7 Hot Tips To Ignite Your Sales Skills

Close up of a table with a clipboard that has two graphs on it and a woman holding a tablet with a business report on it while a man points a pen at the screen

There are no quick wins when it comes to running a business and securing sales. However, with regular rhythms and processes, a business can perform effectively and consistently. Over the past few months we have shared 7 Firestarter Hot Tips over on our social media. We use these tips ourselves, here at Firestarter, therefore we know they are essential tactics needed to get your business in the best shape after a challenging year.

Tip 1: Little and often

A tip that sets the scene:  The LinkedIn A/B Exercise

  • Extract your Linked In contacts into a spreadsheet
  • Go down the list and categorise them as A or B (filtering out irrelevant contacts)
  • A = good contact, definitely worth getting in touch
  • B = haven’t spoken for a while, should make contact
  • Pick 5 a day to target and send a simple ‘hello’ email – you’ll be surprised what comes from it
  • Understanding “daisy-chaining” and how your contacts can put you in touch with others

Building practical strategies and tactics that are built on ‘Rhythm and Rigour’ to maintain regular activities.

Tip 2: Account planning principles

Stage 1 – Understanding the whitespace

  • Cross reference all your existing customers against your full product range and ask yourself if you are fully optimised.
  • Use this exercise to identify where you can identify additional opportunities with your existing base.
Excel document

Stage 2: Briefing the team

Let’s talk about ABC Limited

1. Currently we do this for them…

2. Currently we know these people…

3. We think we could do this for them….

4. We need to know these people…..

5. The risks associated with this business are…….

6. We want to open up these conversations….

7. We think there is this revenue opportunity…..

8. Over the course of the next year our plan is to…..

9. How can we all work together to achieve this?

Most people, most businesses do not do this. They lack rhythm, rigour, process, systems & discipline.

Tip 3: Understanding the contact surface

Illustration of contact surface bow tie
Illustration of a contact surface diamond

Your contact with any client or organisation should never focus on just one person.

Always focus on making your contact surface as wide as possible. You may start with just one contact, but build on this within your team and the client to become fully embedded across multiple areas.

Be more diamond!

Tip 4: Pain points

1.People like to buy, not be sold to.

2.Empathy, Empathy, Empathy

3.Buying decisions are as much about the individual’s circumstances as the business need. This is where the real pain (and the real motivation) lies.

What is the real problem that people are trying to solve?

What are the common problems that your buyers face?

[the real problems]: Generally, they will fall into one of 6 groupings:

  • Frustration
  • Financial
  • Time
  • Credibility
  • Competency
  • Risk

Aim for 10 to 12 – then condense to 4 or 5. Identify what it is about your approach that is different – Why should people buy from you to solve their problems?

Tip 5: 7 habits of effective sales people

  1. Take ownership and start with the answer
  2. Know your universe, hone your universe
  3. Put first things first – talk to your universe
  4. Treat every meeting like the critical hour
  5. See the obstacles, work the obstacles
  6. Find an order a week* to close
  7. Be the best, be frank about the basics

For more info on this topic:

Tip 6: Practical pipeline management

  • A common language in a business is key
  • Keeping it simple is key
  • Firestarter Grading method really simple and allows you to move towards zonal pipeline management to identify the ‘warmth’ of an opportunity and likelihood of closing, irrespective of the stage in the sales cycle.
  • An exercise you should be able to do “on the bus” with your existing (and lapsed) prospects.

A simple grading system to drive action
Focus on next steps – What do I  actually have to do to advance this opportunity to the next stage?


A – Prospect has confirmed that they are definitely going ahead; just awaiting paper work.

B – You have a strong feeling that this order will be closed in the next 2 to 6 weeks.

C – This is a good opportunity, but there is still work to be done.

D – An early stage opportunity- a look more work to be done.

Lapsed – This was a good opportunity, but now it has fallen away.

Dead – The deal has gone completely cold, no likelihood of revival.

Lost – The deal was lost to a competitor.

The most sales-focused organisations regularly review their sales pipeline and techniques to make sure things are finely-tuned and highly optimised to ensure maximum efficiency and success. Sales pipelines are often considered to be the ‘beating heart’ of any business. Do you agree? Is your pipeline up to date and reviewed regularly?

Tip 7: Guiding principles on team development

  1.  Align roles to goals – start with the numbers.
    Ask: What roles do I need to deliver my plan?
  2. Remember: “Things don’t get done if people don’t do them”
  3. And…. the team that got you here may not be the team that gets you there.
    Ask: what path do I need to take each member of my team on.?

You can probably already predict the future, so get on with creating it! 

The Jack Welch model:

Using this tool is a great starting point to your business as there is a spectrum for both results and behaviours. You can find that people fit into the quadrants quite easily. We believe it is a great tool to come back to, particularly as your business begins to grow.

A’s: Gets the vision/Habits + Delivers the numbers.

B’s: Does not buy into the vision/habits + Does not deliver the numbers

C’s: Gets the vision/habits + Does not deliver numbers

D’s: Does not buy into the vision/habits + Does not deliver the numbers

It’s all about the A’s – recruit A’s, keep A’s!

Our Firestarter Business Training Courses provide in-depth training like our hot tips, however they are structured to your business. Take a look here at the courses we provide:

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