Selling in today’s market is full of distraction, for you and the prospect.
You’re sales team has probably gotten smaller over the last few years–meaning you’re doing more than selling. Your prospects are getting busier–because they’re doing more with less too.
This can create two big challenges in your sales process.
- It’s harder for you to find time to build relationships, and
- It’s harder for prospects to devote the time to understanding your value proposition
As a result, sales folks and prospective buyers are increasingly passing each other, without ever really connecting.
Of course, it’s not all bad out there. I think it’s easier than ever to find prospects, research them, and find compelling angles of attack. Likewise, for businesses it’s easy to find lots of providers and research honest feedback on their products and services. The trick is aligning these to consistently close the sale.
Make your approach social and compelling, make your solution easy to research online, make your value proposition clear and concise.
Here’s a simple sales marketing and lead management checklist I use for more sales:
- Research using the full benefits of the Web and social media. Use Google, Twitter, Linkedin, and others to discover needs/wants, understand the buyer, buying preferences, and most importantly–personality.
- Engage in industry and community discussion relevant to your products and services. This is where prospects do their quick/spot research–make sure you are there.
- Document your value proposition in multiple locations–Forums, Blog comments, Linkedin Groups/Answers, Blog, White paper–to be used as easy, compelling reference for prospects.
- Follow-up. Most of my sales start with a “No” or “That’s not a priority right now.” Things change. Make sure you are still there when it does.
- Follow-through clearly identified my value for the client (the value of my service or product)
- determined and communicated the actual ROI in dollars and cents
- listed, prioritized and re-emphasized the non-monetary value to the prospect ( Examples are: increased safety, improved image or credibility in the business community, convenience and time-savings)
- tilted the scale in favor of buy vs. build (outsource to me vs. re-invent the wheel in-house)
- made my differentiators clear? (Why buy from me? How is my company or product superior to others? Broad examples: I provide the personal touch with individual attention – if I’m a small company. I provide the most popular and trusted solution in the industry – if I am a big company. I provide the best of both worlds – if I’m a mid-size company.)
- checked for understanding (Does the prospective customer get my main points and how they relate to his business in a practical, fundamental way?)
- created urgency in a non-manipulative way? (Why should the customer act now? Offer quantity discounts, buy-now discounts, guarantee delivery dates, rush orders, waived set-up fees or other incentives.)