Rhonda Abrams at Gannett News Service:

For most business problems, there’s an obvious solution: Make more sales.

Need a new Web site? Need more staff? Need new products or services? The answer: Get out there and make sales.

Let’s face it, most business problems can be helped – if not solved – by having more money. And the most direct way to increase your income is to pick up the phone, walk out the door, and go out there and sell.

But to succeed we have to sell. So here’s a very quick refresher course on keys to successful sales:

1. Change your attitude. It’s natural to think of sales calls as an imposition on others. But if you’re offering your customer something they truly need or want, you’re doing them a service.

2. Give yourself a quota. Set a goal of how many calls you have to make a day or a week and keep it.

3. Know what you’re selling. You have to be able to present your product/service clearly and concisely.

4. Listen. You can’t make a sale if you’re doing all the talking.

5. Start with smaller customers. And never forget them even once you’re successful.

6. Build relationships. People buy from other people.

7. Be persistent rather than insistent. Most people think you have to be “pushy” to be a successful salesperson. You don’t. You just have to stick with it.

8. Keep your calendar out. When you make a sales call, many customers won’t need your product or service at that time. But they may later, so ask when you can call them again.

9. Follow up. You’ve met a lot of people at all those mixers and trade shows you’ve attended. Call them and follow up. Turn those leads into customers.

Photo by MSDesign.

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