By Jill Konrath, author of "Snap Selling"
Recognizing and acting on these seven paradoxical sales principles are critical to your long-term success.
1. To win more sales, stop selling.
When people feel like they're being sold, they react negatively and put up barriers. Focus on helping your prospects achieve their business, professional and personal objectives – not on making a sale.
2. To speed up your sales cycle, slow down.
The more quickly you push to a close, the higher resistance you encounter. Go one step at a time. When your prospects know you want to help them make the right decision, not a rash one, the process moves faster.
3. To make decisions easier, offer fewer options.
When you increase the complexity of the decision, you decrease the likelihood of winning the sale. To help your prospects move forward, give them less to choose from. Keep it simple – always.
4. To be more natural, prepare like crazy.
Today's customers suffer no fools. If you're not ready with the right message, questions or presentation, you'll stumble or be stilted in your meeting. When you do prepare, you can be your best self.
5. To get bigger contracts, start smaller.
When you pursue the "whole shebang," decisions are more complex and costly, making it much tougher to get approval. Reduce the risk by starting small and proving your capabilities. Then, it's easy to grow.
6. To speed up your learning curve, fail fast.
It's inevitable that you'll make mistakes. So don't wait till you've figured out the "perfect pitch" before moving forward. In sales, there is no failure — just lots of opportunities for experimentation, learning and growth.
7. To differentiate your offering, become the differentiator.
That's the biggest reality in today's market. Your products, services or solution are secondary to your knowledge, expertise and the difference you make for your customers. Invest time in yourself.
This article originally appeared on the Jill Konrath’s “Fresh Perspectives” blog and is used here with permission.