21 Winning Sales Techniques to Close More Sales!

  • Brandon Boushy by Brandon Boushy
  • 6 months ago
  • Blog
  • 0
Woman infront of portable wooden shed

Have you ever wanted to be so good at sales techniques that you can actually sell a pen to anyone?

Susan Frair started Shed Gal in 2017 after a horrible experience trying to build, then buy a shed. She expects to make nearly $1 million in 2022 and keep growing from there. She told us:

When I became a shed dealer, I didn’t know anything about the construction industry or how I was gonna find a customer. We put together processes that work, and we’re gonna show you how you can do it too. About five years ago, my husband built us a shed. Didn’t turn out so well. Spent thousands of dollars. Decided to buy a shed and have it delivered. We had a really horrific experience trying to buy a shed and decided that we would start selling them ourselves and we would do it differently.

Susan shared with us the sales techniques she uses, how to build a good sales team, what she looks for when hiring a new sales rep, and other sales efforts that have led to her becoming the largest seller of Graceland Portable Buildings in the country.

Let’s start by looking at what she considers a great salesperson.

1. How to be a good salesman

Custom service result excellent rating

Being a good salesperson comes down to using effective selling strategies. Consider the following sales tips to be successful:

  1. Be compassionate. Listen to customer stories.
  2. Use consultative selling, which is the art of asking intelligent questions to solve pain points.
  3. Create a meaningful process.
  4. Practice sales methods, but never make it sound like a sales pitch.
  5. Avoid pushy sales tactics like cold calling and the stereotype of the used car salesman.
  6. Ask for help from a more experienced sales representative if you don’t know the answer.
  7. Don’t surprise the customer with new costs right before they sign.
  8. Give updates if there is a lag between when you close the deal and when the customer receives the product.
  9. Follow up with existing customers to make sure they are satisfied.

Susan started Shed Gal because of a negative experience while buying a shed. We asked about that experience and she told us:

There were no questions asked about what I really wanted or needed. And we all know the slimy sales experience that we don’t wanna have.

From day one, we decided that was never gonna be how we operated.

2. What makes a great sales cycle?

Every business has the same goal: make money and create more value for the customer. However, the buyer’s attention should be focused on their goals, not whether you are meeting your sales quota. Shed Gal uses the following sales process:

  1. Attract attention to their products through social media.
  2. Focus sale efforts on pain points and features desired.
    1. What style are they interested in?
    2. What size?
    3. What roof style?
    4. Do they have a color in mind?
    5. Do they need ramps for better access?
    6. Are there any constraints that will complicate placing the shed in the desired location?
  3. Document the interaction.
  4. Let the prospect know relevant information about the purchasing decision (e.g., delivery time).
  5. Close the deal or thank the prospect for their time.
  6. Update if there are delays in manufacturing.
  7. Follow up regarding the delivery.
  8. Check to be sure they are satisfied after the delivery.

All of these sound really simple. It’s basically all the elements that go into a good story, but you are flipping the sales representative’s role so they teach the customer how to tell the story. This helps keep the buyer’s mind on their goals and helps the business find the best solution for that client.

3. How to manage your sales process

Susan uses a really simple process to manage her sales process. She tries to take the customer into consideration when deciding what sales techniques to use. She uses four main tools for her sales process:

  1. Social Media to generate awareness 
  2. Graceland’s calling list for qualified leads who have requested a quote
  3. Customer Information Sheets (CIS) to keep track of sales leads
  4. Excel document to keep all the CIS information together

Some people prefer to do what Susan does with the CIS and an Excel spreadsheet by using customer relationship management software like Monday.com, which allows more detail and cooperative use.

We’ll discuss social media in much more detail, but let’s look at the rest of Susan’s sales funnel first.

Shed gal infographic funnel

4. Phone calls to leads

Many companies focus on the techniques for a sales call or selling online, but Susan’s sales style is more about customer service.

She told us: 

People will call Graceland Portable Buildings directly, or they’ll go on their website and we get what’s called a hot lead. We turn a lot of those calls into sales. But we don’t believe in cold calling.

She explained that prospects from hot leads are more likely to become buyers. She also explained why they make better sales calls than cold calling.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want you calling me at dinner time to see if you wanna buy a shed. So we have a high retention rate. We have a high closing rate of people coming in, but there’s no pressure. It’s a process that we go through in helping people make their decision.

Her logic makes sense. There are no better leads than when a customer has requested assistance from the manufacturer. You are guaranteed to have the buyers’ attention when they have requested a call.

If you have manufacturers that offer this service, make sure to get on their sales list so you can help close the deal. Doing so will help your company close more deals.

5. Customer Information Sheets (CIS)

Woman working on a table of data sheets

Susan created a customer information sheet to help gather all the information about the customer so they can give an accurate quote. She told us:

It’s just an outline of a conversation, but it’s so critical to use. It works fantastic and we use it 100% of the time.

These are the questions they ask during each interaction to create powerful sales results:

  • What will you be using the building for?
  • What size(s) are you interested in?
  • Tell me about where we would be placing it.
  • Do you prefer a barn style roof with lofts or a 4/12 pitch regular house style roof? 
  • Would you be purchasing it outright or with our no credit check rent-to-own plan?
  • Would you like any windows? If so, 24×36 or 36×36? How many?
  • Do you want a barn style wood door, house door, or roll-up door? 
    • IF barn style… 
      • Ask, “Do you need ramps?” 
      • Explain options.
      • Offer extended height walls.
  • Would you like me to include the extended height walls in your quote?
  • “Let me tell you about our buildings and what sets us apart”:
    • Model: 
  • Do you have a color preference for the siding?
    • Trim color:
    • Roof color:
  • We highly recommend our radiant heat barrier. I will include it with your quote and remove it if you decide you do not want it (NOT available with shingle roofing).

You can even download the CIS as inspiration for your own information sheet. These questions will vary according to the products you sell.

6. Track the sales process

You’ll also need to track how the sales cycle is progressing. Susan uses an old-school sales method for keeping track of sales presentations and where customers are in the purchasing decision. She told us:

So we have an Excel spreadsheet, nothing special. We have spreadsheets for everything. So when a customer comes in, we’re putting down the date, what we talk to them about. Their name, their phone number, and their email. And we usually call two or three days later, send an email just to follow up, and see what questions they have.

We can track when it was ordered, the process when it was delivered, and follow up with them.

While this works, it is a highly manual process and she leaves a lot of effective sales techniques unused. I’d personally suggest using Monday.com for your customer relationship management. It saves teams time and money in a tremendous way. Here’s what one operations manager had to say about Monday’s services.

Allie swindlehurst quote

 

7. How to find new customers and increase sales

One of the main sales techniques used by Shed Gal is Facebook Marketing. Susan told us:

We use a lot of Facebook marketing. We use the free Facebook marketplace. We host multiple times a week. We’re in tons of different groups. And that has really made a huge difference. That is where the majority of our customers come from. And I don’t see a lot of dealers doing that, which is interesting.

Susan uses the following for the acquisition phase of the sales funnel:

  1. Facebook Live
  2. Facebook Groups
  3. Facebook Ads
  4. Giveaways on social media
  5. Instagram
  6. TikTok

She loves giveaways! She told us:

We have a little red mini out here and we’re giving it away.

She also pointed out a great sales technique for TikTok:

I have an Instagram channel and just recently started with TikTok. It kind of blows me away. I searched TikTok. There’s no shed dealers on there.

We’re kinda cutting edge. We’re going there.

She identified a Blue Ocean Strategy and went for it. Every business should attempt to get more sales by tapping new markets. That’s one of the reasons I go on my tech tangents sometimes. Look for an advantage in an increasingly competitive landscape and master it. It works!

Susan told us:

There could be ways that work just as well, if not better, but it works for us and we’re killing it.

8. How to increase online sales with giveaways

Everybody loves a deal. Almost every business gives away something for free. Whether it’s a monthly newsletter, the first month of a subscription, or a car it helps build awareness. It needs to be meaningful and stand out, though. 

Susan told us:

We like to give back and we like to help people. For this contest in particular, we’re giving that car to someone who really needs it.

When we asked whether it actually brings more customers and helps her business goals, she told us:

We have a good name. People follow us. They feel like they know us because we’re out there on social media constantly. It certainly drives up our numbers on Facebook and our contacts and our sales ultimately.

9. Implement solution selling

Sales techniques are also about helping your prospect’s mind to envision why life would be better with your product. That means selling not only features but also solution selling. When we asked about one of the shed she sells, she told us:

Some of the things that set us apart in this industry (are)…

All of our buildings have a roof ridge vent that helps with airflow.

All of our buildings have a patented soffit system proven to keep the building cooler.

Notice how she talks about the feature, and more importantly, she is selling how it will change the customer’s status quo.

10. Training a sales team on sales techniques

Sales team training on a table

Susan explained her training process as:

  1. Teach them how the product works
  2. The features
  3. Why do the features matter?
  4. How to treat people
  5. How not to treat people

She explained:

Nobody cares (about a roof ridge vent), but they sure care that it helps airflow. It’s teaching people, our team members, how to educate without being pushy.

One of the business goals for Shed Gal is for the company to be different from the status quo. She focuses on teaching her salespeople how to be different. She’ll have them call and observe other companies’ sales techniques. Then discuss what they liked and disliked. 

That helps make a more effective salesperson because then they are in the customer’s shoes. Susan told us:

We actually put together a 52-page Shed Gal training manual that’s available (to anyone).

It focuses on sales techniques like this to help someone make a better purchase decision.

She also holds a routine sales meeting to help develop sales skills and keep her salespeople focused on how they sell as opposed to just trying to get the most sales.

She went on to explain how she approaches hiring.

11. Hiring the right sales reps

We learned from Susan:

(It) may be cliche, but I think service (is important). Wanting to serve the customer. Caring, friendly personality. We’ve got staff that have never sold anything in their life and they are killing it. Mostly because of their personalities and they wanna serve the customers.

If someone rubs you wrong during an interview because of how they interact, there’s a good chance they’ll do the same to prospects and buyers. Make sure your salespeople are personable and willing to learn. If you do that, you can teach them successful sales techniques.

12. Selling techniques for a pen

If you’ve ever had a sales job you’ve probably been asked to sell a manager a pen. Our host, Paul, asked Susan to show him how to sell a pen. Here’s the conversation.

Conversation of susan and paul in word bubble

The conversation includes:

  1. Establish why they want a product
  2. Establish important features
  3. Establish the quantity and timeline
  4. Close the sale
  5. Deliver the product or service

Her business and sales career has obviously been successful because she focuses on selling techniques that focus on meeting the buyers’ needs. She’s not concerned about her revenue, but about what makes sense to help the customer.

13. How to be a better salesman

When Susan was in the insurance industry, she learned: 

(This) agent is really good and that one is really bad; do everything they (the good agent) do and don’t do anything they (the bad agent do(es).

It stuck with her. It taught her to observe others’ sales techniques and establish which she liked and which she didn’t. She also emphasized the importance of asking for help and selling products that you believe in. If you don’t believe in the company, why would buyers?

Next, we’ll discuss how Susan and her salespeople interact with prospects and buyers.

Customer Interactions

Customer interactions are an integral part of the sales staples for Shed Gal. Susan talked about:

  • Respecting people’s differences
  • Following up after buyers receive the product
  • Referrals
  • Helping an unhappy customer

14. Respecting people’s differences

Sheds aren’t something everyone needs, but even prospects looking for sheds take different approaches. Susan told us:

I had a gal come in one time. She’s like, “I want that one and that one.” Okay, that was the extent of it.

What do you think would have happened if the company tried to go through their entire sales approach with her?

They probably wouldn’t have got her signature on the dotted line and would have lost the sale just because the buyer lost interest.

On the other hand, Susan also told us:

I’ve had people that literally, I talked to three, four years ago, call me and now they’re ready. So, it’s not discounting someone just because they don’t buy today.

If the company had pushed this buyer, they might not have closed the deal either. Sure, you want prospects to buy immediately to increase revenue, but you have to respect buyers’ personalities.

This tells me that one of the new skills many business owners and salespeople should learn is the value of treating people right. Yes, your company exists to close deals, but the buyers have a life. They have 100 other things going on in their life and they’ll remember the company that has the best sales style.

It doesn’t matter what type of sales you are in, make sure to respect people’s differences. If you have a hard time reading people, go out and watch people. You’ll learn to read prospects’ moods and personalities better by observing. Over time, doing so will help improve your selling skills by understanding what sales styles work best for different people.

15. How to approach customer satisfaction after the sale

Susan discussed what she considers to be the best selling practices after the sale too. She explained that she wants to know if the buyer was satisfied with the whole process. After the deal, she’ll follow up at different times including:

  1. If there’s a delay in production
  2. When the delivery is made
  3. After the buyer has used the product for a while.

She told us:

We do follow-up calls, we do follow-up visits.

We try to follow up with customers frequently. We’re able to meet up and go out and see the shed after it’s been delivered and ask the customer how their experience was from start to finish.

She especially loves it when a buyer sends pictures after the deal.

16. Customer loyalty and referrals

Group of different hands holding a word buble

Susan also talked briefly about getting additional prospects because a buyer was super happy with their deal. She told us that some prospects won’t become buyers just because they were referred. Here are some of the best sales strategies to encourage referring a potential buyer:

  • Ask for referrals: Sometimes business owners are afraid to ask a buyer for a referral, but you shouldn’t be. Check out Campaign Monitor’s other tips.
  • Provide referral links and incentives: Here are 10 of the top referral software tools.
  • Provide great service: Being a positive deviation from the status quo is one of the sales best practices every company should use.

17. How to handle an unhappy customer

Even the best sale tactics will lead to an unhappy buyer occasionally. Make sure to be compassionate in all situations. If you actually made a mistake, Susan told us:

Just own up to it, take care of it.

She also emphasized the importance of working with other people and companies that have the same mentality.

How to Increase Sales with Other Selling Strategies 

There were a lot of strategies for selling that Susan didn’t talk about, so we’re going to look at some of those quickly. We’ll cover:

  • Building an email list
  • Sandler Sales Method 
  • Target Account Selling
  • Increasing sales on Amazon

First, let’s look at how to build a mailing list.

18. Building an email list

Despite Susan’s love of giveaways as one of the most common ways to create a mailing list, she doesn’t actually use email marketing. She told us:

I get so many marketing emails every single day. And most of them I just delete. I just don’t feel like adding to a customer’s pile.

For those who wish to maximize email marketing, MailChimp and Constant Contact are two commonly used email marketing campaigns. HighLevel is suggested by the owner of Queen Bee Cleaning for automation as well. Check out his input on how to get clients for more great sales tips.

19. Sandler Sales Method 

While Susan doesn’t actually mention the Sandler Sale Method, she effectively uses it in sales. Selling is broken down into seven distinct sections:

  1. Bond with the right leads.
  2. Establish how the contract needs to operate. 
  3. Establish pain points and how to solve them.
  4. Create an estimate.
  5. Sign the contract.
  6. Fulfill the contract.
  7. Support the client.

Sandler sales method infographic

Based on reviews, it seems like most people who take the training course from Sandler.com really love it. It seems to increase selling power across a lot of industries and improve people’s personal lives, too.

20. Target Account Selling (TAS)

If you are looking to take on big clients with high win rates, you might want to combine the strategies in the Sandler method with targeting specific companies. TAS is also referred to as account-based marketing (ABM). These types of selling are focused on generating an ideal customer profile for each individual company. It’s basically conducting a whole marketing campaign to book a single client. 

This can be time-consuming and costly. It’s not quick selling and will need payoff that is far higher than you would expect for most products. But if you are a software company that wants to book a government contract it would make sense.  Check out our blog on market research to learn more about building a customer profile.

21. How to increase sales on Amazon

We’ve interviewed a few businesses that kill it on Amazon. Most of them attribute increasing sales to a few things:

  1. Build a unique product. It’s hard to stand out if you maintain the status quo.
  2. Use Amazon FBA.
  3. Master SEO or hire someone to do it for you.
  4. Invest in ads.
  5. Get on Shark Tank.
  6. Encourage but don’t pay for reviews.

Check out our interview with Shed Defender.

Close the Deal

Finding the right type of salesman for each business can be challenging, but once you get the recipe right, you can create a fine tuned machine. We hope you’ve found some new sales techniques to help you build an in-depth plan for success. 

What sales techniques have you found that work best for delighting your customers?

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