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5 secrets to making larger sales

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One of the greatest points of distinction between top sales performers and everyone else is average sale size.

Great salespeople typically make much larger sales than the rest of the team — often by a factor of four to 10 times that of the typical salesperson.

But how is this possible when Salesperson A and Salesperson B are selling the same product or service? The answer is that their approaches to selling are completely different. Here are the five secrets that top performers use to make larger sales:

1. Sell at the highest possible level

Most salespeople sell to lower-level buyers simply because they are more comfortable calling these types of prospects. However, this approach also leads to lower-level results. Prospects lower down the food chain may be willing to hear what you have to say, but they often don’t have the authority to actually make a decision — especially on a big purchase. It’s time to start selling at the highest possible levels.

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2. Sell solutions, not products or services

If you think people buy your product or service, you are missing the point of sales. Your prospects are actually buying a solution or result when they purchase from you. Take a very simple example: when you hire a personal trainer, your decision to do so doesn’t stem from the thrill of having someone yell at you during your workout, but rather, from the result of getting into great shape. Your prospects do the same with you. They aren’t buying insurance, but security and peace of mind. It’s time to get out of the business of selling your product or service and get into the business of selling solutions.

3. Focus on objectives and challenges

Most salespeople sell their products by extolling their many great features and benefits. However, this old school approach isn’t addressing what your prospect really cares about. Every prospect buys from you because she needs to achieve particular objectives and overcome challenges. Rather than focusing on the virtues of what you have to offer, ask effective questions to understand what objectives your prospect is looking to achieve and what challenges she must overcome. This commitment to understanding your prospect on a deeper level builds tremendous value in her eyes. By focusing on high-level strategic objectives and challenges, your offering becomes part of a solution to your prospect’s most critical needs.

4. Get a budget

Salespeople are in the field right now selling themselves short by simply throwing out their prices before understanding their prospect’s budget. Let’s be clear: the goal of sales is not to ask for a budget so that you can simply charge more but rather to understand what your prospect will invest, so you can develop a customized solution that provides maximum value in achieving his objectives. Once you fully understand these challenges and objectives, it is time to ask your prospect what he would be willing to invest in order to accomplish them. Hang in there. It might take some back and forth before you nail down the budget, but more often than not, you can get an idea of one just by asking — and oftentimes, it’s larger than you think. However, if the budget is simply too low, and your offerings consequently won’t be a fit, then you can end the meeting before anyone’s expended too much energy.

5. Provide three options

The typical sales proposal usually only provides one option for prospects to consider. This is a huge missed opportunity. Rather than offering one option in your proposals, give three different options for your prospect to choose from. The first should be the lowest level option possible to achieve desired results, while option three should be above and beyond what the prospect asked for. Option two should be somewhere in the middle. By providing three choices, you accomplish two critical objectives. One, you provide the prospect with some context by which to make a decision, eliminating his need to shop your competitors for different options. Two, there is always a good chance that the prospect will pick options two or three, which are packed with more value and come at a higher investment.

By implementing these five secrets to closing larger sales, you can dramatically increase the size of your average sale — and your closing ratio.

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