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Sales is most definitely one of the toughest positions in business. Not only that it’s a skill every single person should practice regardless if it’s their specific role. In business, you’re selling on the time. Whether you’re selling to a potential client on your products or your significant other on dinner plans it’s important to understand the art of closing the deal. If you’re looking to improve your sales performance you’ve come to the right place.

Here are a few simple strategies you can use to increase your sales performance:

Emphasize Knowledge

As you begin engaging with potential prospects you want to win their trust during the first conversation. If a client is confident in you then they’ll be confident in your products and services.

The best way to win their trust is by showing a clear and thorough understanding of both your business niche and the industry as a whole. This is why it’s so important to emphasize knowledge. Make sure you’re constantly up to date on all the latest industry news. Know your competition like the back of your hand. Most of all know your customers as well. Study their competition and partners. Ask questions and get to know why they’ve approached you in the first place.

If you’re able to produce quick and accurate answers to their questions you’ll win their trust in no time.

Create Personal Goals

The end goal for any salesperson is to close the deal. That said, it’s not a short road by any means. Depending on your product offering a deal can be in the pipeline anywhere from a few weeks to a year. This makes it extremely important to set personal goals to stay motivated.

These goals can include number of prospects per month, calls per day, or even number of emails opened. If you put numbers behind your efforts it’ll give you a clear understanding of where you need to improve.

Be a Storyteller Not a Statistician

When it comes to your sales pitch it’s common for salespeople to rely on hard data and statistics to back-up their claims. We’re told time and time again to use quantitative data over qualitative as much as possible. In most situations this is true. However, when you’re pitching a client, especially for the first time, you should avoid dropping too many facts and data points on them.

Instead, you should tell them a story. Tell them about some of your past customers that are currently using your services and how they’ve benefitted. It’s a huge plus if this customer has relation to the prospect. Whether they’re a competitor or simply in the same general industry it helps your case immensely. Once the prospect is interested then you can send them case studies and marketing materials full of statistics.

Always Remain Composed

Over the lifetime of a deal there will be plenty of ups and downs. In both of these situations, it’s incredibly important to stay composed. Like I mentioned above, you want the potential prospect to have the utmost confidence in you.

Let’s say they start to pick apart your pitch. Often times the prospect may seem like they are intending to criticize or even attack you. Regardless if that’s the case or not it’s important for you to calmly address each point.

The last thing you want to do is start getting defensive and or talking over the prospect. Let them say their piece and do your best to listen to each and every point. The more you listen the more you’ll learn about their specific pain points as well as common threads throughout their entire industry.

This also goes for when the deal is heading towards the close. It’s okay to be excited but you need to remain professional and confident at all times.

Final Thoughts

There’s no special sauce to becoming a master salesperson. Over time, you will refine your process and develop a thick skin for rejections. The more practice you have out in the field the better you’ll become. That said take these four strategies with you into your next sale and go close that deal!