success strategies Five Keys to Breaking through sales Barriers By Barry Farber H network? ow do you make the most of every contact you make? How can you gain the trust of your contacts so they'll start connecting you to all the people in their The greatest salespeople and networking pros have a simple, practical system for making a lasting impression and building a strong foundation for future sales success. Here are five key strategies to do just that: Ask questions to build rapport—and listen closely to the answers: Once your prospects answer your questions, do you ask them to go into more detail? Great salespeople know how to move the conversation forward with the right open-ended questions, such as: What are the biggest challenges facing you now and how are you handling them? What are the three key criteria you look for when investing in your product or industry? What are two or three goals that you're working on right now? And the real key is asking follow-up questions, even a simple, Can you elaborate on that? for example. Repeating or rephrasing their answers prompts them to go into greater detail, helping you to get below the surface and lock onto something for which your services might be an ideal answer. The question is the answer—and the answers that can get inside the mind of the customer will always have the advantage. No great salesperson has ever "listened" themselves out of a sale! 1 K e e p your network strong: Surround yourself with people your contacts would want to meet. I am always thinking about the company my contacts keep. It tells me a great deal about their intelligence and integrity. Any time you have an opportunity to expand the network of your contacts, it will help build leverage for new business down the road. Many people get comfortable with their current base of contacts and that becomes dangerous—not just because of the lack of new sales activity but also because it limits personal growth. You become what you surround yourself with just as much as "you become what you think about" and "you are what you eat." My best advice can be put into two simple words: SHOW UP. 4 5 2 3 Sell what they sell: You know who your customer is, but do you know who your customer's customers are and how you can help sell more to them? When I was working with a distributor of one of my products, I introduced him to a contact who ended up buying more than 100,000 units. It's not just selling to your customers, but, more importantly, selling "through" to their customers. When you're focused on helping your customers build their businesses, they'll usually end up building yours. Follow up and follow through: In the world of sales, networking, and building relationships, this is the glue that holds it all together. This isn't new; it's common sense. And guess what? Common sense isn't so common anymore—but it's what the best salespeople have in common. Barry Farber is rated as one of the top speakers of the year by Successful Meetings Magazine and is the bestselling author of 11 books on sales, management, and personal achievement. He is also a black-belt weapons expert and a regular on QVC as the marketer and co-inventor of innovative products. His latest release is Diamond in the Rough, a six-CD program from Nightingale Conant Corporation. Contact him at 973-535-9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Third Quarter 2009 | | 35 Offer outside help: Can you offer a resource—say, a personal trainer or an informative book—that assists your client in an area outside of what you sell? Going out of your way to help can get you in the door and keep you connected. Finding out about customers' personal goals, hobbies, family, and outside interests opens up many more opportunities to serve them in unique and new ways.
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