Today, we’re going to cover 50 simple, actionable sales tips you can use to boost conversions.
No ambiguity. No BS. Just some solid sales tips and tricks to help you sell better.
Many of these are backed by scientific research, studies, or tap into known psychological principles or cognitive biases.
Table of Contents
- Sales Tips and Tricks to Boost Conversions
- 1. Set goals.
- 2. Radiate confidence.
- 3. Be enthusiastic.
- 4. Reply fast.
- 5. Stand out.
- 6. Be transparent.
- 7. Persist.
- 8. Pitch yourself before pitching your product.
- 9. Listen.
- 10. Use data and statistics to make your case.
- 11. Research your prospect.
- 12. Create a clear sales process.
- 13. Get higher quality leads.
- 14. Use a CRM.
- 15. Practice (limited) discovery.
- 16. Don’t give an easy out.
- 17. Educate.
- 18. Help.
- 19. Tie everything to an action.
- 20. Prepare questions in advance.
- 21. Use open-ended sales questions.
- 22. Pause to get them to talk more.
- 23. Assume the sale.
- 24. Offer fewer options.
- 25. Appeal to one side of the brain.
- 26. Cut your hours.
- 27. Express gratitude.
- 28. Illustrate with stories and metaphors.
- 29. Choose the right communication channel.
- 30. Mind your body language (when appropriate).
- 31. Prepare for objections.
- 32. Get advice.
- 33. Learn from others.
- 34. Develop a script.
- 35. But know when to improvise.
- 36. Get your foot in the door.
- 37. Or let the door slam in your face.
- 38. Lead to your differentiators.
- 39. Say “because.”
- 40. Take advantage of the ambiguity effect.
- 41. Convey scarcity.
- 42. Evoke a sense of urgency.
- 43. Call to a person’s self-concept.
- 44. Stimulate reciprocity.
- 45. Use the Zeigarnik effect.
- 46. Sweeten the pot.
- 47. Demonstrate social proof.
- 48. Create a fear of loss.
- 49. Time the close correctly.
- 50. Reverse traditional pressure.
- The Value of Data for Boosting Sales
Sales Tips and Tricks to Boost Conversions
Skim. Read in-depth. Do whatever you need to – in the end, you’ll be walking away from this guide with at least one new idea to boost sales.
Ready for some sales tips and tricks? Let’s go!
1. Set goals.
Want to be a better salesperson? Cool! Me too. But what do you mean by “better?” How can you measure it? How can you get there? And how fast do you want to get there?
These are important questions. Goals can help you come up with the answers. Setting goals for yourself does several things simultaneously. It concretely defines your vision. It gives you a metric to measure with data to see if you’re progressing. And it serves as a powerful motivator.
For example, do you want to increase your close rate to 25 percent by next year? The more specific you are, the better. For help getting started with goal setting, check out this guide on sales goals. And for more ways to increase sales, click that link!
2. Radiate confidence.
Confidence is your best friend when trying to land a sale. Higher confidence makes people trust you. It makes people like you. And it helps you bounce back from objections and other challenges.
How do you seem more confident? Believe in yourself! Practice power poses. Repeat positive self-affirmations. Recount your greatest accomplishments. Make eye contact. Shake hands firmly (post-pandemic). Keep a great posture. It all helps.
This is one of the most difficult sales tips to master, but it’s worth it. Check out these motivational quotes if you’re struggling.
3. Be enthusiastic.
Enthusiasm will help you too. If you seem like you’re genuinely crazy about this product, prospects will be much more likely to buy it.
I’ll grant that it’s hard to muster enthusiasm sometimes. But if you can’t get excited about the product or the industry, at least get excited about the results. Show that you love the idea of helping clients improve – and bring some energy to the table.
4. Reply fast.
One study found that 35-50% of all sales go to the vendor who responds first. If you respond within 5 minutes, you’ll be part of just 7% of companies. It’s a fantastic way to stand out, and separate yourself from the rest of the pack.
Speaking of which…
5. Stand out.
How many salespeople do you think have tried to reach out to this prospect in the past? They’ve likely heard from dozens of salespeople and considered dozens of competitors.
Do you really want to be just another brick in the salesman wall?
Of course not. If you want a chance at closing the deal, you have to stand out in some way. You have to show that you’re not just any salesperson. That your company isn’t just any brand.
Show off what makes you unique and go for a nontraditional approach.
6. Be transparent.
Salespeople sometimes get a bad reputation as manipulators or deceivers. You know. Snake oil salesmen. And to be fair, there are a lot of salespeople out there willing to lie to close the sale.
Trust me. People can smell it a mile away.
The bottom-line result of this is that many would-be prospects are exceptionally skeptical. Prove them wrong. Be their hero. Earn their trust with this one, weird trick: be honest.
Just be sincere and straightforward. You’ll be amazed how much of an impact it can make. This is one of the simplest sales tips to master but it makes a HUGE difference.
Of all the sales tips on this list, this is my favorite, because I’ve applied it in so many ways throughout my life, both in and outside of sales.
Don’t give up. Too many salespeople hear a “no” and immediately run away. But in reality, about 80% of prospects say “no” 4 times before they say “yes.” And the average salesperson only reaches out to prospects twice. So don’t give up! You have to be persistent if you want to succeed.
Sometimes, just one or two extra follow-ups is all it takes to keep the process moving. Don’t do yourself the disservice of throwing in the towel prematurely.
8. Pitch yourself before pitching your product.
Part of your job is to pitch the product. And pitch the brand. But before you do that, pitch yourself.
Present yourself in a way that demonstrates your authority, expertise, and trustworthiness. For example, you can explain that you’ve been in the industry for 20 years or talk about how this is your passion. It will make people trust you more and make them more receptive to what you have to say next.
79% of customers prefer salespeople who act as advisors.
One important caveat – don’t drone on too much. As we’ll see in the next point, you want to spend more time listening than talking.
Do you know the first step to persuading someone? You have to listen.
Everyone has a different learning style. A different sense of humor. Different wants. Different needs. Different goals.
You can’t use the same sales strategy on everyone and expect it to work. Instead, you have to tailor your approach to each individual.
And before you can do that, you need to know who you’re dealing with. See where this is going?
Listening is the only way to learn who you’re working with. One study found that 69% of buyers want salespeople to listen to their needs.
On top of that, listening shows interest and builds trust.
10. Use data and statistics to make your case.
It’s hard to argue with the cold, hard facts. Don’t just say you’re going to improve your prospect’s work or life. Show it.
Come to each sales meeting with a list of statistics, case studies, or other items that prove you’re capable of amazing things.
11. Research your prospect.
No matter how experienced or confident you are as a salesperson, there’s no excuse for jumping on a phone call without doing a bit of research.
Who is this person you’re contacting? What is the company they work for? Do you know of any competitors they might be working with? The more you know, the better prepared you’re going to be.
12. Create a clear sales process.
I’ve written a guide on how to create a sales process, so you’d think I’d know what the perfect process looks like.
Spoiler: I don’t. Why? Because the perfect process doesn’t exist.
Processes need to be different for different organizations. They need to grow and evolve with new information. What’s important isn’t the exact nature of your sales process, but rather, the fact that you have a consistent sales process.
Work with your team (and use the guide) to get that process in place.
13. Get higher quality leads.
This might be one of the most obvious sales tips on this list, but if you want to close more deals, you need better leads. Why? Because no matter how cool your product is, there will be some people who don’t like it or want it. And no matter how terrible your product is, there will be someone who actually does want it.
If you have a system that filters out the uninterested parties and gives you only the interested parties, your rate of success will be much, much higher. No matter which other techniques you feel like using!
In some companies, lead generation and prospecting are more about marketing than sales. But whatever. It’s important if you want to close more deals, so take it seriously. Companies using lead scoring systems see 20% more conversions.
Here are some articles I’ve written to help you get better leads:
- 75 B2B Lead Generation Ideas and Tips
- 33 B2B Lead Generation Tools to Get More Leads
- 10 Tools to Build a Targeted List of Prospects for Email Outreach
14. Use a CRM.
Data is incredibly important. You should have a robust database of all your prospects and customers. You should be able to measure and analyze the results of your sales process.
The shared gateway to these goals is your customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Use it consistently. Use it well. You and your team will be grateful. According to a Nucleus Research report, the average ROI of a CRM is about 871%.
15. Practice (limited) discovery.
Sales discovery is all about learning more about your prospect. And yeah, it’s pretty vital.
During discovery, you’ll learn more about this person and this company, which will arm you with more information you can use to close the deal.
But here’s the thing: sales discovery can be tiring for the prospect. Don’t bore them with a laundry list of uninspired questions. Don’t make them feel interrogated. Just get in, find out what you can, make some small talk, and get out.
Take a look at this list of the best sales discovery questions you should be asking, along with a 6-step sales discovery formula to follow.
16. Don’t give an easy out.
I see so many amateur salespeople struggling because they give their prospects an easy out.
This is best understood through example.
“Did I catch you at a bad time?”
Wow. The wording on this. Immediately, you’re giving your prospect a platform to leave. “Yes. This is a bad time. How nice of you to have noticed.” Click. Sale dead.
Instead, phrase things in a way that makes it harder to say no. For example, “Are you available this Monday afternoon for a quick chat?” People hate saying no directly.
Take on the role of a teacher. Give your prospect hard facts. Show them new skills.
Taking on the role of an educator can help you in many ways. It establishes your authority and expertise, so you get more respect. It shows that you want to help, so you build more trust. And gradually, you can steer your prospect toward your specific solution.
This is one of my favorite sales tips because it transforms you from a salesperson to more of a resource for your prospects. I like knowing I’ve helped other people achieve their goals!
People often reject product offers because they see things in terms of “us” and “them.” The salesperson is a manipulator or persuader just trying to get some money.
You have to change this image, and you can do it by serving as an advisor. It’s not “us” and “them.” It’s both of “us,” together.
Be your prospect’s trusted advisor and genuinely try to help them solve their toughest challenges.
19. Tie everything to an action.
You can only close the sale if your prospect takes action. You won’t get anywhere hem-hawing around indefinitely.
You can increase your success rate by tying everything to an action. What can your prospect do, right now, that will get you closer to a sale? Can they fill out a form? Read an eBook? Sign up for a free trial?
Keep moving things closer to that final conversion.
20. Prepare questions in advance.
Before you hop on the phone with a prospect, or even respond to their email, spend some time preparing questions. This is part of the discovery process, yes, but you’ll also need to ask questions when you’re deeper into the sales process.
Be careful not to read these questions too directly, or it will sound like you’re reading from a script. But do spend time proactively to brainstorm the best possible questions to ask.
21. Use open-ended sales questions.
What makes a good question? For starters, open-ended sales questions stimulate extended answers. Asking your prospect a “yes” or “no” question may be quick and get you some information you need, but it’s way less valuable than searching for an extended response.
For example, consider asking something like “What is your sales process like?” or “How do you feel about your current provider?”
22. Pause to get them to talk more.
After asking a question like this, try pausing. Pausing is an incredibly powerful rhetorical technique that conveys confidence. More importantly, it creates a brief and mild period of awkwardness that your prospect will be eager to fill.
The longer you pause, the more they’ll talk. And the more they talk, the more you’ll learn about them.
23. Assume the sale.
Many salespeople struggle with confidence (and therefore persuasive power) because they assume they’re going to fail. They believe they’re going to lose, that the prospect isn’t interested, and that they’re fighting for a total turnaround.
Try to see it the opposite way. This person wants to buy your product. You’re going to close the sale. All you have to do is bridge the gap between here and there.
This will make you more confident and help you find the path to close the deal.
24. Offer fewer options.
We usually think of choice as a good thing. So more choices is always better, right?
Wrong. In fact, having more options can fill people with anxiety. They take longer to make a decision. They worry about their decision more. And they’re less satisfied with their final outcomes.
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- 35-50% of sales go to the first-responding vendor.
- Following up within an hour increases your chances of success by 7x.
- The average professional spends 50% of their workday on email.
Instead, make things simpler. Offer fewer options. This is one of those counter-intuitive sales tips, but it works!
25. Appeal to one side of the brain.
Real talk? Most of the left-brain vs. right-brain talk is a myth. You’re not dominated by one side of the brain. And you can’t use a brain side like a Zodiac sign to determine your personality.
That said, people do tend to fall into different categories of thinking. Some people are very organized and logical. Others are more emotion-driven and think in a more abstract way. Figure out which type you’re dealing with and present your case accordingly.
26. Cut your hours.
Okay, now we’re into crazy town territory with these sales tips, aren’t we?
Pop culture illustrates the best salespeople as being overworking, ambitious, hungry professionals. They work late into every night. They work every weekend. And so on.
But the secret to better results isn’t working more hours. In fact, it may be working less. Employees are 68% less productive when they feel overloaded.
Cut out unnecessary meetings. Waste less time on bad prospects. Trim the fat. And increase the effort you spend on the activities most likely to generate real sales.
27. Express gratitude.
Always take a moment to thank your prospects for their time. And show gratitude to your peers and mentors while you’re at it.
This will help you establish a better reputation and forge stronger bonds. But it will also make you feel happier, reducing your stress and helping you perform better in the process.
28. Illustrate with stories and metaphors.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf is always more powerful than simply telling your children that “lying is bad.” Why? Because it’s a compelling narrative.
As humans, we love narratives. We love stories. We love metaphors. We prefer to follow along with characters, and through a beginning, middle, and end, rather than evaluating factual statements at face value.
Try to use more metaphors, stories, and other illustrative language in your sales process.
29. Choose the right communication channel.
I love email. It’s concise. It’s semi-permanent. It’s easy to organize. But I get that it’s not right for everyone. Some people still prefer phone calls. There might even be a few fax machine nuts out there.
On top of that, different channels have different strengths and weaknesses. Know your audience. Know your message. And choose the right channel for the right occasion.
30. Mind your body language (when appropriate).
If you’re meeting in person or if you’re in a video chat, think carefully about your body language. Sitting up straight, making eye contact, limiting fidgeting, and smiling can all help you make a better impression. You’ll also want to lean in and pay attention when the other person is speaking.
And if you’re communicating over email, don’t worry about it. There’s no such thing as email body language, which is part of why we love it.
31. Prepare for objections.
Sooner or later, you’ll face sales objections – counterpoints and limitations that prevent people from closing the deal.
You need to have a plan in place to deal with these. Step one is just admitting that they exist and that you shouldn’t be surprised or taken off guard when they come up.
From there, you have a few options. The best course of action is to understand which objections are truly deal-killers and analyze whether these objections are relevant to each prospect. If a prospect isn’t a good fit, you’ll have to move on.
Otherwise, anticipate objections and prevent them from arising. Do people commonly worry about how expensive your product is? Get ahead of them by explaining its cost-efficiency.
And if an objection catches you off guard, don’t get defensive. Be realistic, and adopt that helpful persona from earlier; how can the two of you solve this problem together?
32. Get advice.
Okay, these next two sales tips are about having some humility. There are better salespeople than you. Always.
Now that you know that and accept it, why not get some help from them? Ask your peers, leaders, and mentors for advice on your sales game. Have them listen to some of your conversations and read your emails, then tell you some of the things you’re doing wrong.
I’ve done this personally and I can say that other people tend to compensate for your blind spots. You’re likely unaware of some of the most egregious mistakes you’re making.
33. Learn from others.
Take this a step further by shadowing other salespeople. Follow along with their email threads and attend their sales meetings with them. Try to absorb some new skills and pointers from them.
According to HubSpot, more than half of salespeople who want to improve look for tips from their peers.
That said, your style should be your own. Feel free to incorporate different approaches and techniques, but keep some of your personality independent.
34. Develop a script.
Over time, work on a script you can use to guide your conversations. It will help you be more consistent in your approach and give you a tool you can hone to perfection after just a few iterations.
Just be careful not to read directly from it or you’ll sound like a robot.
35. But know when to improvise.
Your script may be a great starting point, but it’s not your everything. You also need to know when to improvise.
When a prospect showcases a different type of personality or raises a unique series of objections, you have to pivot. Be confident enough and familiar with your product enough to come up with something on the fly.
36. Get your foot in the door.
One of my favorite persuasion techniques is the old “foot in the door” approach. The idea is to get your prospect to agree to something small, so they’re more likely to agree to something big.
For example, can you convince them to give your product a free trial for a week? If so, you’ll be much more likely to sell them on the full product later.
37. Or let the door slam in your face.
A somewhat opposite approach may work as well. In the “door in the face” technique, you’ll start with something outrageous, then settle on something more reasonable.
For example, you could lead with the fact that competing products often cost $1,000 – but your product only costs a mere $100.
38. Lead to your differentiators.
Most salespeople lead with their key differentiators – the qualities that make them unique. But this can be obnoxious (and it provides little context for prospects). Instead, it’s better to lead to your key differentiators.
Warm up your prospect and guide them through a logical progression. Introduce them to your brand, go over the basics, talk about the competition – and then talk about what makes you shine.
39. Say “because.”
This is one of my favorite sales tips because it’s so fascinating how one word can hold so much power.
“Because” is an incredibly powerful word. People are much easier to persuade once you give them a reason for completing an action. The reason doesn’t even have to be that compelling.
For example, one fascinating study showed that if you ask someone to cut in line, they’ll be much more likely to let you if you add “because,” followed by just about any excuse. Because you’re running late? Because you’re exceptionally hungry?
Use this to your advantage by telling prospects why they should take your requested action. Will they save time? Save money? Help you achieve your personal goals?
I just love sales tips that leverage human psychology 😁
40. Take advantage of the ambiguity effect.
People crave certainty. Thanks to the ambiguity effect, people strongly prefer certain odds over uncertain ones. So make sure your prospects know their chances of success going in.
Let them know how much the average person saves (or how much they improve) when using your product. Give them a money back guarantee. Just make them feel like they know exactly what their chances of a “win” are.
41. Convey scarcity.
This is probably one of the most well-known sales tips on this list, but we’ve got to list it.
People are more likely to take action if they feel like there’s a limited quantity available. Convey scarcity by announcing a limited run, or a limited number of beta users, and you’ll inch closer to a closed sale.
42. Evoke a sense of urgency.
You can also persuade people more effectively by evoking a sense of urgency. If your prospects don’t act now, will they miss out on the deal of the century? Will they continue suffering in a pit of unproductivity?
42% of salespeople cite creating urgency as their biggest challenge. So if you’re having trouble, you’re not alone! But this stat also shows just how important salespeople know urgency is.
43. Call to a person’s self-concept.
People try to stay consistent with their internal sense of self-concept. If you remind them of the type of person they are, they’ll be much more likely to engage in actions that conform with that self-image.
For example, you can ask someone, “are you the type of person who’s always looking to improve?” Most people will agree.
If you follow up with, “Would you be interested in a product that can help you become a more efficient marketer?” they’ll be more likely to say yes.
44. Stimulate reciprocity.
This is one of my favorite sales tips because all you have to do is do something nice for your prospect. That’s it!
Thanks to reciprocity, people like to repay favors. They like to return kindness with kindness. If you do something nice for your prospect, they’ll be more likely to help you out with a sale.
That could mean taking them out to dinner, giving them a fruit basket, or even just complimenting their clothes. Do something nice and your chances of closing the deal will increase.
That’s why they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. You’ll feel indebted to whomever bought it for you, and that can be strategic for a savvy salesperson!
45. Use the Zeigarnik effect.
Did you know that you’re more likely to remember a topic and fixate on a subject if your interactions are interrupted? That’s the Zeigarnik effect for you.
If you want your prospects to really think about what you have to say, consider cutting your meetings a bit short. Don’t tell them everything. Leave a few questions dangling. Trail off with a “to be continued.”
Chances are, they’ll be hungry for a proper conclusion when you’re ready to meet again.
46. Sweeten the pot.
This is one of the more obvious sales tips on this list, but never rule out the possibility of sweetening the pot. You can instantly make your deal more attractive by, well, making it more attractive.
Offer a discount. Throw in a freebie. Add a no-strings-attached one-year warranty and a jack-in-the-box while you’re at it. People love extras.
Prospect not convinced? Show some social proof. When people see that their peers have found success, or that their peers are fully convinced, they’ll be much more likely to move forward.
Cite some of your biggest clients, show off some testimonials, or just lead people to the positive comments you’ve been seeing on Twitter (if there is such a thing as positivity on Twitter).
48. Create a fear of loss.
People love to win stuff and earn stuff. But they hate losing stuff even more. Stoke loss aversion in your prospects and they’ll be much more likely to finalize the sale. Yes, FOMO really works.
How can you do this? That depends on your product. What will people lose if they continue working with your competitor? Will your deals expire or become worse somehow? Get creative here.
49. Time the close correctly.
Eventually, you’ll be ready to move in for the close – the final series of arguments you’ll use to finalize the deal. There are many approaches that can work here, but there’s one important requirement underlying all of them: timing.
Only move forward with the close when your prospect is engaged and interested, but don’t wait so long that your approach feels dragged out. Analyze the data from your previous interactions to get the timing closer to perfection.
50. Reverse traditional pressure.
Generally, people hate high-pressure environments. That’s why it’s often beneficial to remind your prospects that they can leave at any time – and that they don’t have to buy from you.
This approach immediately relieves the situation of pressure and makes your prospect feel more confident and more trusting. Even though it’s counterintuitive, it works wonders.
This is sometimes called the “but you are free” (BYAF) technique. That’s because you can call upon it with a simple phrase like “but you are free to consult with our competitors.”
The Value of Data for Boosting Sales
Well, there you have it – 50 sales tips and tricks to help you land the sale.
Now what? Well, you could read some of these top sales books.
And, remember how I talked about the value of data?
That you have to measure the impact of your techniques to know that they’re working?
I meant it.
If you want any hope of improving your close rates, you have to consistently measure and evaluate your results.
One of the best tools for the job is EmailAnalytics – if I do say so myself.
With it, you can integrate your email account and pull in all kinds of data to translate into interactive visuals. You’ll learn how many emails you send and receive, your busiest times and days of the week, and dozens of other high points.
And if you’re proactive and willing to work, you can use this information to turn yourself into a better salesperson – and a better emailer! Sign up for a free trial today!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.