As a salesperson, I’m sure you’ve received plenty of advice throughout the years, including sales hacks. Besides going out there and learning on-the-go, these pieces of wisdom can guide you in maximizing your time and producing results. But, I’m sure that the greatest sales experts haven’t shared with you every secret to their success. That would be like McDonald’s giving away their secret sauce recipe. If they did, another burger joint would take that recipe and improve it. With that in mind, here are 25 sales hacks that are backed by leading sales experts.
1. Know who your ideal client is.
“The first step in improving your sales closing rate is to know who your ideal client is,” writes Amazon best-selling author of “Make Money Your Honey” Amanda Abella.
“This will save you a lot of headaches because you’ll be able to reverse engineer the sales process. It will also help you cut sales conversations short if they don’t meet certain criteria. You’ll also want to know what your end goal is.”
2. Mirror your prospect.
Mirroring is simply mimicking the tone and cadence of someone else, which can be one of many effective sales hacks. In this case, if your prospect talks loudly, then you would do the same. When done correctly, mirroring can build rapport and ultimately increase sales.
For mirroring to be effective, you need to be authentic. You can do this by;
- Building your connection first by giving the other person your complete attention. Also make strong eye contact.
- Start with mirroring the pace and volume of the other person’s speech.
- Identify their punctuator.
3. Set yourself up to be the one who CAN live without this deal.
“The most important change I’ve ever made about negotiation and sales is to set myself up as the one who can live without the deal,” writes Preston D. Lee, founder of Milo.
“If you’ve built your business as one that’s 100 percent dependent on client work to stay afloat, you have a high risk of being taken advantage of.”
“Why? Because your clients will sense how desperate you are for their business.”
“And when you’re desperate, you’ll take anything. Low pay, high demands, zero creative freedom. When you’re the one that needs your client’s paycheck more than they need your services, you have absolutely NO negotiation power.”
Simply put, put yourself in position where you’re not going to be less desperate for that next sale.
4. Know when to contact your leads.
You don’t want to annoy your leads, but every minute counts, according to sales hacks experts. That’s because the longer you wait, the less interested the lead becomes. In fact, science shows us that customers will make a purchase the closer in time to when they made the initial inquiry. As such, you should strive to contact them within five minutes.
Further research has found that the best time to call your leads is between 8am and 9am and then again between 4pm and 5pm. As for the best day of the week, Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually the most effective.
5. Stand when you sell, sit when you listen.
“When you stand up you project more power than when sitting,” writes Ryan Stewman, aka the Hardcore Closer.
Instead of sitting there and not selling, get moving. Even if you’re just on the phone with a prospect, pace around your office. “It keeps energy flowing and raises the momentum of the call in your advantage,” adds Stewman.
“On the flip side, you should be seated when listening to your clients concerns and objections. This relaxes you to where you’re not interrupting them.
A good salesman knows selling is solving. In order for you to solve you need to listen. Control the pace of the conversation by sitting when spoken to and standing when speaking. You’ll find the scales will tip in your favor time and time again.”
6. Set unusual meeting times.
The average meeting lasts for either 30-minutes or an hour. Instead, do something a little different and set meetings that last for 25-minutes or 45-minutes. This was your maximizing your time so that you can make notes, debrief, or send follow-up emails.
7. Nod your head when you talk.
Sales hacks studies have found that nodding your head while your making your speech can make you feel more positive and confident. As a result, you’ll appear more confident and knowledgeable to your audience.
8. Use a “decoy” option.
Here’s a psychological trick that can influence people.
When you’re having trouble selling a pricey product or service, introduce a third option. The sole purpose of this “decoy” is to make your more expensive product or service look more enticing since it’s the same price, but less enticing.
One of the easiest sales hacks you can do to boost sales is smile. Yep. It’s that simple.
A study from Penn State found that people who smile appear to be more likable, courteous, and even competent. Other research shows that smiling builds trust.
To get started on smiling, try these techniques out:
- Smile the moment you wake-up.
- Remind yourself that you’re going to smile more today.
- Set reminders to smile.
- Create cues to smile.
- Think happy thoughts.
- Smile at everyone you see today.
10. Ask for referrals.
Apparently Dale Carnegie once said, “91 percent of customers say they’d give referrals [but] only 11 percent of salespeople ask for referrals.” Regardless of the accuracy of those figures, more recent studies have found that 65 percent of new business comes from referrals.
With that in mind, you’d be crazy not to ask everyone for a referral — and don’t forget to offer a reward to encourage them. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? They’ll say “no.” Big deal, as the next person you ask will likely say “yes.”
11. Make one more call.
Here’s a mantra from best-selling sales author Jeb Blount: when it’s time to go home, make one more call. In fact, print those words out and place them somewhere that we’ll see them whenever you’re dragging or itching to get home.
“The impact of those extra calls was mind blowing,” says Blount. “So many of my ‘one more calls’ turned into sales. It was as if the universe was rewarding me for sticking to it.”
12. Have an inexpensive upsell at various customer touch points.
As practices by Amanda Abella, you can upsell additional products or services by creating a Thank You Page after someone opts-in to a free worksheet, presentation or webinar.
The other option is to use a points system. For Amanda, she uses this “after someone goes through my application process for coaching. If they aren’t a good fit based on a points system, I refer them to my book and sell it as a self-study program.”
This technique not only weeds out people aren’t a good fit for her business, it’s increasing book sales.
“And, of course, when selling directly from a landing page, makes sure to offer multiple payment methods on the spot. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.”
13. Follow the “Rule of 7.”
As noted by John Stevens on The Balance, “‘the rule of 7′ is a marketing principle that states that your prospects need to come across your offer at least 7 times before they really notice your offer and start to take action.”
This rule has in roots in psychology since it’s been observed through a psychological phenomenon called “mere-exposure effect” or the “familiarity principle.” The mere-exposure effect simply states that the more people are exposed to something, the more likely they are to take note of it and develop a preference for it.
So, how can you incorporate this rule into your sales?
- Expand your marketing channels to as many as possible.
- Leverage multiple forms of content, such as blog posts, videos, case studies, and infographics.
- Reach your prospects multiple times a day. In other words, produce as much quality content as possible.
- Build an email list.
- Contribute to industry blogs and publications.
- Get active on social media. This includes major networks like Facebook and Twitter, but also industry-specific social media sites.
- Leverage technology like retargeting, remarketing, and push notifications.
14. Leverage the power of LinkedIn.
“My secret sauce would be the methodology I use to prospect potential customers on LinkedIn, says Jack Kosakowski, Act-On Software, Inc.
“First I engage people who have written articles on LinkedIn through commenting or sending them a note about their article. Then I share their content on my social channels to help amplify their work.”
“Once I have created high engagement through my promotion efforts, I will connect back with them on LinkedIn in order to share a little bit about what I do. Most of the time, they are receptive to my follow up note because they recognize the effort I put into promoting them.”
15. Repeat a person’s name multiple times.
This may sound narcistitic, but it’s true. We love hearing the sound of our own names. So when closing in on a sale, repeat the prospect’s name throughout the conversation. It will keep their attention and shows that you’re only focused on them at the moment.
16. Anticipate objections and practice turn-arounds.
“When you’re prospecting, you will inevitably encounter objections and obstacles along the way. Thinking that you won’t is misguided,” says Steve Bookbinder, CEO and sales expert at DM Training.
“That’s why you can gain a competitive advantage through preparation and practice of common objections and obstacles you encounter.”
“Ok, so you probably understand the importance of preparation, but what steps should you take to specifically prepare to handle and turn around objections?”
“First, create an ongoing list of objections, questions, and concerns you typically receive from prospects. Then, create responses to each.”
“Once you’ve got your list, start practicing your turn-around until they sound natural. As you start to utilize this response, you’ll be able to refine and adjust as needed depending on the reaction from your prospects and customers.”
17. If your prospect sells a product you can buy, do it.
When it comes to sales, building a connection with your prospects and going above are paramount. So, what better way can you achieve these then by showing your support for the prospect’s business?
For example, if they sell apparel, consider wearing that item when meeting with the prospective client. Of course, this should be within reason. You wouldn’t want to squeeze into a junior’s t-shirt to prove a point.
If the client sells a service, purchase it and give it a spin. This way you can share your thoughts and suggestions with prospect.
18. Familiarize yourself with the “primary effect.”
“The primacy effect deals directly with the memory of people,” writes growth marketer Samuel J. Woods.
“When they are given a sequence of information (numbers, names, features, etc.) the information at the end of the sequence were easiest to remember, with the items at the beginning the next remembered. The items in the middle of the list, were least likely to be recalled.”
You can apply this idea to your marketing by doing the following;
“Think about how you present information to potential customers. Highlight the features that you know will be the most helpful or important to consumers at the beginning or end of your presentation.
Another application can be used in pricing. Typically, when presenting three pricing tiers the middle one will be your best seller. However, if you have more than three tiers of pricing, the first or last price will typically be the top sellers.
Understand how placement does matter when it comes to both features and pricing and plan your pitch accordingly.”
19. Get your clients to say “no.”
“While all the sales training in the world says you need to get prospects in the mode of saying ‘yes’ repeatedly, the world’s best salespeople actually get prospects to say ‘no,’ states Mike Michalowicz author of The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.
“Repeatedly saying yes dilutes the significance and confidence of each yes. But if a prospect says ‘no” to multiple options, when they finally say ‘yes’ to the right option, they are highly inclined to stick with it.”
“This is the exact reason why the best real estate agents show bad houses first, so when the customer sees the right one, they jump on it.”
20. Rise and shine.
It’s been found that top-tier salespeople are early risers. In fact, 76 percent of them rise before 7am, while 35 percent wake-up before 6am. While those may not be one of the easiest sales hacks for non-morning people, it’s worth trying.
21. Create a loyalty program.
“As a customer’s relationship with the company lengthens, profits rise. And not just by a little. Companies can boost profits by almost 100 percent by retaining just five percent more of their customers.” – F.P. Reichheld, author of “The Loyalty Effect.”
For your business, loyal clients may account for just 12-15 percent of your clients. However, they’re can be responsible for as much as 70 percent of your revenue.
Simply put, cultivate those relationships by creating a loyalty program that rewards them for their repeat business. For example, if you ran a coffee shop, then you could give a free cup of coffee to a customer after they’re purchased ten drinks.
22. Invest in technology.
Regardless of the size of your business, many sales hacks rely on technology. That’s because its a tool that can help you and your sales team cover more ground and close more sales. For example, Salesforce is a leading customer relationship platform. This CRM allows you to manage all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.
23. Support social causes.
How can giving back to your community increase sales? It’s easy. Millennials.
According to the American Marketing Association, 70 percent of millennials support brands who support the causes that they care about. In other words, if you become more socially conscious, your sales could improve overnight.
Stuck on what cause to support? Ask your team. If there’s a cause that they’re passionate about, there’s a good chance it will be something that your audience also cares about. As as added perk, they’ll be more engaged in the outreach.
24. “How can I help?”
“These four words are a game changer,” Erica McCurdy, McCurdy Life Coach, LLC, tells Forbes.
“When we ask another person how we can be of service to them, we place ourselves on their side. We become an ally instead of an adversary.”
“In four words, we have asked our client to share what is most important to them and give us insight into their pain points. By giving the conversation over to the client, we have become the most powerful person in the room.”
25. Review your performance.
“Finally, it’s vital that you review your performance, suggests financial journalist and money expert Miranda Marquit.
“Monitor your sales. Figure out what’s working and what’s not. This includes looking at your marketing channels to see which are most effective. Use data to make enhancements and tweaks to your product or service, as well as your sales approach.”
“When you make decisions based on data, you will be far more likely to succeed in the long run.”
Test Sales Hacks
Put these sales hacks to work for you in the coming year to see which ones are a good fit so you can boost revenue now and into the future.