Sales is all about building relationships so we can gain the trust of our prospects, help them with relevant, valuable solutions to close business and make more money.
In the end, it’s all about the bottom line. So, every activity that we engage in should result in bringing us closer to that goal.
Whether it’s planning, researching or the way we engage with our prospects, every single interaction should lead us to the NEXT STEP. Now, ask yourself the question, does every step you take get you closer to the sale?
Time is Money
We hear that phrase all the time, but in sales it’s an essential thought to keep in mind. It’s really not about activity, it’s all about results. And, most importantly, we don’t want to waste our prospect’s our client’s time, either. There is no point in having a conversation with somebody that doesn’t lead to any assessable outcome. One of the reasons I love this profession is that it always provided me with a certain amount of freedom, because it’s all about performance
We Sales Professionals are only as valuable as our results.
Planning is Everything
This part is where many sales people go off the rails. They start reaching out before they know their universe. That’s when they start wasting time and not getting the results they are looking for.
Sales people should know who to target, understand Tier 1/2/3 and plan accordingly. I am not talking territory here, I am talking about developing a prospect base that will buy from you. Territories are usually assigned to us, but within those territories we can develop a system to at first identify the low hanging fruit.
For example, if you are assigned Retail as a sector, you want to understand that industry and who within your prospect base would be a potential client. The challenge is to identify parameters that will help you define those drivers. They could be revenue, or geography, but they could also touch on other areas, such as willingness to purchase from a new provider.
For my business model, revenue and geography don’t matter. What matters is 1) how many Sales people an organization has and, 2) whether management embraces a Consultative Sales approach.
So, ask yourself this question: “What are the areas that define a good prospect?”
Research is KEY
Another area where sales people don’t spend enough time is doing their research. There is an abundance of information available through on-line resources, and don’t forget “old-fashioned” methods such as word of mouth, referrals, etc.
It is crucially important to spend as much time on research as on the actual outreach. With people being inundated with information, coming from a place of expertise makes all the difference, it helps build trust early.
When a sales person calls me and they don’t even know my business, have never visited my site and don’t really understand my challenges, I don’t engage with them. And that holds true whether it’s a phone or email outreach.
I can tell just from glancing at an email if a sales person is reaching out to me personally, or if they are simply working off a list.
People Buy from People
There is value in content marketing and automated solutions, as long as they are relevant to your target group. In the end, PEOPLE buy from PEOPLE. In order to effectively engage with prospects, you need to build rapport and trust. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes, be personal, find out something interesting about your prospects, engage in a way that mirrors their behavior, make them comfortable with you and, most importantly, be relevant. The danger with automation is that it is just that. Automated. One way to be different in this ever-changing business world is go to back to the basics and engage people in a meaningful way.
Sales is a Process
I have said it here in my blogs before, and I’ll say it again. Sales is a PROCESS.
Every sales person needs to have a system in place that works for them. Utilizing their CRM, managing their time and developing a unique message that will resonate with their audiences. Many sales people struggle to communicate the unique value their product/service brings to a prospect.
They just rattle off a pitch, talking about the features and benefits of their offering.
In a nutshell, when you know who your audiences are, what your unique message is and how to mindfully and effectively engage your prospects, you will succeed.