How to Improve Sales When Your Team is Stuck In A Rut


Sure. You've been there. The Rut. The moment when nothing seems to go your way, and no matter what you do, you can't seem to make the numbers budge. You want to improve sales, but it's just not happening. The truth is, we've all been there, and sometimes it can feel like an eternity before you get out of it. But the good news is, there are tried and true techniques to help kick you and your sales team out of a rut when your sales are just not where you'd like them to be. So -- what to do? Well, there are a number of possibilities to help your team improve sales. Here's a few:

Give 'em a Taste -- It's a scientific fact that when you give your customers some kind of free sample, whether it's a free consultation, a free taste or a complimentary something or other, customers will feel a connection with you that's hard to beat, and this connection will lead to sales. Robert Cialdini, in his book, Influence: Science and Practice¸ writes of this model as the "click, whirr effect" which is the automatic, built-in response of a person to the actions of another person. According to Cialdini, when you give someone something, they feel an instant connection with you and a desire to return the favor. This favor can often translate into sales.

Make them a Part of the Family -- In this day and age, with so many options for purchasing, it's no wonder that companies fight to have customers come back again and again. It just makes good business sense. So why not improve sales by offering customers rewards for returning? By offering a discount for repeat clients or a special treat for coming or referring new customers, your loyal customers turn into a part of your business family, helping to advertise for you, giving you repeat business and offering ongoing support.

Treat them like Friends -- We all love to be around our friends -- after all, we chose them and they chose us. Friends are dearer than family, and so, when you want to improve sales, treat your customers like friends. It's a state of mind, more than anything, but when you think of your customers as friends, you want to give them the best deal possible, you want to tell them the straight scoop, and you want to make them feel valued. Oftentimes, sales can become a game where you want to get one over on your client; the problem with that is, once customers know they've been duped, it's unlikely they'll return again. Make friends of your customers so they return again and again.

Upsell to Benefit the Customer -- We've all heard of the upsell, but when you think of upselling as a way to provide more value to your customer, it makes a lot more sense to improve sales. Consider how you might offer extra value to fulfill their needs when you suggest a little extra. It can go a long way.

Reward your Best Sellers -- Everyone appreciates a little encouragement, and even if your best salespeople are self-motivated superstars, it pays to reward your best sellers. Having a little extra reward for your salespeople adds a little fun to the sales process and gives a boost to any of their efforts. It doesn't even have to be a big reward; you'd be surprised what some people will do for a t-shirt.

Get Coaching and Training -- Sometimes sales numbers have less to do with motivation and more to do with education. If you find your sales team needs help to improve sales, send them to school, and see your numbers grow. The National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP) offers certifications and self-guided classes online for sales professionals. http://www.nasp.com

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Gretchen Barton
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gretchen Barton> all articles
Gretchen Barton is an enthusiastic member of the Envision-U team. With a background in sales and a keen interest in how people think, connect and make decisions, Gretchen has followed her interests to work anywhere and everywhere - from Ivy League Universities to juvenile detention centers; from hospitals and medical centers to restaurants and various non-profits. Gretchen is a published author and nationally recognized expert on hazing prevention. In addition to the science of connection and transformation, Gretchen is very interested in PTSD research and recovery and using role play as a tool for teaching and transformation.

She happily lives with her husband, Joe, as well as her dog and her cat, in Brooklyn, NY.