the starting line. For example, you should have a good idea of how many new customers you’ll need. You should also be aware of the necessary timeframe. Having goals will help you determine and develop strategies that will work best for you.
Here’s a formula that many Billions in the Bank clients like to use. Multiply the number of needed customers by the price of your product or service. This will provide you with the revenue figure to aim for.
2) Know everything about what you’re selling.
Doing outbound sales involves having insider information. You can’t close sales without it. But you can’t go through the motions. Knowing tag-lines the marketing department wrote about your product isn’t good enough.
You’ve got to dig deep. And you must determine factors that differentiate your product from competitors. You must be willing to go the extra mile. For example, you could call up the product’s manufacturer. Why? To get detailed information on what makes your product worth having.
Nothing loses sales faster than a rep not knowing what he or she is selling. Customers can pick up on that fast. At the worst, use Google as your friend. Sift through information about the product. Then write down the information that’s most relevant to your prospects. Next, memorize the information until you know it like the back of your hand. Don’t risk embarrassing yourself by lacking in-depth knowledge. The biggest reason to feel embarrassed? It was knowledge that you would have had if you’d prepared!
3) Center your pitch around prospects’ needs.
Your sales numbers will never be good until you have a firm grasp of what your prospects need. Taking the time to ask your prospects a few questions will go a long way. It will help you determine the specific needs. This will also position you to upsell or cross-sell.
Here’s a good first question to ask. “What areas are you needing to improve the most?” This is an example of being direct and getting straight to the point. You don’t have time to waste with chit-chat. The more you focus on what your prospects need, the more likely it is they’ll become loyal customers over time. How do you get money on a consistent basis? You take care of your customers.
4) Have a pleasant and friendly demeanor.
Outside sales is all about developing personal connections. Which is an impossible feat when you’re sullen and not personable. Being pleasant allows prospects to let their guards down. As a result, you’ll be able to determine what they’re in need of. One trick is to always compliment a prospect at the beginning of a conversation. Don’t go overboard with your compliments. It’s crucial that you appear to be genuine. Research your prospects online and on social media apps. This will enable you to find something to compliment each prospect about.
5) Stay focused at all times.
As an outside rep, you have many goals to achieve and many prospects to visit. But you can’t appear to get overwhelmed. You’ve got to stay cool, calm, and collected. This means you have to focus on each task at hand. This is vital to boosting your closing rates. Stay present in every moment.
6) Set the bar as high as possible.
Congratulations on hitting your sales targets. But it’s time to set the bar higher. Never allow yourself to underplay your selling potential. Salespeople who make the most money are NEVER satisfied with their performance. They’re always raising the bar so they can raise their revenue. If your benchmarks don’t intimidate you, then you need to step up your game. Scary benchmarks force salespeople to determine new ways to close.
7) Use analytics.
Digital technology, such as analytics, is crucial to outside selling success. Why? Analytics tell you what’s selling in your territory. Better yet, they tell you who’s buying. This is why your organization should consider investing in software. But not any software. It has to be the type that features sales forecasting. It’s human nature to miss the big picture. And that’s why you need analytics. It never misses the big picture. It displays it for you.
8) Determine pain points.
It’s not enough to figure out your prospect’s needs. You must be able to determine the root cause of your prospect’s pain points. View each prospect as someone who has individual problems. Then, make it your mission to determine what those individual problems are. This is why planning your questions in advance is crucial. A winning sales strategy must include questions that get to the bottom of pain points, fast.
9) Emphasize value.
When it comes to sales, the features of a product mean almost nothing. But value means everything. What is value in sales? It involves showcasing what separates your products from your competitors. Prospects are so much more likely to buy when they understand the value that they’ll be getting.
10) Conduct research.
It’s the age of high-speed internet and social media. This means you have no excuse for not conducting research about your prospects. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are invaluable. They help salespeople get advance readings on their prospects. You’ll be able to learn so much on both a personal level and business level.
11) Make your approach flexible.
Don’t be afraid to improvise with your pitches. Rigid salespeople are never that successful. Why? Because sticking to the script too often does more harm than good. It’s great to have some templates. But you’ve got to go above and beyond them in a manner that connects with each individual prospect.
As you talk to a prospect, think of yourself as an NFL quarterback. A quarterback reads a defense to determine the perfect play. You must read your prospect to determine the perfect pitch. Next thing you know… BOOM!!! Touchdown!!! Well, in this case… BOOM!!! A big sale!!!
12) Accept rejection with class.
When it comes to outside sales, rejection is a way of life. You’re going to get rejected more often than you’re going to make a sale. Embrace it and don’t allow it to make you feel frustrated or angry. Do your best to learn from each rejection so you get better at your craft. Always leave the prospect that’s rejected you by smiling and offering a handshake. You never know. That person may change his or her mind later that day. That’s why you can’t afford to ever burn any bridges.
13) Don’t hide pricing from prospects.
People are more likely to buy when the salesperson is being straightforward. It’s that simple. If there’s no price set ins tone, explain to the prospect the factors that make the cost seem ambiguous.
You want to give your prospects a sense of urgency to buy. Nothing does so better than providing a sales quote right off the bat. You’re not doing your job well if prospects are sometimes asking you, “Can you give me a quote?” You’ve got to deliver it before they can even ask.
14) Stay organized.
Sales teams are never successful without being able to stay organized. This is why CRMs are so important. Without them, it’s likely you could talk to a prospect that’s already gotten pitched to by one of your co-workers. If you’re a sales manager, you have to make sure your reps are utilizing their CRMs.
15) Be positive.
Prospects will tell you about awful experiences with other company’s products. When this occurs, it’s best to either be neutral or positive. Always take the high ground when it comes to trashing rival companies. Positivity helps ensure that your prospects will appreciate you. They’ll love how professional your demeanor and business practices are.
16) Keep in mind that outside sales is a never-ending process.
Prospects will tell you about awful experiences with other company’s products. When this occurs, it’s best to either be neutral or positive. Always take the high ground when it comes to trashing rival companies. Positivity helps ensure that your prospects will appreciate you. They’ll love your demeanor and respect your business practices.
Use these sixteen outside sales tips as soon as possible. They’ll do more than boost your sales career. They’ll also boost your revenue. Feel free to check out Billions in the Bank’s other sales tip articles. They’ll help you gain the upper hand and put you on the right track to having more money in your pockets than ever before.