Consultant outlines post recession sales strategies
Posted by Elena del Valle on February 3, 2012
Up Your Sales in a Down Market book cover
Photos: Career Press
As consumer worries continue following the Great Recession and purchases decline the role of sales staff gains importance. Ron Volper, Ph.D., a consultant who has advised 300 companies including 87 Fortune 500 Companies on ways to increase sales, shares his thoughts on how to survive and thrive in the New Economy in Up Your Sales in a Down Market: 20 Strategies From Top Performing Salespeople to Win Over Cautious Customers (Career Press, $15.99), a 224-page softcover book published this year.
Based on 30 years of sales experience and his firm’s proprietary research on the topic Volper is convinced that people in sales need to update their strategies to adjust to customers attitudes and behaviors toward buying. He felt so strongly that he dedicated one year and nine months to publishing the book, his first.
The change in attitudes has had tangible effects on the purchasing process in today’s budget conscious companies, he says in the Introduction. For example, where a single person may have made purchasing decisions in the past a committee may be deciding now; and where a customer may have relied on sales assurances of quality in the past they may require proof today.
Ron Volper, Ph.D., author, Up Your Sales in a Down Market
In the book, he outlines 20 strategies to increase sales and discusses practical skills designed to help sales staff win over cautious customers, orient buyers to overcome fears and objections, prepare presentations to convince hard-to-win-over customers and train sales teams to rely on the winning habits of top-performing salespeople.
“Ask more questions to find out your customers’ needs and expectations,” he said by email in reply to a question asking his advice to novices, nonprofits and small businesses. “Talk less and later in the sales conversation and listen closely to what the customer says and does not say. Once you make a sale do everything you can to stay in touch with your customers and exceed their expectations; for a current customer is 25 times more likely to buy another product (or in the case of a non-profit contribute to your cause) than a new customer is likely to buy anything. And the best way to develop new customer relationships is by getting referrals and introductions from existing customers.”
Volper is managing partner of the Ron Volper Group and an adjunct faculty member at New York University. Before founding his company he was vice president of Sales and Marketing for McGraw-Hill and headed Sales Consulting and Training for Xerox Learning Systems.
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