The word technique means you have a way of doing something to produce an outcome. Because success is individual, it is important you master your techniques to improve your sales performance, create a better sales experience, level up your win rate, and close more deals.
The following list categorizes various sales techniques. They are presented in a particular order. The entries toward the top relate to acquisition and will help you master the entries that follow. The entries toward the bottom relate to methods and approaches. As you explore each technique, make note of any you need to improve to achieve your sales goals.
- Time management
- Intrinsic motivation
- Emotional intelligence
- Goal setting
- Business acumen
- Building relationships
- Creating value
- Closing and gaining commitments
- Building consensus
- Handling uncertainty
1. Time Management Techniques
Sales roles provide more autonomy than other jobs in business. You are responsible for your results, and to succeed, you need to temper the role’s inherent autonomy with self-discipline.
As time relentlessly ticks forward unabated, mastering time management, or what we call "me management," is the first thing you must master. Your time management technique is a critical factor in your success. You can start by planning your upcoming week on Friday afternoon.
2. Intrinsic Motivation Techniques
Marketers often use the term "demand generation." The underlying concept is that you need not create demand because people already want things. You can apply this idea to your own intrinsic motivation to help you connect with what you want.
No one, not even Tony Robbins or Oprah Winfrey, must ever ask you to do something you know you must. You can connect to your intrinsic motivation by writing down why you want what you want, and what it means to you. You can also improve your motivation by acknowledging what you will lose if you don't act.
3. Emotional Intelligence Techniques
Your attitude, your outlook, and your ability to manage your emotional state is a critical sales technique. It alone can cause you to lose deals and clients. Those who first manage their own emotional states do better at recognizing other's.
You meet many people in all sorts of emotional states, including anger, frustration, anxiety, or general grouchiness. Your state can lead others to change their states. The first thing you might do to work on this sales technique is to keep a journal of your emotional state.
4. Goal Setting Techniques
Your company will provide you with a goal. It's important to achieve that goal, but it should be just one of many you pursue. When you know what you want, a goal allows you to build a plan to achieve it.
Some of your goals will be around your business, and others will touch things like your health, wealth, relationships, and soul. The first technique here is to set three goals that, if achieved, would suggest you have grown.
5. Business Acumen Techniques
If there is one element that leads to success in B2B sales, it's business acumen. Few sales organizations or salespeople practice techniques that improve their business acumen. You need a technique that increases your ability to be a truly consultative salesperson.
Sales techniques are important, but you improve your sales effectiveness by becoming a businessperson. You can practice this technique by watching or listening to CNBC’s Squawk Box each morning. You can also ask your clients to educate you.
6. Prospecting Techniques
Your business acumen will ensure you can book a meeting with your dream clients. The best technique for prospecting is to trade value in exchange for your contact's time. Another effective technique that will speed your results is spending 90 minutes each day on prospecting. You can build a sales prospecting plan in six steps.
To master these prospecting techniques, you need to practice. If you are new to cold outreach, you want to hear "no" often enough to become desensitized to it, so you can pick up the phone without hesitation.
7. Relationship Building Techniques
My good friend Charles H. Green wrote Trust-Based Selling and The Trusted Advisor Field Book. Charlie's equation is credibility, reliability, and intimacy, divided by your self-orientation. There is an art to building and maintaining relationships.
Relationship selling is part of consultative selling. When you have a prospect or a client, I promise you, you have a relationship. Your first technique here should focus on care, as it will deepen the relationship.
8. Value Creation Techniques
You are never going to win all the clients you want. You are, however, going to win every client that wants you. You create the preference to buy from you by creating value for your client in the sales conversation. Most sales organizations don't have a value creation model and would need a sales enablement project to practice the techniques.
When a client is considering a purchase, helping them learn what they need to make a good decision is value creation. Ask yourself what your clients need from you.
9. Differentiation Techniques
Value creation is the ultimate method of differentiation. But you can also differentiate yourself and your company by using a technique called triangulation strategy. (You can learn more about this technique in Elite Sales Strategies: A Guide to Being One-Up, Creating Value, and Becoming Truly Consultative.) Triangulation strategy is a sales technique that allows you to explain the different models used in your industry, including which makes the most sense for your client. It is a good place to start with a business approach to differentiation.
10. Techniques for Closing and Gaining Commitments
Gaining commitments is the king of sales techniques. Sales is a series of conversations, each leading to the next. Your techniques in this category will allow you to lead your client and control the sales process. Closing is only one of the many commitments you need your clients to make.
Your commitment-gaining techniques should make it easier and faster to close deals. To get started, make a list of the commitments your clients need to improve their results with your help. This will help improve your closing rate.
11. Consensus Building Techniques
First, you need to identify the stakeholders who must participate in the sales conversation. You also need to identify a decision-maker who will sign a contract, greenlight the initiative, and sign a check.
You need a technique for accomplishing these most difficult sales outcomes. The first is to make a list of the people who are part of the deals you win. Then you’ll need to practice objection scripts for building consensus and trust.
12. Techniques for Handling Uncertainty
In a modern sales approach, we look at objections as real concerns, the kind that kill your opportunity if you don't resolve them. Your clients want to be certain they will succeed, and treating true concerns as superficial objections creates uncertainty.
To get started working on techniques related to handling uncertainty, list common objections and explore them to understand what the client's real concern might be and how you can address it.
13. Sales Communication Techniques
You must talk. You may also talk less. Good communication is not talking or listening, but understanding. Part of the time, you must talk to help your client understand something important. The rest of the time, you need to listen so you can understand.
Try this technique: After your client stops talking wait for an eight count before replying. Notice they are not done speaking. They'll think you are a greater listener.
14. Negotiation Techniques for B2B Sales
We make too much of negotiation, treating it like a hostage situation. We also make too little of negotiations. The most important techniques for negotiation relate to saying yes to a concession or saying no. In either case, your technique must allow you to ask for something in exchange for what you give.
You enable this technique by knowing what you can ask for in your negotiations. Create a list of fair, win-win trades, so you already know what you’re willing to agree to.
15. Presentation Techniques
If you want a great technique for presentations, start by reminding your prospective client why they need to address their undesirable results. Follow that with a description of the future state that can occur after the client changes. This works because it positions the rest of your presentation in that context. Before you explain the how and the how much, your client understands the risks of the status quo and what change will entail. This technique will improve your close rates.
These sales techniques should provide you with the foundation for improving your sales performance and win rate. By mastering the sales techniques in these categories, you can develop and refine the skills you need to succeed.