When a successful sale happens, both the buyer and the seller walk away satisfied with the outcome. But many salespeople tend to focus too much on their own needs and ideas. In those cases, too often the sale is lost because the prospective customer does not feel she has been heard or that his needs have been met. Everything changes, though, when selling is conducted from the buyer’s perspective.
Here’s a central irony of sales rep coaching: Most of the time, your reps already know what they need to do to succeed. It’s rare that they are completely oblivious on what path to take or what decisions to make. But they aren’t actually doing what they know they should be doing.
When you are in meetings or presentations with customers – whether via videoconference or face to face – nonverbal sales communication comes into play. Body language, gestures, facial expressions and many other factors beyond the spoken word are essential. Each of them can have a great influence on how you are perceived by the customer and how they interpret your messages.
As a long-time saleswoman, Pam Lontos knows as well as anyone that there is a “Good Ol’ Boy” network out there. And many skilled women have given up, finding it too difficult to fight against the traditionally male-dominated sales network. But not Pam. As she explains in “Women in Sales: I Was One Of The Sales Boys,” today’s smart saleswoman can turn her network to her advantage.
Most frustrating for all salespeople are prospects who seem qualified and who have not told you to get lost, yet they don’t seem to move forward. You’ve invested time in this person and believe the relationship has potential. So you need a plan to ensure that every contact you make works productively to move the prospect closer to a decision, preferably in the direction of saying Yes to you.
“OK, I’m interested. Send me a proposal.” That’s the moment you’ve waited for: the prospects appear ready to buy as soon as they have reviewed the details in your proposal. In Writing Winning Proposals, Art Siegel shares what he has learned from more than 20 years of proposal writing to help you write proposals that close the business.
We mostly think of “Branding” as applying to our company name and our most important products, so the idea of “personal branding” may be new to us. But when we consider other organizations, names like Elon Musk, LeBron James, and Mark Zuckerberg remind us that individuals themselves can become valuable brands as well. In the customers’ minds, sales and service reps can acquire personal branding equal to their employer’s.
When sales managers and executives stand on their soapbox, the consequences of preaching are severe, since they’re the only one participating in the meeting. Here’s how to avoid the stale, monotonous sales meetings and reinvigorate ones that create the engagement, buy-in, alignment and accountability you need to achieve greater results.
People buy your product or service because they believe something good will happen as a result of the purchase. This is especially true for highly experienced business buyers who have seen it all and heard all the promises from everyone else. They buy to satisfy some specific purpose, and they look for results in satisfying that purpose.
At this point in the year, it is probably clear which of your salespeople will have a relatively strong year and which ones will not. Clearly, the general business disruptions caused by COVID-19 have affected most companies, but some sales reps still outperform, and some underperform. Before you write off those who have been slipping, read these strategies for turning around a marginal sales performer.