What are 3 things you would like to change about your sales process?
[Thanks for the A2A!]
You asked for three, and I’ll give you five… 🙂
I’d like to…
- …conduct more patient, deliberate prospecting.
My results are always better when I take the time to develop an individualized strategy for each prospect by:
- Researching the prospect’s background on LinkedIn. Finding common ground, no matter how trivial and absurd.
- Reviewing conferences they’ve attended and Slideshare presentations they’ve posted.
- Reading through their social media profiles – recent tweets, shares on LinkedIn, see what they’re posting on Facebook.
- Using Google News to find recent articles and mentions about the person and company.
Even in cases when I am sending a personal email or InMail message, I get lazy. My outreach is too much about me and never enough about them.
I’d like to be more disciplined and diligent, and accept that ten really good, personal outbound attempts is better than blasting to a hundred people in an email.
- … remember BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing).
I’ve learned that you can influence these four factors to a purchasing decision, but you can’t change reality.
Using BANT more effectively would help me determine if I’m dealing with a buyer or a vampire.
- … take leadership of the sale.
I have to remember that I’ve sold my product a hundred times, and the customer has bought my product zero times. Who’s better suited to take leadership in the buying process – me or them? I’ve got the goods and I know what what I know.
By presenting a buying roadmap early in the sales process, I would give my prospects confidence that together we’re going to find the solution to their problem.
Think about that superstar retail associate at Nordstrom. He asks me what’s brought me into the store, and after assessing my needs, recommends the solution to my problem.
“You need a new suit for your friend’s wedding? Great! Let’s start with this one first. Try it on, and while you’re doing that I’ll grab a few dress shirts… From there we can find a tie that’s perfect for you and get you on your way…”
How awesome is that experience compared to searching racks and racks on your own and having to continually ask for help?
4a. … introduce more steps in the sales process
When an early prospect is excited, I get excited. When I get too excited, I push too quickly through the sales process.
Introducing more steps allows unsaid or unknown objections to surface. They provide opportunities to learn more about the prospect’s situation and their history grappling with the problem they need solved. More steps gives us a chance to develop a strong relationship and more trust by keeping to timelines and preparing for our next sales meeting.
Instead of spinning up a product demo on the first call with an excited prospect, I’m better off scheduling this for a separate call so we can include more people.
Instead of sending over sample logins, I’m better off scheduling and onsite visit and sitting with the product users.
Instead of sending a proposal, I’m better off asking for the prospect’s time to construct an implementation plan.
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4b. … remove steps from the sales process
Alternately, sometimes faster is better. Removing unnecessary steps might reduce barriers to the sale.
That big long demo isn’t necessary when a short one will do.
Scheduling a follow up call for next week might simply delay the decision and cause the deal to stall.
Instead of sending a proposal, I should talk about the contract.
Instead of letting the customer “get back to me,” I should be ask them right now what is most confusing or unclear about our conversation.
- … do my ten (10) sales calls every day.
Not emails. Not voicemails. Ten real phone calls.
When I do my ten calls, wonderful things happen to my business.
When I don’t, awful things happen to my busy-ness.
So that’s my five, and here’s one more…
- … be present.
Listen, really listen, to what the prospect is saying instead of rehearsing what I’m going to say next.
Shut down my email when I’m on a call. Turn off my phone when I’m researching future customers.
Ask the customer to tell me about their fears and frustrations, and how their problem is affecting their business.
**This Q&A article was originally posted on Quora. Check out Scott’s Quora page here.