Lately I have been educating myself on the sales process. Learning more about how to move prospects into leads, leads into opportunities, opportunities into customers and customers to evangelists.
When you sit back and review the art of sales, it is very systematic which is what I love about it.
Recently, I was speaking with a friend about a big sale that he was pursuing. He found that the opportunity wasn't going anywhere and things were dragging on. He asked me how he could convince this person to buy from him, when I asked him "Why?" he was kind of puzzled.
"What do you mean why? I want to close this sale."
This leads into my first tip.
Not everyone is a fit
If you want to sell like an expert, you have to realize that not everyone is going to be a fit for your services. A great way to discover this before investing too much time is by setting up an exploratory call. This is a short call between you and the lead to find out a bit about their business and ultimately at the end of the call knowing if they are a fit to work with you or not.
Some things you can ask in an exploratory call:
- What is the size of your company?
- Do you have an internal marketing team or sales team?
- How long is your sales process?
- Who do you sell to? (Are you B2B or B2C)
- What are your annual sales?
- What is your main pain point?
Depending on your business, the answers to these questions should really help if you are a good fit to work together.
When you are about to end the call, ask yourself, "Do I have the tools to be able to help this prospect solve their problem." A lot of the time, sales people feel their job is to convince someone to work with them, but in reality its to see if they are able to help solve a problem.
Want to experience an exploratory call? There's a good chance we might be able to help your business grow.
Be the COACH
After you have your exploratory call and discover that this lead is an opportunity for you to work together, it's time to be the coach. Remember, they came to you with a problem, you should have the answers or the means to get those answers to that problem.
You should become passionate to solve their problem, more so than the client is. Once you prove yourself as the "go-to person" for the answer to their problems you can lead them to the right product or service for their business.
SHUT UP AND LISTEN
The biggest mistake a sales person could make is over talking and over powering the conversation. Your job is to listen and provide insight when needed. When you are listening, you are learning key information that you wouldn't hear if you are controlling the conversation. You can control the conversation by being quiet.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
No different than a professional athlete spending their day perfecting their sport. Practice makes perfect. You should review your entire sales process before entering the real deal. This means asking yourself questions that could arise and how to answer them. Educating yourself on what your company offers so you know it inside and out.One thing you can do to help with this is setting an agenda for your meeting. I find if you outline the meeting and what you are going to cover you are less likely to be thrown off guard. Plus organization is always a plus!
- Discuss solution for problem.
- Questions about solution
- Discuss timeline of project
- Overview of pricing
- Discuss next steps.
Like any business strategy there can be a process to strengthen a job. With sales being the starting point to every business its important to have your cycle down. From starting with an exploratory call to ensure you are spending time on the right opportunities to practicing your entire sales process until you know it inside and out. The more you have your sales process down, the faster you can accelerate the cycle and also stop wasting time on dud opportunities.
Have a current struggle in your business? Let's see if we can solve it!