Six Steps to Fine-Tune Sales


October 30, 2015

Success in this critical step will put your sales professionals on the same page. photo: ©

These six skills will help your sales team make your company more profitable. photo: ©

Professional sales consultants perform at an advanced level of proficiency and skill. They’re able to react quickly and effectively in any sales situation. They’re fueled by the knowledge that what they do can make a difference in people’s lives.

As an industry, we often don’t take the time to properly train and educate our sales staff, or arm them with proven sales techniques to ensure the entire sales experience is comfortable for the buyer and seller. With that in mind, here are six skills your sales team needs to make their paychecks bigger and your company more profitable:

1. Learn your company program, and all of the services offered. Don’t get caught off guard if the customer asks, “Can I get a discount if I pay a year in advance?” Become familiar with all the forms, contracts, methods of payment and service intervals offered. I advise having your sales team practice regular mock sales presentations to hone their skills and learn from one another.

2. Follow a planned sales presentation. If your company doesn’t have one, get started right away researching what must be included in a structured sales presentation to which everyone can learn and adhere. Success in this critical step will put your sales professionals on the same page. Practice this in your mock sales presentations.

Overcome and answer objections. You will always have objections or questions from your prospective customers. How you handle them will be vital in getting those prospects to sign your agreement. Some salespeople are scared to death when a customer brings up a concern or objection. But most of the time, the customer is really communicating that they need to know more about the offering. They’re looking for more information before making a buying decision. We’ll take a more in-depth look at overcoming objections in a future column.

4. Know how to get referrals.
Some companies use the Five Card system, in which customers give out the names of five friends and/or relatives who might need the company’s service. You might even want to offer customers a discount for each person who signs up as a result of their referral. Remember, if you don’t ask, you’ll lose. If you do ask, you might win.

5. Learn how to self-generate leads. Attend local chamber of commerce events, lead clubs or other networking groups. You also could canvass the neighborhood of the folks to whom you just sold, and start business-to-business prospecting.

6. Set goals and create action plans. You can’t hit a target if you don’t have one. Set the bar high.

You can reach Ray Johnson, a past president of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), president of Sevierville, Tenn.-based Johnson Pest Control, and founder of ACES for Business, at


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