The world of sales is often complex and difficult to navigate. If you’re going to seize sales success, it’s critical to learn from the best in the business. In this piece, we’ll work our way through 20 actionable sales tips shared by the best minds in sales.
Top 20 Sales Tips
Since there’s so much sales material out there, it can be difficult to find the diamonds in the rough. But with these highlights, you can inspire your team and decimate your targets.
1. Forge genuine connections: Mike Schultz
“When people get to know and like you, people begin to trust you.”
These wise words are by Schultz, a true sales veteran. As human beings, we are highly social creatures, and we’ve evolved to trust the people around us. If your salespeople can forge genuine connections with you, you’ll be in a better position to sell and launch a fruitful partnership.
Schultz is President at the RAIN Group. Over the years, he’s cultivated a strong reputation as a leading consultant and sales expert. He’s also coauthored a number of fruitful books related to sales.
Looking for new ways to build rapport with your prospects? Read Schultz’s seven ways to build rapport.
2. Don’t sell on price alone: Geoff Ficke
Your prospects will assess the suitability of your product or service from a range of angles. For instance, they’ll consider how it fits in with their existing tools and what additional value it can bring.
While price is an important factor, you can’t afford to exclusively focus on it. If you do, you might not highlight the true value of your product or service.
Ficke is a sales guru and serial entrepreneur. He currently runs a consulting firm, where he helps large and small businesses navigate the tricky world of business.
Be sure to read this interesting forum post if you want to learn more about Geoff’s thoughts on selling prices.
3. Encourage persistence: Jeff Kalter
Prospects rarely answer your initial contact. So if your sales team is going to succeed, it’s important for them to try over and over. As Jeff Kalter says, “A baseball team won’t win a game if they hit the ball once.” To make your sales team as successful as possible, you should encourage persistence. Kalter is the founder and CEO of 3D2B, a lead generation and follow-up company. He has lots of B2B marketing and sales experience, too.
If you want to learn more about fine-tuning your sales call cadence, read Jeff’s piece on this subject.
4. Speak your prospect’s language: Mike Michalowicz
If you try to sell to your prospect, it’s important for you to speak his or her language. You should encourage your salespeople to research the prospect and identify keywords they can use, so their sales pitch resonates. Rather than rambling on and using your own esoteric language, speak in a way that your prospect will understand.
Michalowicz is an author and the founder of Profit First Professionals. This membership organization brings together a host of disciplines that help eradicate entrepreneurial poverty.
To explore this tip in more detail, read Mike’s piece.
5. Learn to listen: Linda Richardson
According to Richardson, the most successful salespeople learn when to talk and when to listen. This sales skill is fundamental. And if you master it, you could truly transform your sales fortunes. You should also improve your listening skills by taking notes, paying attention to non-verbal cues, and learning not to jump to conclusions.
Richardson is the president of The Richardson Company, a sales-training enterprise based in Philadelphia. She’s also the author of Stop Telling, Start Selling: Using Customer Focus Dialogue to Close Sales.
Ready to strengthen your emphasis on customer-focused dialogue selling? You might want to purchase your copy of Richardson’s book.
6. Collect and use customer testimonials: Bob Bly
According to Bly, your prospects might not always believe in your product or service. He posits that sales teams can conquer that disbelief by providing testimonials from existing customers. This social proof could inspire your prospects to act and see the true value of your product or service.
Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant who focuses on both business-to-business and direct-response marketing. He’s called upon his experience to author more than 50 books.
Looking to learn more? We recommend that you take a look at Wordstream’s complete guide to customer testimonials.
7. Find a mentor: Jordan Belfort
No matter how much experience you have, sales is a very complex field, and there’s always something new to learn. So you should try to find a mentor who can guide and expedite your learning. Belfort returns to this idea again and again, and he advises salespeople to try and connect with a mentor they respect.
Belfort is an author, speaker, and former stockbroker. He was the subject of the world-famous movie The Wolf of Wall Street, and he currently inspires salespeople and entrepreneurs all over the world.
This great NPR piece goes into lots of depth and shows you how to find a mentor and make it work.
8. Become a product advocate: Keith Ferrazzi
Ferrazzi argues that businesses and salespeople need to truly believe in the power and potential of their offering. Salespeople are only able to properly commit to the selling process and forge long-term relationships with their prospects if they become product advocates.
Ferrazzi is an author and entrepreneur. He’s currently the founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a research and consulting firm. Some of his most popular books are Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back? This excellent piece from Jim Semick outlines five ways to become a better product advocate.
9. Keep your team on track: Mark Roberge
Roberge advises sales managers to foster a sense of urgency in their department, in order to keep the team on track. As part of his advice, he recommends that sales managers experiment by scheduling regular meetings to review new opportunities and sales progress.
Roberge is an advisor to HubSpot and an award-winning author. His book The Sales Acceleration Formula is adored by sales professionals around the world.
This piece from tenfold looks at 19+ tips you can use to hold productive internal sales meetings.
10. Know your competitors: Marcia Neese
Your product or services exists within a complex and competitive environment. If you’re going to seize sales success, you’ll need to understand where your product fits and what makes it unique compared to the alternatives. Therefore, Neese recommends that your sales team researches key competitors.
Neese is a business partner for the Brooke Group. She has over 25 years of experience that she uses to help her clients improve the overall performance of their sales departments.
If you want more info, read Marcia’s piece on how to coach your sales reps to do a competitor analysis.
11. Create an onboarding strategy: Wiley Cerilli
Cerilli explains that new hires should receive significant amounts of training when they join the sales team. He explains that the sales training should be diverse, and it must include listening to hours of live sales calls. With the appropriate preparation, these salespeople will be able to make an immediate impact on your results.
Cerilli is the CEO and Founder of Good Uncle. He has also enjoyed a number of high-profile business successes in the past. In addition, he works hard to share his experience and insights with budding entrepreneurs.
Ready to improve your department in this area? Read these five tips for a better sales onboarding process.
12. Think from your customer’s perspective: Jill Konrath
According to Konrath, it’s very important that salespeople think from the perspective of their prospects, in order to polish their own messaging. To understand how they come across, salespeople should listen to themselves. Then they’ll know exactly what their prospects are going to hear. This knowledge can help salespeople operate as effectively as possible.
Konrath is a frequent speaker at sales conferences and kick-off meetings. She’s also written a number of award-winning books and regularly sends out fantastic newsletters to over 125,000 readers around the world.
Empathy is at the core of Konrath’s approach. Read this piece from Yesware to learn more about the key to unlocking empathy in sales.
13. Focus on quality over quantity: Erica Stritch
The key to sales success is learning to balance your priorities and focus your attention on the right prospects. To only focus on the most valuable and viable prospects, you need to use key information and insights. This approach will help you close the right deals and push your revenues higher.
Stritch is Vice President at the RAIN Group. She’s a sales expert with many years of professional experience. She uses her seasoned insight to help companies improve their sales performance and increase their revenues.
Ready to explore this dynamic in more depth? Read this piece to find out why quality always wins in sales.
14. Create consistent sales content: Tim Riesterer
You’ll attract your sales prospects with great marketing content, then nurture them with sales content. It’s important to make sure materials reflect your overall messaging. They should be consistent with the way you communicate. This strategy can help your business tell a cohesive story and avoid confusion along the way.
Reisterer is the Chief Strategy Officer over at Corporate Visions. He uses his science-backed research and experience to improve sales and marketing messaging. So you can deliver customer conversations that win.
To learn four ways that sales teams can pitch in and help content marketing efforts, read this piece from Jeff Bullas.
15. Master the art of pressure: Tom Szaky
Skazy is a sales veteran, and he understands that sales professionals must learn to master the art of applying pressure to prospects. Too little, and there’ll be no urgency. But too much, and you could push your prospect away. So sales professionals should study the power of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), and learn how to use it properly.
Szaky is the CEO and founder of TerraCycle, a multinational company that creates consumer products from waste. He’s applied his skills and entrepreneurial background to grow his company.
Ready to learn more about the power of FUD? Read this piece on how to conquer the FUD factor.
16. Ask the right questions: Joanne Black
Frequently, the actual time you have with your prospects is very limited. So you’ll need to make the most of it. In other words, you’ll need to identify the appropriate questions and field them flawlessly. This approach will help you build the right profile and effectively target your prospects.
Black is a respected author who focuses on providing practical sales tips to sales professionals. She’s also the founder of No More Cold Calling LLC, where she tries to transform the nature of sales contacts.
If you want to ask the right sales questions, you should revise these 87 open-ended sales questions.
17. Research (and delight) your customers: Jim Keenan
Keenan recommends that salespeople become experts on their prospects, in order to really capture their attention. Salespeople should take the time—and receive the necessary support—to build a clear picture of their prospect and their business. Salespeople should have a full understanding of the way their product or service can deliver practical value to the prospect.
Keenan is the CEO of A Sales Guy Inc. He has over 20 years of sales experience, and he’s spent much of it helping others learn from and shape the world of sales.
Explore these 18 places to research sales prospects from Hubspot.
18. Respect your prospect’s time: Andy Paul
Salespeople should always try to put themselves in the shoes of their prospect. If you’re able to effectively achieve this goal, you’ll naturally respect the time of your prospect. This element is important, given that your prospects will often be conscious of their time. So they’ll appreciate considerate salespeople.
Paul is a sales expert who delivers personalized sales coaching and training to companies and individuals. He also maintains a popular and widely read weekly newsletter for sales experts.
This piece from Dave Dee on Magnetic Marketing takes a closer look at ways to sell more efficiently.
19. Learn from failures: Jill Konrath
Konrath appears twice on this list because she has a very useful piece of sales advice: Learn from your mistakes. All too often, sales professionals view lost opportunities as nothing more than failures, but these situations provide lots of chances to learn. The best sales departments encourage reflection and knowledge-sharing between team members.
This piece from Mark Hunter offers some profound reflections on sales failures.
20. Remain humble and learn: Aaron Ross
Any person with sales experience will be sure to understand just how complex the world of sales really is. It’s important for sales professionals to utilize this complexity as a way to motivate themselves to learn more. So Ross recommends that salespeople remain humble and try to build on their skills.
Ross is the co-CEO at Predictable Revenue, and he’s a respected author on sales. Aaron’s company provides a host of services that help businesses grow faster with outbound sales.
People can indeed learn to sell. To dig deeper into the subject of sales learning, read this Harvard Business Review piece.
We hope these actionable sales tips help you take your career even further this year. We’re confident you have what it takes! If you want to improve your sales results even further, be sure to start your free UpLead trial today.