You need to regularly spring clean sales approach in order to function at its best. Take an inventory of how we interact with prospects and customers. Get rid of the strategies and selling tools that just aren’t working (slow moving or non moving).
A key element of sales success is about accurately meeting the needs of your customers. Do not be surrounded by the clutter of outdated processes.
Remember, In time, Right becomes Wrong.
- Continually selling to no-potential buyers
Many organizations fall into this trap. They hold onto a long list of poor-quality leads in their pipeline simply for safety nets of padded numbers. However, poor leads could be bad leads. It will only suck your time and resources. Either you qualify them in your pipeline, or you spring clean and remove them.
- Skipping record with old testimonials and references
Your testimonials must be current, compelling and credible!
- Prospects want to know if your products and services work in today’s marketplace.
- Same is equally true of references. You can’t reinforce your “social proof” in the eyes of prospects if your references can’t be reached, or are retired.
- Years ago selling to Enron (very legally.), a great customer to work with at that time. Obviously, however, you couldn’t use them as a reference today!
Find new references from your current clients. And do it regularly.
- Do not appear too ‘scripted” on calls
- Be objective.
- Do not use “salesy” sounding language in your script.
- Do not resemble a radio ad or a telemarketer.
- Do not talk more than listening on your first call to a prospect.
By all means, practice and know what to say to potential buyers, but make sure it becomes internalized so you can then focus on personalizing the dialogue for each prospect.
- Create your buying vision
- Emphasize the results your buyer is looking for.
- Utilize real-life success stories, case studies and business-use situations that create a vision for your customer of how your solution will be implemented successfully in their company.
- Spring clean the older materials and replace them with current examples.
- Choose only one marketing channel to reach customers
Implement an omni-media approach for getting attention
Spring clean your old methods and aim to be ubiquitous – From websites to social media, from paper-based marketing to face-to-face meetings.
Ensure your message is loud and clear across a number of platforms. Each marketing channel is capable of contributing something unique to the buying experience of your customers.
- Cold calls are not your only lead source
Cold calling is necessary, but your team should also learn a range of other methodologies.
- Client referrals
- Web inquiries
- Whitepaper/trial downloads
- Live chat conversations
Spring clean your cold-call approach as your top lead generator. There are field-tested alternatives out there (see above) that will also yield results.
- Do not cave in when your client wants a lower price
Trash this approach!
Instead, emphasize the value of what you offer to your customer.
Provide options rather than discounts.
Also, position yourself uniquely in the market so you have less direct competition.
- Depending on your client for referrals
Asking clients, “Who do you know?” in order to score referrals should be scrapped immediately.
That question almost always yields disappointing results because it’s not specific enough and puts the onus on the customer to do all the work. That’s why the most common answer you’ll hear is: “No one comes to mind right now, but let me think about it and get back to you.” Guess what? You’ll almost never hear from them again.
Instead, try this approach:
“I would like to meet Randy Smith at the XYZ Company. Can you help me with an introduction?”
“I’d love to meet your VP of Sales. Can you help me with an introduction?”
And here’s one more winning approach:
“I’m going to be calling Randy Smith at the XYZ Company this week. Can I tell him we’re doing great business together?”
- Do not Ignore your leads
Vast majority of sales leads aren’t ready to close until there have been as many as seven follow-ups.
If you regularly make fewer attempts to touch base with potential buyers, spring clean this approach.
Instead, increase follow-ups by investing in the ubiquitous, omni-media approach mentioned above. Keep track of every attempt with the right software. Skip relying on just sticky notes or Outlook!
- Be focused
In today’s economy, the only way to succeed is by being disciplined in how you work. It’s time to toss out those days without any scheduling and replace them with structured business hours in which prospect development and client contact are top priorities.
Fill those empty blocks on your calendar with activities to build up your prospecting pipeline.
If you’ve been using any of the Top 10 poor selling strategies above, the chances are good your results are suffering.
What was five years ago no longer works in today’s economy.
You can’t afford to be trapped any longer by a pile of business habits that prevent prospects from becoming customers — and new customers from becoming repeat ones!
Suresh Shah, Pathfinders Enterprise