10 Sales Techniques Every Sales Person Should Know in 2024

Every sales person can benefit from having a repository of sales techniques, however, if those techniques are outdated or are no longer generating you sales then what’s the use? In this blog we show you the most important sales techniques for 2024 as well as tips on how to master each one.

Contents:

  1. Pain Point Selling
  2. Active Listening
  3. Build Rapport
  4. Objection Handling Techniques
  5. Product Knowledge
  6. Closing Techniques
  7. Time Management Skills
  8. Social Selling
  9. Continuous Learning
  10. Crafting a Sales Toolkit

Introduction

In the world of sales, having a repertoire of effective techniques is crucial for success. If you find it challenging to tailor your approach to your customers pain points and traditional sales techniques are no longer yielding the desired results, then we hope some of the techniques provided in this blog can help. We will explore the 10 essential sales techniques for 2024, highlighting their importance and provide valuable insights on how to master them. From pain point selling to handling objections and closing deals, these techniques will empower you to become a top-performing sales person.

1. Pain Point Selling

Pain point selling is quintessentially what we’re about here at Firestarter; understanding your prospect’s pain points is vital in building a strong connection and demonstrating value. By identifying the challenges and problems they face, you can position your product or service as the solution.

To master pain point selling, research your target audience thoroughly, ask probing questions, actively listen, and showcase how your offering directly addresses their pain points. Remember the best method to identify your prospect’s pain points is to essentially let them tell you. Through effective questioning and an attentive approach, your customer will give you the answers that helps improve your understanding of their problems and assess your next steps.

What to look out for 🔍

  • Frustration with the way things are currently being done
  • A need to make budget savings or make more money
  • Capacity challenges and efficiency requirements
  • Competency and skills challenges

2. Active Listening

Believe it or not simply listening to your customer is a skill in itself. Active listening is fundamental as it helps you better understand your prospects’ needs and preferences. By giving your undivided attention, asking clarifying questions, and paraphrasing, you can show genuine interest and build trust.

To master active listening, practice mindfulness, focus on the speaker, and eliminate distractions. An obvious red flag for a customer is a sales person that interrupts, judges or jumps to the speaker’s conclusions before they’ve managed to get there themselves. You can remedy this by allowing a few seconds of silence or by forcing yourself to slow down on your responses. If you’re an experienced sales person some habits might be hard to get out of so becoming an active listener again may require some conscious effort. Try summarising your conversations with the customer at the end of each conversation or meeting to effectively demonstrate that you were actively listening throughout.

Take aways of actively listening👂

  • Don’t interrupt
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions
  • Stay focused
  • Ask questions
  • Practice makes perfect

3. Build Rapport

Establishing a strong rapport with your prospects is a cornerstone of successful sales interactions. It goes beyond effective communication; it involves creating a genuine connection and fostering trust. The aforementioned active listening plays a part in building rapport as prioritising it will be the foundation for building meaningful conversations.

To master the art of building rapport you should show genuine interest in your prospects’ stories, pain points and aspirations, by doing this you create a comfortable environment in which your customer can open up and share information to you as a trusted advisor.

Building rapport with ease 🗣

  • Be empathetic & respectful
  • Find common ground
  • Listen actively

4. Objection Handling Techniques

Objections are an inevitable part of the sales process. Rather than viewing objections as roadblocks, see them as opportunities to address concerns and build credibility. Listen attentively, empathise with the prospect’s perspective, and provide tailored solutions that alleviate their concerns. Here at Firestarter, we adhere to the following six principles of good negotiation:

  1. Concentrate on rapport – a good relationship will always support a good negotiation.
  2. Understand the balance of power in the relationship/negotiation. Who really holds the cards? Are you negotiating from strength to weakness?
  3. Think about the bigger picture – wars, not battles; life-time value, longer term relationships.
  4. Respect cultural differences and approaches – “know your competitor” (and their personal motivators). Making a negotiation a “battle of wits” is rarely beneficial.
  5. Have a specific list of what you are prepared to sacrifice (and what you are not prepared to sacrifice).
  6. Never give something without getting something.

Use Firestarter’s principles of good negotiation in role-playing scenarios and you will quickly be able to identify obstacles more clearly and earlier in the process. If you feel the obstacles aren’t as clear as they should be, remember to ask direct questions to further your understanding.

5. Product Knowledge

To effectively sell a product or service, you must have in-depth knowledge about its features, benefits, and unique selling points. Study your product thoroughly, stay updated on industry trends, and understand how your offering compares to competitors. Continuously educate yourself through training sessions, webinars, and staying informed about product updates. You should also learn to make the separation between the “product knowledge” element of your sales process and the functional “selling” element of your sales process. All too often we see sales people who know their product like the back of their hand but struggle to link their product to the buyer’s pain points leading to a slow sales process.

6. Closing Techniques

Closing a deal is the ultimate goal of any sales conversation. Mastering closing techniques such as the alternative close, the assumptive close, trial close or the “Columbo” close can significantly increase your chances of sealing the deal. Practice different closing techniques, adapt them to your selling style, and know when to confidently ask for the sale. Below are 4 common closing techniques that are proven to be effective in closing deals.

4 Sales Closing Techniques to Secure the Deal

  • Alternative close – Questions that give a couple of options to solicit decisiveness – e.g. do you want red or blue? – often moving a conversation forwards by implying decisions are more around detail than whether to purchase or not.
  • Assumptive close – Use the assumptive closing technique in a way that already assumes the sales/project is going ahead by discussing post-purchase details such as timings.
  • Trial close technique – Trial close sales techniques are typically questions that are aimed at generating a commitment-based answer from your prospect, they are easy to answer questions such as “what is your thinking on this solution?” or “How do you feel about what we have discussed so far?”.
  • “Columbo” technique – A final question (“just one more thing”) asked once the meeting is virtually over, but often the most important question of all (or one that was not answered in the meeting itself).

7. Time Management Skills

Effective time management is essential for sales professionals. Prioritise your tasks, set clear goals, and create a structured schedule. Use productivity tools and techniques to maximise your efficiency, such as time blocking, setting deadlines, and minimising distractions. Regularly evaluate and adjust your time management strategies to optimise your productivity.

Firestarter time management tips ⌚️

  • Identify and prioritise high-value activities that align with your sales goals
  • Learn to politely decline requests or tasks that don’t align with your sales objectives
  • Allow yourself short breaks throughout the day to refresh your mind
  • Delegate non-sales tasks or consider outsourcing certain responsibilities to free up time for selling activities

8. Social Selling

Social selling has become an integral part of modern sales strategies. By utilising social media platforms to build relationships you can engage with prospects, and ultimately drive sales. By harnessing the power of social media, sales professionals can establish credibility, nurture leads, and create meaningful connections with potential customers. According to a HubSpot study on social selling, organisations that engaged in social selling reported a 61% in revenue growth. Further to this, LinkedIn found that 78% of businesses that leveraged social selling outperform those that don’t.

9. Continuous Learning

Sales is a dynamic field that requires continuous learning and adaptation. You will be required to stay up to date on not only your industry trends but your customers. There are various publications that are great for this such as, LinkedIn, HubSpot’s Sales Blog, Salesforce Blog. You can also visit Firestarter Insights where we produce a variety of resources to help improve different aspects of your sales, from sales improvement to business leadership.

Another key element of learning is to engage in professional development opportunities, attend sales conferences, and network with other sales professionals. By constantly seeking new opportunities and embracing a growth mindset you can enhance your sales skills whilst also building valuable relationships along the way.

10. Crafting a Sales Toolkit

Equip yourself with a comprehensive sales toolkit to streamline your sales process. By leveraging customer relationship management (CRM) software you can automate sales processes, manage leads and track interactions mor efficiently. Explore sales enablement platforms that provide valuable resources, training materials, and sales collateral to support your selling efforts.

It is vitally important when crafting your sales toolkit that you don’t fall into the trap of spending all your time “getting ready to sell”. Spend some time articulating your sales toolkit – the things that you feel are absolute must-haves to “do your job”. They don’t need to be masterpieces but just sufficient enough to allow you to get on and do your job.

What should your sales toolkit contain?

  • One page summary document – everything about the business, proposition, services etc.
  • Case Studies – real examples of problems clients faced and solutions you delivered
  • Price list – clear pricing structures and/or basis for pricing described
  • Documented end to end selling process – A detailed step by step guide/explanation of how your business sells.

Conclusion

The world of sales is a dynamic and ever-evolving field where success hinges on a repertoire of effective techniques. Remember, success in sales requires a combination of these techniques and a commitment to continuous improvement. Keep refining your skills, building relationships, and adapting to the ever-changing sales landscape. With dedication and the right tools, you can ignite growth and sustain success in your sales. In this blog, we have explored 10 essential sales techniques that can empower you to excel in your sales endeavours. If you would like to read more sales insights, click here to explore the full Firestarter blog or download our 7 Habits of Highly Effective Sales People guide to understand more about what it takes to really succeed as a professional sales person.

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