Maybe it's because I live in the great Pacific Northwest (the really cold part) that has me thinking about getting traction—both on the road and in sales. I talk a lot about traction when I'm coaching people through the selling process because it is the metric for how we move through the process.
You can tell that you are moving the process forward when you get the traction to turn the wheels to move to the next step. Your prospects are not going to do this for you. You must take the wheel. They aren't going to be doing the contracting and partnering to move to the next step—that responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders. And amazingly it can be as easy as making sure you are at the same stage in the process and agreeing on what the next steps will be.
What does that sound like? How about this… "Thanks for meeting with me today Ms. Decision-maker. I learned a lot about what you do. I'm thinking my next step should be to review the information we've discussed and start to put together some preliminary ideas. I'll then bring those back to you so we can review them together. Would you agree that's the path I should take?"
Without clear contracting, you sit idle or even worse, start sliding out of control.
You're only as good as your last great sale. Are you getting your next one fast enough to reach your goals? Many salespeople approach their next big win like it will take months. That's a bad assumption to make if you want to accelerate your sales cycle. With the right focus and preparation, one salesperson I work with got her "next great sale" in a short amount of time. Here's how:
Today we have a guest post from Danny Wong. Danny is a marketing consultant, sales strategist, and writer. He does marketing at Tenfold, a seamless click-to-dial solution for high-performance sales teams. Connect with him on Twitter @dannywong1190.
As an effective sales professional, you can’t just close the book on clients after they’ve signed the deal, even if the bulk of the work then shifts to other departments. How your colleagues execute the post-sale experience has important implications for the company as a whole, as well as your relationship with the customer. What occurs during this phase can result in the customer being even more satisfied than before (including with their experience during the sales process), or it can derail what was otherwise a well-executed marketing and sales strategy.
I frequently meet with salespeople who are working on creative ways to approach prospects that they're having difficulty getting in front of. One salesperson had a particularly difficult challenge, as she had been trying to get an appointment with a key prospect for over eight months with no success, and all of the traditional methods had been exhausted.
‘Tis the Season! The Walmart countdown displays in the seasonal section of their stores were up and counting down before Halloween was over. That irks me for a number of reasons, but it also motivates me. I need to finalize my growth plans for next year… and so do you!
If you really want to develop new business with prospects—or even existing clients—try changing your conversation from WHY they should be buying your product to HOW they should use your products and all your other resources to meet their specific needs. (Of course, you have to know what those are, so plan and execute an engaging conversation to discover those needs.) Prospects don’t really want to talk about your product anyway—it’s boring to them.
Price competition is a reality, and it can become pretty intense at times! You can’t avoid it altogether, but you can greatly minimize the haggling over price. The key to dealing with price competition is creating specific value for each of your customers.
There are two poisonous mistakes that will kill a presentation: using jargon and using stock phrases. Making either of these mistakes will drastically reduce the chance of getting a second meeting with a prospect.
Let me start with HOW NOT to start a presentation and finish with the HOW TO of communicating an engaging proposal.
Three of the best things you can have as a salesperson are also the three things that seem the most difficult to get ahold of. Referrals, testimonials and case studies have all helped a salesperson at one time or another either get a great first appointment, or to help set appropriate expectations. But, I still get asked time and time again how one can go about getting more referrals, testimonials or case studies. The challenge is, you, as the salesperson, are the only one who can make any of this happen!