I know it’s almost cliche to talk about goals for a New Year, but here’s why I still do it. It works…it’s a new year, new start and usually new sales year. So why fight it? Instead, let’s do it!

I am still hearing from so many salespeople they don’t write their goals down and are still focusing most of their presentation on the product instead of really asking those great qualifying questions to get to the REAL need then upselling to an even larger sale.

So here are my top five tips to really ramp up those sales quickly! One is personal, the others are for clients.

For Yourself:

(1) Write down your goals: This sounds almost as cliche as doing those goals for the New Year. But again..it works! Writing down goals is like having GPS. You want to know where you’re going and if you’re in the right direction for that destination. If you want to go from California to New York and don’t have GPS (or have done it before) chances are it’s going to take you a WHOLE lot longer to get there without something in writing, right? There is SO much research on results between those who write their goals down and those who don’t. I can personally tell you that I have done both. I can also tell you that if I don’t write my goals down, I do not do as well. I am more confused every day; I don’t know what my priorities are and end up working on menial tasks that I enjoy more; as a creative person, I find myself really unfocused!

This year I plan to finish my book! I have said I would do it every year for the past, well let’s just say forever. This year I have declared I will finish it before 2017 is over. The first thing I have to do is plan and write it down. Otherwise, another full year will pass by just like every other year and it will not get done. I need a road map to get it done and something keeping me accountable and moving forward (in the RIGHT direction). You tell me how you do that without something in writing.

For clients:

(2) Qualify! No I mean really qualify. It might take you out of your comfort zone, but it’s the most important part of a sale. What I tell people I train is to ask ONE more questions when you feel a little uncomfortable. That’s probably the one you really need to ask. My Achilles heel when I was in sales (because I sold really high-end product to contract designers) was the budget. At the time I would rather NOT know the budget and run around like a fool for them hoping my GREAT service would be the trick to the sale. Doesn’t work. Here’s one that does work. I use this at the beginning of that question and that is, “So I am just curious” or my favorite “Tell me more”. You’re looking for a sofa, a sink, a lamp an anything…tell me more about that.

(3) Ask questions with a strategy in mind: Without a strategy, questions mean nothing. So, for instance, asking if someone is busy..really? What if they are, then what? Does that mean they are interested in what you are selling? Maybe they are even interested..but aren’t you there to sell? There’s a huge difference between showing and selling. One makes money, the other leaves that sale to chance and chance doesn’t pay the mortgage last time I looked. Your questions should lead to an answer that gets you closer to a sale.

(4) Be genuinely interested and carefully listen: When you ask that question, show you are genuinely interested not only in the answer but in the person, In turn, that person will feel trust, open up more and give you information freely. Choose your questions carefully and be genuinely interested in the answer while making sure the answer drives the sale. When a sales person comes up to me I can immediately sense if they are asking for MY benefit or just THEIRS.

And then carefully listen to the answer. Wipe your mind as clear as you can when they are responding. You would be amazed at what you can hear “in between” the lines if you listen carefully. Remember, people love to buy but not be sold, so show genuine interest in the client’s needs. Buying is to their benefit, selling is to yours.

(5) Upsell: The fastest way to grow sales (besides selling to loyal clients) is upselling. It’s a simple phrase: “WHAT ELSE”. What else do you need, not what else can I help you with? One is much more pro-active and focused. Then make a couple of suggestions. This is a very effective persuasion technique. One example is as simple as, “Are you working on any more rooms? ” Maybe they did not have that in mind when they came in or you went to their firm. Just think McDonald’s SUPER-SIZE! Can I get you fries with that? Would you like to Super Size those french fries? That, believe it or not, is upselling! So is Amazon’s famous, people who bought what you just bought also bought this…LOOK, buy me, too!

So that’s my top five. If you practice all five you will charge up your sales immediately. If you want to charge them up, even more, download my e-book Breaking Through the Sales Ceiling, 7 Core Principles of Optimized Sales. Just click here and get it immediately.

I am an industry insider and an expert in selling in the A&D product industry. I have 30 years of experience in sales and management with high-end showrooms and product companies. I help companies build successful sales teams by maximizing salespeople’s time and resources. It’s straight-forward and easy to follow (no retrofit from a program designed for other types of businesses).