As a business owner, your ability to sell will make or break your whole business.
You need to be able to sell your product to customers, or you’re toast.
You need to be able to sell your brand in your marketing and advertising, otherwise why would anyone give a shit?
And you absolutely need to be able to sell employees, investors, and stakeholders on your vision and mission for the company.
I’ve always worked in sales and been fascinated by the psychology of sales, so I was absolutely stoked when I got the opportunity to sit down with Tom Hopkins, one of the world’s top salespeople.
Tom started out in real estate and by the age of 22, he had sold a house a day for an entire year. He broke records, won awards, and has gone on to coach countless businesses to success.
So, want to know how he does it?
I was lucky enough to interview Tom for an episode of Unstoppable, and he broke his sales process down into seven simple steps.
Prospecting is all about finding the right people to sell to.
Your marketing will play a huge role in your ability to find and contact relevant prospects, so your content needs to sell your brand to people who might be in the market for your product.
2. Original content
Tom describes this as how you physically and verbally present in the first 10-15 seconds that forms their opinion of you.
His advice is, “forget selling, think about relationship building like you’re going to work with them for the rest of your life”, because a lifetime customer is a very valuable customer indeed.
These days, the average buyer starts out with more knowledge than they’ve ever had before, so you need to be more knowledgeable and persuasive than ever before.
To move forward in the sales process, you need to know a few things about your customer.
Are they the decision-maker here?
Are they the ones who will be using your product?
Do they have the financial capacity to proceed?
Do they genuinely need your product?
I always say you should spend 70% of your time listening and 30% asking quality questions to find out this exact info.
This is where you basically demonstrate that your product is going to fulfill a need or pain point in their life.
Once you have a script that works, it’s important you stick to it and practice that script like your life depends on it.
Think of Mel Gibson’s speech in Braveheart – do you think he got up there and just winged it? Probably not.
I’m willing to bet he practised over and over and over until he could recite it at the drop of a hat, be compelling, and sound organic.
Most people say no before they say yes, don’t let it catch you off guard.
The best salesmen know what their prospects will say to object, and they know exactly what they’re going to say to get that sale over the line.
Tom has over 30 prepared objections and responses in his scripts, so he’s ready to handle any curveballs, cool as a cucumber.
The most common objection is usually price, and Tom’s advice is “don’t talk about cost, because then people get in their analytical brain and all they’re thinking about is getting that dollar figure lower.
If you have to discuss price, frame it in terms of the up-front investment, total investment over time.”
Closing the sale is an art form.
Like all great works of art, you only get good at it through lots and lots of practice.
Again, Tom has 64 closing scripts that he’s memorised and can deliver with confidence, organically, and is prepared for any outcome.
7. Getting referrals
Whether or not you close the sale, you should always ask for referrals and be building a relationship where they feel comfortable enough to vouch for you.
If you nail this, you’ve got your prospects ready to go back to step one.
Once you get a formula that works, you master it.
Tom says if we shadowed him on sales calls for a week, we’d hear the same thing almost verbatim.
A lot of salespeople are hesitant to do this because they don’t want to sound like a broken record, but really you’ve got a whole new person in front of you who is hearing it for the first time.
So there you have it. Seven sales tips from one of the world’s leading sales gurus.
Selling is part of every aspect of business, so the quicker you put these sales strategies into play, the sooner your business will soar.