I was giving my ecourse this morning to a great student! She works for an independent rep group and really wanted to increase her effectiveness as a salesperson. She represents five lines, three of them extremely well known in the design sector.

What we were learning today was part of my ecourse 7 Core Principles of Optimized Selling. She’s opening her mind to new techniques and using them to get her more sales. And what’s so great is she loves it because she feels so much more helpful to her clients while opening up so many opportunities. It’s truly win-win, to use a cliche. She’s no longer just making appointments and focusing on the product, but instead focusing on the solutions for more of her clients.

That brings me to the lesson we learned today which is probably the question I am most asked, “How do you close more sales?”

I answer – by simply qualifying your accounts on the phone before you even go to an appointment. If the client has a need for a current project that can use your product, you’ve started the closing process. It takes the guess-work out of the process.

It goes beyond asking, “Is there anything you need or I can bring you anything?” That is too vague and the answer will be vague too..”not really” or “nothing I can think of now”.

Think about it? If you call a client for an appointment today and qualify if they have any CURRENT needs that you can help them and they say no..then what are you going to close (better yet, why are you there unless you’ve exhausted all the people who DO need product now?) But you still go because they have a big name in the industry and you must keep in front of them and show some product, “just in case”. The client may take some samples or even ask for a quote. But haven’t you done that with clients where the sales go nowhere?

It just produces a lot of busy and sometimes exasperating work in following up, with no answers, calls with no answers or more quotes and more samples because that one you left is just NOT quite what they need. I know I used to before I knew better. BUSYwork! Who needs more of that?

It’s all about one of my 7 principles, “Make Time Count”.

Now take that same exact client. You call and ask if they have a CURRENT need for something you could help them with and then add a friendly “reminder” of what that could be (those are the products you sell). They answer why yes, as a matter of fact, I do need a (fill in the blank with ANY product you sell and suggested). You have focused the client on thinking about CURRENT projects. You ask a few more qualifying questions (price, aesthetics anything that gets you closer to the solution – confused minds don’t buy!) and say you would be happy to come by (fill in the date) and show them your solution.

That’s how you turn up that heat and close more sales.

If you want to close more sales, I recommend you go to as many appointments as you can using that technique and have at least one solution in your hand to a current need for that client.

And, as an added bonus, you can see the entire project and upsell while you are there (make time count, Deux!). Now, isn’t that easier than showing product which they may or may not use and therefore leaving your sales to chance?

You can always show them new things, just not before you find out what you can sellthem NOW! Thus the name SALES people, not PRESENTER people. Top performers leave little up to chance and that makes all the sense in the world.

Deborah Flate works with showrooms, salespeople, and product companies. She takes her 25+ years of sales, sales management and sales training experience and shows you how to accelerate your sales with her 7 Core Principles to Optimized Selling.

She is expanding her outreach from strictly the interior design sector to independent B2B reps. If you work on commission and sell B2B product, please contact me for a 15-minute laser coaching session.

If you want to learn more about my ecourse, just click here.

And if you want a free report onThe Future of Sales to Interior Designers, click here and download the report instantly.