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Sales Training: Unconventional Ways to Think about Sales and Improve Returns


When your sales team hits a slump, a shift in your sales strategy can be just the thing to reinvigorate clients and team members. By looking at sales in an unconventional way, you can incorporate new, innovative ideas that boost profits and engage salespeople.

Many sales professionals use the same sales strategy year after year. According to a recent Reuters story, recent data suggests that the US economy has a lack of momentum, which often impacts sales. In a tough economic environment, traditional strategies often stop working, due to changing customer interests and financial restrictions. Many customers are more cautious, which leads them to buy less and ask more questions.

When it comes to sales, many people offer exactly what the customer pays for and nothing more. Instead of nickel-and-diming, take the opposite sales strategy: go above and beyond to provide additional value to existing customers. Add personal service, call clients to make sure they’re happy, offer training at no cost, or provide something customers can’t achieve on their own. Work to speed up deliveries, perhaps, or increase reliability. By offering something clients need but don’t expect, you’ll instantly have an edge on the competition. When times are tough, clients will more likely stick with you than switch to another company. Happy customers are also more likely to refer you to colleagues, which can increase sales.

In a slow sales period, it can be tempting to take any potential customer who comes your way. As a result, your time is taken up by poorly qualified leads, and you have less time to spend finding the best customers. To shake up your sales strategy, go against conventional wisdom and put potential customers through a more rigorous qualification process. In doing so, you’ll find people who need exactly what you’re offering, so you won’t need to waste time on senseless requests.

When sales are slow, many companies go on the defensive. Instead of taking action, they simply try to weather the slow period. A better sales strategy is to take a proactive approach. Instead of waiting out the storm, find ways to reduce lead times and improve the delivery process. Tighten the ordering process. Improve your online sales system.

Eliminate strategies and processes that are not working. At the end of the slow period, your company will be better prepared to offer top-notch service, which can increase sales and pay off in the long run.

By approaching sales in an unconventional way, you can strengthen your business in a tough economy. A new sales strategy can give the sales staff more energy and bring in new, highly qualified customers who will help your company endure over time.

* What are some ways you go about adding value, above and beyond what your customers expect?
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Nancy Anderson is the communities and article Editor for Beyond.com. Nancy has 10 years’ experience in the online job search business with Beyond. Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites. Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on twitter.com/BeyondJobs.

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  • TheIrreverentSalesGirl

    Josh and Nancy,

    Brilliant post!

    It reminds me of a story my father used to tell. In his neighborhood, there was ONE lawnmower dealer who STOOD OUT and was always busy.

    Know why?

    Whenever a customer returned to pick up the lawnmower this businessman had just fixed, it was SPARKLING clean. All the way to the blade and the underbelly of the machine.

    Can you even IMAGINE what it took to deliver a clean lawnmower? Seriously!

    But, people noticed. He went above-and-beyond and weathered every economic storm.

    Trying times allow us to TRY new things.

    We can be part of the solution (getting the economy back to rights) by learning how to be far more relevant.

    By delivering things the customer (and prospect) never expected – while others are hunkering down – we can EXCEL.

    Yes. It takes far more creativity and thinking, but when times are great again, people will be thinking of us first!

    Love ’em UP!

    The Irreverent Sales Girl

  • Thank you for sharing your story & comment. It’s true, when you go above and beyond, people always notice! 🙂

    All the best,
    Josh

  • GlobalKAP

    Hi. That’s
    a very good post. Sometimes conventional sales and marketing strategies do not
    give the desired results. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about unconventional
    and unique methods of marketing. I agree with your “proactive approach”
    to marketing in tough times. Sitting back and waiting for the customer is
    always not a very good strategy.

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts & ideas on the above article.

  • Gina

    Great post! No one should ever just wait until something comes along when sales are down, instead they should search for a way to get ahead of their colleagues and better the company.