If you’ve landed on this article, you’re likely to have really thought about your product or service and the type of person who will benefit from what you have to offer, because that’s really smart. Putting square pegs in round holes is not so smart. You might be able to shave off some corners or maybe even persuade the hole to change shape (I hope you’re keeping up with this analogy…!) but a skilled salesperson focuses their time and energy on matching great products and services to customers who will benefit most.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the steps you need to take to become a sensitive, connected salesperson. We can’t give them all to you in this small article but watch this space for a sales whitepaper that will blow your mind and turn traditional assumptions about sales on their head.
A buyer’s journey
What is your buyer’s journey right now? Does it involve inbound marketing activity and an outbound sales process? Will prospects be engaged every step of the way? Are you providing useful, interesting, relevant, innovative content to engage and inspire? Are you making it easy for your buyers to take action? Are you proactively encouraging prospects through your sales pipeline?
Everyone has a unique map of the world
As a sales person it is important to understand the experience your buyer is having at every stage of the journey. Step into their shoes – what challenges might they be facing? What stands in the way of them taking action? What’s important to them? We all have our own unique map of the world. When we step into someone else’s map and get curious about how they perceive situations, our power of influence becomes far greater.
Next time you find yourself in the position of being a customer, take the opportunity to examine the experience. Are you actively looking to buy? Is there a fit between you and the product or service? Is someone selling to you? Are they giving you the information you need? Are they helping you to identify the next steps effectively? What do you need to help you make a decision and move forward? Look for the qualities that you need from a salesperson in that moment and take those qualities with you next time you’re supporting a prospect in their buying decision.
Influencing the Decision
First of all, I want to be clear – influencing others isn’t about making them do what you want with no regard for their needs. Good salespeople assume the role of coaches, supporting the prospect in uncovering their challenges and helping them to find solutions. If you’ve already qualified a prospect as someone who can benefit from your products and services, you should already have identified a good match between what they need and what you can deliver.
That said – your prospects don’t necessarily know how your products and services could change their life for the better. It’s your job to demonstrate the benefits and show them how it relates to their world. Do you have examples of how the product or service has helped other businesses? Do you have a strong ROI statement?
Salespeople often try to create urgency or apply the pressure because they have targets to hit. Especially if their pipeline is too thin and they need every opportunity to come in on time in order to hit those targets. Good sales practice isn’t about manipulating decisions just to suit you. Smart Salespeople will have enough of the right kind of opportunities in their pipeline so they don’t need to apply unnecessary pressure. Opportunities will develop at the right speed if you support your prospect properly throughout the buying process. If you need to Close More in Less Time without compromising the sales process, join us for one of our sales training workshops to learn the secrets and techniques of leading sales professionals.
Got a new lead? Pick up the phone and speak to them. Real human interactions can change the entire landscape of the sales process. Your voice will communicate more than an email ever can. A real, human conversation gives you an opportunity to gauge reactions, ask questions and dig beneath the surface of the situation to find out what’s really at stake for your prospect. Stop hiding behind your computer screen and take control of your sales process.
Don’t think of your prospect as the opposition. You shouldn’t be forcibly pulling them in your direction - instead you should be standing beside them helping them to assess which direction to go in.
What kind of ‘no’ is this?
In sales there will be a ‘no’ pile and it will be bigger than the ‘yes’ pile.
If you’ve stepped out of your map of the world into the buyer’s, you should be able to clearly see where they are in their thought process. ‘No’ might mean ‘not ever’. Or it might mean ‘not now’. Or it might mean ‘I don’t have enough reasons to say yes yet’. It’s always worth gauging what kind of ‘no’ you’re dealing with. Subtle clues will tell you whether it’s a ‘no’ that could become a ‘yes’ if you identify and solve a couple more challenges. It’s worth finding out what kind of ‘no’ you’re dealing with so you can take appropriate action – and accept that sometimes, ‘no’ really means ‘no’ and move on.
5 Ways Every Sales Person Should Start Their Month is a great place to start implementing better processes. Better planning will give you space to take a human approach, become more influential and enjoy supporting your prospects in their buying journey.
We are Blueprint and we are humans. Take a look at our case studies to see how our approach delivers results for agency owners like you – or even better, give us a call – it’ll be the best one you make today.