I have no doubt you are fully aware how the year 2020 had to adapt, and re-apply new strategies as each hiccup hits society, businesses and us as individuals and families. We find ourselves having to work differently, and adjust our daily routine to accommodate more health cautious activities.
Returning to the Sales workforce after National Lockdown had been lifted- contained its own sense of boundaries and disadvantages due to this new ever present fear. Of course, it’s fully understandable and we could relate to our clients’ shared professional and personal concerns – however, excuses and reasoning don’t make sales and don’t end up paying the bills. (Unless you are a charity case…) So, without trying to force someone to commit and spend money with you( on your product/ time / services); redevelop your strategy to overflow with meaningful value – identifying those who need/want to make a purchase now, compared to later.
I suggest, first identify your Self Mastery, to have a quick read through this post mention.
Find ways to do the work differently, to distinguish yourself in a unique way from your competitors. Be it to save yourself more time to get to others; or be it the way you communicate and use different platforms to act as ice breakers and get personal with your prospect.
Schedule every single follow up
Have your calendar open, and seal the session with a meeting request. Confirm the time and day – ensure they are aware of who you are and the purpose of that interaction. Scheduling may help with doing business differently : allowing the prospect a lil bit of insight as to who you are prior to the call. This also, allows them to reschedule with you – should there be an inconvenience.
Don’t leave Voicemails
If you have to, keep them short and sweet. Reschedule, identify a different time. Utilize different methods ( email, WhatzApp, Telegrahp, Social Media, etc.) applicable to your niche, as alternative communication tools.
Read and work your way through effective questions
Yes, have a script prepared. You need to understand how a general conversation may go, with a particular client, within a particular scenario. This exercise, prepares you to guide each conversation towards your favour : Identifying whether this prospect is a suitable buyer ( and if so, when) or; whether the interaction may be wasting both of your times. And be honest about it. Being enlightened enough to see through the smoke screens, utilizing effective questions to seep through to the truth – will be your game changer and boost in self confidence.
Don’t be overwhelmed by your moods and thoughts.
I have previously referred to a generous breathing exercise, shared during our months of lockdown earlier in 2020> here. A silly something to try, to get yourself back into the moment with a clearer view. Mark Wayshak refers to sales as a Sport, and not a fight between life and death ( meaning : where the close won’t lead to the end of the world anymore.) Use lists to identify the different priorities and time frames of each new AND existing prospects. Allocate and identify the suitable steps to execute for each – then subdivide your time accordingly.
Clients will be clients. You can have a favourite, all the way down the spectrum towards your worst nightmare you wish you’d divorced ages ago. And one’s mind needs to be trained to interact with and towards each scenario differently. Not one sale is ever the same. With that said, you will get people who are nasty, you get those who’ll avoid you. You’ll get those you can talk to for days and secure future business, and then there’s another you repeatedly reach out to in hopes to convince, yet they never budge. Life and each situation we get to experience, is what OUR thinking makes of it.
Clients (and people in general) don’t like share the same news over and over; not appreciate having to share bad news. NEVER take how they react to you personally. NEVER see rejection or a “No” in a negative bubble.
Work on You, to manage your thoughts effectively. Reference towards Self Mastery.
Stand up and Smile
Yes, body language is of utmost importance whether you are meeting your prospect in person; or communicating over telecom and video calls. Your tone of voice could be the dead give away, and I’ve noticed I’m personally more of a creative critical thinker when I’m standing and can walk about if need to.
This, could be a lovely trick in the tool box to inspire an inspired tone with each interaction – no matter should you be in a fowl mood to begin with. Your prospects / team members do not need to know how you feel. Remember, you’re there to do your job.
Have a reason for each interaction
Self explanatory, with hard reference towards developing effective questions / scripts. Each interaction should have an added value. That in itself, hints towards time-spent first identifying WHO would be the best person to call for what I’m offering, HOW would we interact, WHEN would the client have the time to talk? Would it make sense for you to call right now, after revising your notes from previous discussions? How does your prospect need you – without knowing it themselves yet?
Set aside time DAILY for admin
I LOVE handwritten notes, and have different CRM and excel sheet documents I utilize for reporting purposes,. Which I can access through both laptop and mobile android, together with mail and dropbox. Ensure, that you are able to TRACK your progress effectively. That way, you can make honest hard decisions where your strategy needs to change. Don’t use personal time (necessarily) to get to this. Plan accordingly.
Learn about the four personalities we sell to
There’s the Director, the Relator, the Socializer, and the Thinker. But don’t be fooled, you also get the cross reference mix between and / or the other; and practice with experience will assist you at identifying quickly which is which.
Believe you are an expert in your field
If you don’t, start working on your skills and product knowledge to get there. Once you can fill your pitch with certainty, value and clear communications – you’ll eliminate most of all common hiccups in sales.
You need to know where your time is spent, whether it’s effective that way, and identify which swiftest method could get you to your goal. An excellent tool for a birds’ eye view on your daily to weekly to monthly schedule progress. I utilize both a hard copy diary, and my MS Outlook via email to keep track of my planning. It’s your superpower to not leave things to fate.
Approach a colleague for insight
Similar to having effective questions during your client interactions; prepare your questions to take charge when asking for help from your Team, management and any other individual. Preparing questions is one of many ‘silent’ gestures to show that You value their time. And it presents an opportunity to learn something new, and tweak your admin, strategy, mindset and any other approach accordingly.
Do your homework, first
Seems a bit silly, to put this one so low on the list. Moderation is key when it comes to researching your client / competitors / new prospects / your company, and more… It’s a rabbit whole one can easily get lost in, or feel rattled and more confused by. Even, it allows for assumptions – without concrete validation.
Remember, it takes time to do research – learn to do it effectively. It helps build the general idea of the person you are to meet / or the company theme you are about to call. It helps boost your own self confidence, and makes you comfortable knowing things as an expert within your field.
It may not always be necessary (DON”T use it as an excuse to prevent you from making/ scheduling that call.) Be careful not to use it as a scapegoat not to get the actual work done. It takes time, a stable connection and a computer with sufficient memory; with your notes, and admin processes.
It’s a tool allowing a cold call to be more wild, as you are already aware that they may be in need of your interaction.
Your customer / prospect is NOT a number ($$)
They are human beings like me and you. They have priorities, urgent and not; with financial responsibilities and capabilities related to their own personalized circumstances and influences. Sales is really a rather complex profession, branded as a greedy go-getter, ready to ‘sell ice to an eskimo.’ Instead, don’t force horses to drink from the well and be depressed when they aren’t thirsty. Expand your horizon and efforts, towards those horses already on their way towards or looking for Your spring. Lead them the right way.
Customers and Prospects aren’t stupid, they know you are eventually after the close. What matters, is the value within each meaningful engagements through practiced listening and observation.
Steer away from office politics and industry gossip
Who has the time, energy and mental capacity to be involved with little quarrels; when full attention is given towards the success of the sales strategy and customer service satisfaction? Simply excuse yourself from the conversation and get to work.
You don’t have to be a favourite to be good at what you do
It’s said, haters are your confirmation that you are doing something right. Either your hard work and actions shines light on how poorly they have performed; or your hard work would be labeled as ‘over achieving’; or they feel over-all intimidated and threatened by your presence – as your authoritative personality is clear at who You are and what you stand for. With your principle GPS set correctly ( to treat each human with dignity and kindness) – negative banter will take longer to get you down.
Know your product(s) and services inside-out
You need to be aware of most (if not all) examples of objections and praise which may come your way with regards to the products and services you represent – from any angle or person. This may boost your self confidence within the selling process, as well as help present you with tools to redirect conversations to put clients’ minds at ease. They say Einstein said – once you can explain something to a kid, then only will you really know and understand what you are talking about. Similarly, every client is different. Some may only want it because it’s pretty, or they can afford it and want to show off, or they know the real meaning linked within the purchase. Or they want to know the technical aspects of the material, the maintenance, the overall cost implications and more… Enable the sense of tenacity within each interaction. You’ll be amazed with the level of conversations you may reach. And don’t forget, how being able to do this – you’ll distinct yourself as an expert within your field, who cares for their clientele.
Have meaningful conversations
Add value to everyone you get to meet. From family and friends, all the way through to your colleagues, company and customers ( potential and recurring,) even any and all strangers. You’d be amazed with how small the world can be, and how our actions with first impressions can influence everything. From a purchase, to an active referral, to converting towards future business and more. Be a good person to those you meet, and your heart may be more at peace than usual.
Keep an authentic character with open communications. Don’t lie – and rather be honest when there’s an unforeseen hiccup the client needs to know about. And work with them accordingly through it.
Sales is an undervalued profession, and mostly misunderstood by ‘winging-it’- attitudes. All the way from higher ups, all the way to the sales rep and admin clerks. Identify the influence you can have, and work from there as best you can for immediate change. Live with Constant And Never-ending Improvement ( C-A-N-I) It takes dedication, and it takes grit within the mind and heart. Only you can determine how it’ll go with 80/20 control.
May this act like an ice breaker for you to kickstart the second half of 2020 into the right gear. Do yourself a favor and read Sales Mastery by Chuck Bauer for MUCH MORE details; and follow us on IG:@interpriority and Facebook to be informed when our next Sale tips and tricks had been shared. We’ll then be focusing on conducting meetings and site visits face-to-face differently after lockdown, with exciting insights received from professional and private client interactions. Stay tuned!
For now, let’s reflect ( and perhaps re-read and make notes). Which from the 18 golden nuggets do you believe would be the best ice breaker for you? Let us know in the comments below!