Certain books become a blueprint for successful companies, and this is one of them: The Ultimate Sales Machine, by Chet Holmes, reveals 12 key strategies designed to help you turn your company into a genuine selling machine. Holmes believes in optimising resources and focusing on a series of skills with astute vision.
Here’s an overview of the first 6 strategies:
1 Manage your time wisely
To be efficient, make a commitment not to accept projects you’re not sure of managing successfully, due to lack of time, knowledge or human resources. Make a list each day of 6 tasks and plan how much time to allocate to each one. To make the best use of your day, prioritise tasks from the most difficult to the easiest and take any irrelevant tasks off the list.
2 Opt for continuous training
By learning together, your team’s personal and professional performance will increase; you’ll recruit the best people more quickly and efficiently, and be ready to handle unexpected events.
The training required to win the sales race is conducted through meetings. To ensure fluid, transparent communication tell your team in advance what the meeting is about, and which strategy you want to improve. It’s important to be open to different opinions and make sure the meeting is interesting for everyone attending. Organisation is crucial; decide how to develop a tactic, and which format to use (e.g. workshop, product demonstration, training course…).
3 Hold effective meetings
Having company policies in place help you plan your work much better. Develop a series of procedures so that the whole company meets its responsibilities in a consistent way, encouraging participation and inspiring confidence. With these foundations in place you’ll maximise the effectiveness of meetings, with colleagues defining the problem in the same way and looking for a solution together, thanks to a detailed follow-up.
Any idea for improved sales that comes up must be noted so as to get the same results each time, and make sure the CEO or department manager personally checks the proceedings/procedure. Apply a time limit and if something doesn’t yield results, stop doing it. There will always be new, more efficient ways to sell successfully. And, as always, don’t forget to reward your team for its success. Quality meetings always bear fruit.
4 Develop brilliant strategies
A common mistake many sales teams make is to focus on tactics instead of having a strategic perspective. They define a short-term method to meet immediate objectives instead of implementing a long-term sales vision. If you have a brilliant strategy, the tactics can be implemented much more successfully.
To avoid the short-term trap it’s essential to find out information on your market and identify what makes your product or service unique and essential. Don’t talk about what you’re selling, show the consumer why they need your product. Focus on messages that demonstrate how your product solves a problem for the user. Develop a pitch that positions you as experts in your field.
5 Hire sales superstars
One of the best investments your business can make is to create a team of sales experts. A top team will create multiple sales opportunities and, as a result, increase profits and brand value significantly.
To hire the very best you need to be very sure who they are – there’s a lot of money at stake. One question to ask during the job interview is, “Why should we accord you these few minutes?” Someone with plenty of experience and knowledge of their sector will be able to argue their case. Don’t pursue candidates who beat about the bush; look for professionals whose personality fits the position and who can demonstrate their talent.
6 Target your best buyers
Every good sales machine has a clearly defined target. Make a list of your 100 ideal buyers – and convert them into customers. Roll out a communication campaign including letters, emails, phone calls and meetings. Each impact should capture their attention. Understand the value of a new client, and offer them incentives for using your service. Recommendations from satisfied customers are priceless.