10 Top Sales Tips For Independent Sales Reps

independent sales rep quote

We recently reached out to a number of influential sales coaches, mentors, managers and experts and asked them to share their top sales tip with the huge number of independent sales reps that visit CommissionCrowd each month.

Here are the results:

Sales Tip 1: Use Subtle Key Phrases To Trigger ‘Herd Mentality’

My biggest sales tip is to use the phrase ‘most people’ [when speaking with prospects]


[Sales Agent to prospect] - “Most people choose option A for such and such reason”. The thought process behind that is [to trigger] the herd mentality. Everyone likes to feel like they belong, so if you tell them that ‘most people’ do something, the chances are they will as well.

This sales tip was contributed by: Justin Warriner, Sales Manager at SmartDrive USB

Sales Tip 2: Force A Smile When On The Phone

This little gem was one of the first things I learned at the start of my sales career. The simple act of physically smiling when on the phone makes you sound bright, friendly and enthusiastic to the person on the receiving end.

Try it, pull the biggest smile you can (even if you’re having a terrible day and you have to force it) and you’ll not only feel better, but will increase your appeal to the people you speak to.

This sales tip was contributed by: Ryan Mattock, Co-Founder of CommissionCrowd

Sales Tip 3: Build Relationships Based On Trust

Here is the only thing that really matters: Sales is about relationships - relationships built on trust where the client knows without a doubt that you have their best interest in mind.

If you can truly be in service to your clients, even when you are not meeting quota, or just nearing your sales goal for the quarter, if you can truly be of service when you are with your client, and not worry about your commissions or how you or the company benefit from the transaction, if you can truly be in service to your client (and sometimes that means walking away), then you don’t need to know any sales tactics or techniques.

Your job is 90% accomplished. Likewise, all the sales techniques in the world will not compensate for a poor relationship. It is not natural. You have to train your ego in the beginning until it becomes a habit. But you can do it and everything will change for you in an instant.

This sales tip was contributed by: Jessica Magoch, CEO at JPM Sales Partners

Sales Tip 4: Practice Makes Perfect

The best preparation for making sales calls is by making sales calls. After every call, no matter how well you did - whether you had the door figuratively closed in your face or indeed you closed a million dollar deal - ask yourself how you could have done it better.

Get just a little bit better at making calls every time you make a call, and how can you not become incredibly successful?

This sales tip was contributed by: Barry Maher - Barry Maher & Associates

Sales Tip 5: Build A Strong Referral Network With Your Existing Clients

Use “Give and Gain Meetings” to build a referral network with your current clients. This is your most powerful method for generating new sales - especially in B2B environments.

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Select 3-5 of your current clients.
  2. Identify the types of customers those clients need to attract.
  3. Identify at least 2 potential referrals you may be able to give to those specific current clients.
  4. Meet with those clients.
  5. Link their success to yours by stating the following. “You are a valuable client of mine. I want to do what I can to help your business grow. As I meet different people in the marketplace, what do I need to ask them in order to know if they are a good referral for you?”
  6. Listen and take notes
  7. Refer business prospects to them. Start with the 2 that your pre-selected in step 3 (if applicable). Phone them immediately in front of your client and let them know to expect your client’s call.

I call this process “Give and Gain Meetings” intentionally. First you give - then you gain. Many times, your client will automatically return the favor. But if not, go ahead and ask for their help as well.

The more referrals you can give your clients, the more new business you will gain and the stronger the relationship will become. - Jeff C. West, President, The Sales Tour Guide

This sales tip was contributed by: Jeff C. West, President and Founder at The Sales Tour Guide

Sales Tip 6 & 7: Ignore predictive statistics, Be relentless & Don’t Compare Yourself To Other Independent Sales Reps

6. Ignore predictive statistics

Too many sales are lost because salespersons do not bother to follow up on prospects that do not fit their ideal customer profile.

This is a major mistake.

If someone shows interest in your product, you should follow up properly on that lead, even if the person looks too young, or too old, or too poor, or too whatever.

A good salesman should follow up every lead, and try to close every sale. Do not rely too much on predictive statistics about a mythical ideal customer.

Customers are defined by their buying behaviour, not by their demographic profile.

7. Be relentless

A good salesperson does not have downtime.

He does not have any time of the working day when he is not directly or indirectly trying to close a sale, or make a sales presentation, or following up on a sales lead.

Working time is working time. Use it wisely to maximise your results, and do not waste a minute on empty talk, braggadocio, and gathering useless information.

It is up to you to reduce your unproductive time to a minimum, preferably to zero.

Do not compare yourself to other sales reps…

Comparisons tend to be psychologically destructive more often than not.

Each individual has different background, experience, and motivation, and it does not make any sense to undermine your self-confidence by comparing yourself constantly with people who are more successful than you are.

Instead, you should try to learn as much as you can, and see how you can improve your sales performance. The best approach is to compare your achievements today with the much greater achievements that you expect to attain in the future.

These sales tips were contributed by: John Vespasian - johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Sales Tip 8: Qualify prospects using M.A.N

In the effort to close more sales many salespeople miss an vital step in the sales process.

That step is the qualifying step or customer interview.

Most prospects will tell you how to sell them if you ask the right questions and there is a simple but effective way to find if you are talking to a ‘suspect’ or a ‘prospect’.

The issue is prospects can buy,suspects cannot
but will sometimes act like they can. More sales time is wasted talking to suspects than can be measured.

Here is a simple format to identify prospects that can buy. If the person or account does not have these three
aspects you have a suspect:

M: Does this person have money to purchase your item?

A: Does the prospect have the authority to approve a deal?

N: Does this person have a real or perceived need for your products or services?

It’s always important to do a good job of qualifying your prospect and asking the right questions that will reveal if they are indeed ‘The MAN’, if not, you have a potential suspect.

This sales tips was contributed by: Mike Smith - www.SalesCoaching1.com

Sales Tip 9: Over Deliver

One of the ways to quickly rise to the top in any sales organization is to over deliver for your customers.

Find out what the top people in your company are doing, and find ways to replicate their best practices and enhance them. It doesn’t need to be something crazy intense. It could be as simple as sending a handwritten thank you note after their purchase, to spending extra time to make sure they’re getting the maximum value out your product.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a $50 dollar pair of sneakers or a million dollar ad campaign, if you take the time to deliver the results you promised and then try to add on a little something extra the customer will remember that and either buy again or refer others to you.

This sales tip was contributed by: Jeremiah Boehner, jeremiahboehner.com/

Sales Tip 10: Set Goals And Believe In Yourself

My best sales tips and advice is to always believe in yourself. Start each day by telling yourself you Rock. Sales is difficult but at the same time an exhilarating profession.

You have to gear yourself up each day to go in strong. It is like a football game, set the stage for yourself to win.

Block out a time each day (1 -2 hours) when you can contact prospective clients. Write down a goal of how many prospects (10-20) you will reach within that designated time period. Make sure the goal is doable.

Start small and build up so you feel good about the goal.
Why write it down? When you have a written goal you are more likely to do it versus randomly telling yourself what you want to accomplish.

When you complete your goal for the day, reward yourself and take a break from it and move on to other tasks.

The next day, have a new list of prospects and
complete the same process again. Record each call and 7-10 days later, touch base with each person on the list. This becomes a revolving, workable list of potential clients.

This sales tip was contributed by: Colleen Cassel , www.colleencassel.com

Ryan Mattock

Co-Founder of CommissionCrowd... Let's get disruptive!