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How to sell more? 10 keys to finding new customers

If you are looking for new customers or increasing purchases from your current portfolio, these tools will be very effective. Put them into practice now!

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This article was updated on August 28, 2021

If you are looking for new customers or increasing purchases from your current portfolio, this guide is for you.

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1. Make your family and friends your best source of recommendation

Word of mouth recommendations are one of the most effective and profitable tools for driving sales. The first step is to contact your circle of acquaintances, because with them you have an advantage: they trust you. Make a list with the 10 people who come to mind at this moment and, if you sell a product or service that may interest them, ask them for an appointment to make a presentation. Take this opportunity to improve both your sales technique and your ability to communicate proposals.

Then measure the results you get; To do this, record (in audio or video) the conversations and analyze your performance. Once you win them over with your arguments and they are convinced that you are their best option, ask them to refer you to someone else.

The American company Rexair –with a presence in Mexico since 1947– has placed its vacuum cleaners on the world market through the implementation of a sales model called “Rainbow Opportunity”. This system rewards - whether with accessories or supplies like fragrance boxes and sprayers - satisfied customers who share their experience with others.

Thus, distributors of Rainbow vacuum cleaners find loyal promoters of the brand in their consumers. Remember that not only you can win in sales, but everyone around you can win. They can be the best allies.

2. More than winning a client, make him your partner

In sales, you should not only think about solving the needs of your client, but about exceeding their expectations, that is, giving more benefits than they expect to obtain when acquiring your offer. Therefore, you have to learn to read their thoughts. To do this, answer these two questions:

• Do you know the mission of your client?

• Do you know what they expect from you and from the product or service you offer?

The answers are the key so that you can have a joint vision and, in this way, become a partner of your client. This means creating a long-term relationship to accompany him in the achievement of his goals and also commit to his mission or that of his company.

Tip: if you are just another seller, you will face great competition; But if you really become a partner with your client, there will be no obstacle to stop you.

3. Don't sell grapes, sell bunches

Clients will hardly come to you in search of solutions for their need. Your mission is to go for them. Instead of contacting customer by customer, bet on certain consumers who ensure a large volume of purchase. To do this, it creates alliances with companies or agencies - where many people normally attend - to offer attractive packages or payment facilities.

Óptica Universal –with more than 10 years of operations in the market– established an agreement with the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) in 2007. Thus, the more than 50,000 students of this institution presented their credentials and obtained 25% of discount on frames and 5% on lenses. While UAEM employees had their consumption discounted via payroll.

You decide if you knock door to door - which also involves time and money - or in one step you can build a large portfolio of clients.

4. Identify (and conquer) your true consumers

If you want to be a professional and effective salesperson, you first have to master the art of profiling customers. The first step is to identify a suspect: that person or company that you think can buy you. On the other hand, define the customer profile you are looking for - either by their income level, lifestyle or by their tastes and preferences.

If the suspect meets your parameters, then they qualify to become a prospect, that is, someone who is surely a potential customer of the product or service you offer. To fully ensure that they are the ideal buyer, verify that they have sufficient liquidity to pay you in a timely manner, remembering that the sale does not end until you collect.

One more tip: turn your random shotguns into accurate sniper shots. Instead of looking for anyone (who you think can buy you), make effective visits that will surely mean sales.

5. Learn to handle objections

And you, how do you respond when a person tells you: "I am not interested", "It is very expensive", "I do not have time" or "I do not need it"? In these situations, the solution is not to give up or provoke the client with an aggressive response. Better listen and read between the lines what message is behind; Right away, be grateful and take note of everything they say to you. Turn objections into an opportunity to explain the benefits and advantages you offer.

Consider that only 8% of salespeople manage to handle more than five objections in a row without counterattacking, while 95% of customers raise more than five objections. Once this stage is over (and not before), you are ready to question the counterpart, give him the information he asks for and confirm that you have solved his doubts satisfactorily.

There are four categories to classify objections and to handle each one you have to implement different tactics:

1. Skepticism

Solution.
Present evidence and give testimonials to solidify your arguments.

2. Confusion

Solution. Clarify doubts through timely information.

3. Real disadvantage

Solution. Do a comparative (objective) analysis of disadvantages against advantages, where you show that the latter outweigh the former.

4. Real complaint

Solution.
Present an action plan with strategies that guarantee the client that they will not have any complaints again.

Consider that only 8% of sellers manage to handle more than five objections in a row without counterattacking / Image: Andre Hunter via Unsplash

6. Add value to your offer

It is no longer just another option in the market and begins to add value to what you offer. Agua Blanca Canyon Resort –a boutique hotel with only 20 rooms located near Jungapeo, Michoacán– knew how to do more than simply take advantage of the semi-tropical climate and the natural attractions of its surroundings.

In addition to offering ideal facilities for practicing outdoor sports and yoga, thermo-mineral springs and a spa, the hotel also organizes tours to observe butterflies and migratory birds in their natural state, horseback riding and even workshops for the elaboration of typical sweets of the region. Only that? No. The hotel also offers its facilities for business meetings for up to 50 people.

Tip: Offer simple add-on services that make a big impact on the customer. This will show him that you really care about him and that you are not only interested in doing business. Therefore, your mission is to achieve in him the following reaction: "What a pleasant experience, I will return soon to live it again!".

7. Create alliances with other companies

Take a good look at businesses that operate close to the geographic area where you are located or that sell products and / or services that complement your offer. You have to be very analytical, because at first glance it seems that you have nothing in common with certain companies. Or if?

The Sportium gym chain established an interesting strategic alliance to promote one of its branches, located in the Desierto de los Leones, in Mexico City. What is it about? Simple. Taking advantage of the construction of condominiums and houses in the area, the gym offers free memberships to people who acquire any of these properties.

In the end, both the client and the partner companies win. What are you waiting for! Find the perfect business partner to increase your sales together.

8. Always keep closing

Closing is an attitude. And to sell effectively you have to develop it. Therefore, before attending an appointment or making a quote, think about the ABCs of sales (Always Be Closing) and repeat out loud: "Always keep closing."

Break the myth that closing is the last step of the sale. In reality, it is only the confirmation that the client perfectly understood your offer, that they found the solution they were looking for, that they agree with the price and, most importantly, that they trust you.

Therefore, once you gather five “yes” from your client, ask what their payment method will be like and issue the corresponding invoice. Afterwards, give permanent follow-up to the case, since a 100% satisfied consumer will surely buy from you again or will recommend you to their acquaintances.

9. Look for new niches and diversify your offer

The best sales advisor for your business is the customer. Therefore, investigate what your current consumers are really interested in about your product or service and, above all, what is the end use that they give it. To do this, spend some time to talk with them and integrate all the information you obtain in a database. Thus, you will be able to define who your target audience is and develop specific strategies to increase their consumption.

Do not settle and enter new market niches. For example, if you sell ice cream and your main customers are children, think about how to turn the rest of the family into your consumers. A good alternative is to expand the range of presentations of the article that you offer or to manufacture more lines of products. The key here is to anticipate the client's wishes, advise him and give him new solutions before he asks you.

Also think about how to expand the benefits that people expect to receive. To do this, it integrates additional services. In the beginning, Congress Executive Training - a company specialized in the organization of congresses and business seminars - was only dedicated to giving conferences. However, it exceeded the expectations of its clients through the creation of a comprehensive offer consisting of case studies, summits and tailor-made training courses.

10. Follow up on every sale

Selling a second time to a client will always be easier than going out to conquer a new consumer. However, it is common to observe that sellers do not fulfill a basic task: to follow up. This task ranges from picking up the phone to find out if the merchandise was delivered on time or verifying that the product has been liked by the customer, to making a visit to greet him.

Today, technology is an effective tool to keep in touch with your customers, follow up with them and help them make the most of their purchase. For example, Ángel PC is a company that designed a suite of “online” consulting programs for software and hardware users. Thus, a technician contacts the customer directly (via chat, IP voice, remote access or by phone) to resolve their doubts. In addition, it operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Following up will help you achieve total customer satisfaction. Don't forget that a satisfied customer equals more sales.