One of the benefits all sales men have right now is time. We have 12 long months ahead of us and we can achieve so much in these 12 months if planned strategically.
We will discuss in this blog how to utilize each month in the best of our capacity to grow as individuals and bring maximum sales. These tips can help you plan for future years as well as implementation this year will teach you where you lag. Effort will then be directed in areas that need it most rather than every aspect that we have discussed.
For example, someone might be great at calling but lags in emailing, such traits can be recognized over this time by skillfully dividing tasks over the course of this year.
1. Creating Prospects
Highlight Your Core Values
Why should anyone meet you? What is it that you offer? Are you different from others? Recognize your point of differentiation and cash on it.
John Doer, the president of Rain Group and author of “Insight Selling” discusses how getting meetings would become easier if the seller expresses to the company what value would addition he has to offer.
He explains a phone call where a sales personal from an HR company requested for a meeting but was unable to show how the meeting itself would be beneficial for him.
It is important that being a part of the sales team, one can create prospects for the company. Show the clients that not only our services will be great for you but also meeting us will open horizon and prospects for you.
2. Learning to Manage Sales Time
Utmost important to learn time effeciency
Sales is all about the right person at the right time.
In managing time, priorities work for every day. First could be meetings, second making more calls and third doing the paper work. Make sure that all calls are made in the first half, meetings are set around lunch and your paper work can also be done after the day ends.
Also, one should be in a habit if making a to-do list a night before. So the next day when you walk into your office, you know exactly who to call and what is coming your way. This saves an hours work on a daily basis.
Lastly, be punctual to meetings, if you think you are going to be late, cancel but don’t be late. Also, if you have arrived at their office but they make you wait for more than 15 mins, leave. Your time is valuable, you can’t risk being late to the second meeting for the day.
3. The Art of Calling
Customize, Customize, Customize.
Many of you have been calling for year, but have you been breaking down the process right?
According to HubSpot the only right way to break down a sales call is in the following the 3 parts:
• Talking to an assistant
• Leaving effective voicemails
• Creating a great opening call
A sales representative needs to master talking to everyone in the firm to have a great impact. Sometimes, a good word even from the assistant can get you a warm seat.
Secondly, record your calls, listen to them and improve yourself. It is all about growing in this industry and becoming better and better.
Lastly, if your employer is forcing you to make hundreds of calls per month, sit down with him and explain how important it is for you to make quality calls, even if they are 5 per month. This is very true for beginners, it is important that you start with 5 calls per day, record the, listen to them and improve every day.
Ask your trainer or coach to guide you accordingly because their experience can improve you.
Identify the problem
One of the biggest problems with sales men is the script that they cram
and throw at every individual they call.
This isn’t the right strategy. Study your clients. Understand their probable needs, find a link and sell them what they want.
Qualify yourself to be the best option they have. Sell a solution they require not a generic framework.
Lastly, look into the profile of the person you are selling to. Are they in a decision making position or do they have a team to convince. Prepare material accordingly so it benefits you.
5. Presenting Your Product
Don’t be too anxious to present.
As much as salesmen would love to immediately show a fancy product, it doesn’t always work in one’s favor.
Try talking to your buyer first, question him about his needs and then show him your product. This will allow you to sell him what he wants and how he wants it.
Don’t go on saying, if you use this product you will better manage your time. Go on saying, “when” you use this product, your time will be better managed.
If you show him a product after bragging about it and it doesn’t come up to his expectation, he is going to be angry for his time loss. So make sure that you sell what he wants and that can only be done if you know what he wants.
As far as presentations are concerned, there are a few objective instructions that always help:
• Use 3-4 bullets per slide
• Keep font size 28
• Have a maximum of 9 slides, believe me that is enough
• Try avoiding text and add pictures or graphs
• Don’t print them and distribute them in the audience, you want to engage them rather than bore them
Be a social butterfly
It is very important for a sales representative to be a good socializer.
It might be a fear for many, but it is great tool to have as it works in your favor.
Imagine going to an expo and interacting well with the marketing manager at the stall, this can leave a great impression and maybe he can fix you up with the procurement department later?
Treat every interaction as the most important one and work on keeping up with your contacts. Don’t spam them though, maybe an email once in two months is helpful.
The most important thing to remember to stay connected is to study their profile. Try not to massively send out an email to a doctor and anthropologist. Maybe send out one email per day but make sure it is customized and accurate to their field of work. Stay connected.
Negotiations are powerful
There are only a handful of things that one can negotiate on, submission time, price and a few features of the product. A sales representative needs to be vigilant of the promises he is making.
Before signing any deal, make sure you can stay steadfast on your decision. The customer is only choosing you because the company feels you can deliver on time, or you are good price wise or you will deliver the product that you promised.
If circumstances are not under your control, don’t sign a false deal. Tell them that we may promise to deliver on the first of the next month but there is a probability that manufacturing may be delayed. Hence, we do promise you high quality, only at an understanding that stock may or may not be delayed.
If the customers have a bad experience from you, they will blame the company which is risky for your job. So make sure you make realistic deadlines and communicate if you think there is going to be any change, like a price difference, change in production etc.
This also counts if you are adding a feature and making the service or product better, make sure you communicate with the organization and have them on the same page.
Research is the key here
It is important that you customize and everyone has said it too many times for you to not do so.
Use the following steps to send out effective emails:
• Create a list. Hunt down people of your interest and create a list.
• Email at least one person every day
• Customize your email according to the company’s needs and never spam mail
• Research the profile of the person you are emailing to. His position, his authority and try finding out about his personality
• Track results of every email you send out. Study the emails you get a reply from and those that were ignoring, learn
Don’t start your email with,” hello, I hope you are well. I am Adam the sales personal at ….”
Communicate with them, imagine yourself talking to them and trying to impress. Maybe in real life you would have commented on their watch. So on email, comment on their organization’s work. Make sure you are well read on it so you can have a real conversation.
In your body add text that has meaning because these people are very busy and accustomed to reading to the same kind texts every day. Share some research that might interest them or a news that may be linked to their company.
Make sure the end of the email calls for an action. Ask them for coffee, feedback or a chance to show case a product that can change their office environment.
9. Insight Selling
Sell Them What They want
This is one step further to a customized message being sent out.
Insight sales are few in number but hold a lot of value. For them, a sales person needs to understand what the company prioritizes. Whether the customer’s priorities price difference or features; deep understanding with help us be more direct to customers.
Try talking to them in a consulting position and ask them what they feel lacks in their business. Then modify you’re your sales pitch.
If they feel their HR system is inefficient, sell them the best ERP software as a solution to all HR needs.
Insight selling is a tool used by experienced personals after they understand the dynamics of the business sector thoroughly, it takes time to master it but it creates very valuable bonds.
Finding Your Crowd
The most important thing about networking is to remember that the benefit can be two ways.
You might want to socialize with someone who you think you can sell to, however, try connecting with people who you can have meaningful relationships with. Try getting in touch with a CFO? It might not benefit in the short term but will be beneficial in the long term.
Find people different from you, learn from them and find your mutual interest. Look around into different departments and see how much stake they have in sales. Overall, understand how the scenario works.
Use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to connect with people and drop an occasional email.
11. Thought leadership
The Expert Opinion They Need
Everyone wants to become a thought leader and there is no harm in that. For everyone, there is always a topic close to home they feel they have full command over. Try mastering a field you think you can pursue.
Firstly, identify area of interest. Secondly, if you haven’t yet, try gathering specialized formal education in the field such as online courses or training programs. Thirdly identify your skill set and experience to fall under one of the three categories:
Beginner: For people up to six months of experience. Try sharing your knowledge to people who have just started. Touch topics like, “Exercising a great pitch” or “How to initiate a conversation.
Intermediate: For those with more than six months, up to two years of experience. Share the struggle of wanting to be an expert and polishing your talent. You can share content like, “How to customize your emails” or “Mastering different presentation styles”.
Expert: Sales rep with more than two years of experience, you must run your own blog now and discuss interaction with top personals of the procurement department. You have to sell you experience to the juniors and show them how you struggle and where you stand.
Increasing Your Client base
By this time, you should have a few good relationships, a nice amount of deals and many meetings in progress. What you need now are a few good referrals.
This is why it is encouraged that one should always have relationships with their clients. Bill Cates, a key note speaker mentions how most of his business comes via referrals because their customers see value in their work.
Don’t only look for new clients, make sure you stay in touch with the old ones. Meet up for coffee so that whenever they hear that someone needs a generator, you company is instantly contacted.