No matter what you are selling in life (yourself, your product, or your services) this book provides you actionable insights and sales strategies you can deploy immediately to achieve the sales results you are looking for.
In sales, prospecting is a process of choosing your customers ahead of time. One of your key responsibilities as a sales professional is to be on the hunt for hidden prospects. To identify your hidden prospects, ask yourself:
- Imagine your dream customer.
- Write a list of attributes of this person and why they’re perfect for you.
- Where are they located geographically?
- What industry / sector they belong to?
- How big are they?
- How long they’ve been doing what they do?
- Who specifically within the company are you trying to help?
- Why specifically would they need your help?
- Compile a detailed persona.
- Share your created personas with your organization.
Use FRIENDS to build your prospect list.
- Friends – friends are just that, your friends and families
- Records – existing and previous customer records
- Industry – industries that can you can help and can help you
- E-marketing – leads from your inbound, social and email marketing
- Networking – contacts from social events
- Directory – contacts from directory listing
- Same name – any other leads with the same first and/or last names from above list
Nail 5 physical aspects to leave good impressions.
- Your vehicle
- Your uniform
- Your accessories
- Your grooming
- Your marketing materials
Know your hourly rate.
- How much money do I wish to earn in next 12 months?
- How many hours a week do I personally plan to work?
- How many weeks of the year do I see myself working?
Your hourly rate = 1. / 2. / 3. This exercise helps you realize your priorities and know where your time is better spent.
Have your KPIs clearly and simply defined.
Have at least 5 KPIs and no more than 12, for yourself and your sales team. Here are some commonly used sales KPIs:
- Total number of sales opportunities per week/month/year
- Outbound sales calls made
- Minutes spent in sales conversations
- Time between inquiry and decision
- Marketing activities and lead creations
- Number of leads and appointments
- Average transaction value
- Number of transactions per annum
- Pipeline value
Network for success.
As a professional, no matter your area of expertise, you will at some stage find yourself in the awkward and mysterious world of business networking. Since the childhood, we were frequently told not to talk to strangers. Now is the time to banish that advice, for good. Here are a few tips to succeed at networking:
- Have a plan (size/type/purpose of events, who will be there…)
- Know what you’re going to talk about.
- Talk of how you help people
- Sell to the room.
Know your ice breakers.
A few questions you can ask when you meet new people:
- What brought you here today?
- How do you know the name?
- Where have you traveled from today?
- What are you hoping to get out of this event?
- How are you enjoying the event?
- Is there anyone specific you’re hoping to meet today?
Brochure isn’t the only marketing material you can carry around.
Often there are better alternatives to brochures. For example
- A cheat sheet, checklist or self-audit tool
- Sample products
- Book or report you compiled or written
All these assets and literature create more value for customers and are more unlikely to end up in a trash bin.
Harness social media.
- Create killer first impressions (social media is noisy, the importance of you nailing the first impression can’t be understated).
- Build an audience (it takes time which is why authenticity and consistency are key).
- Communicate (be educational, engaging and entertaining to keep and grow your list).
Use social proof.
The same way sporting greats are judged by what the team has previously achieved, our customers draw judgements on our products based on what others think and our track record. Here are a few things you can do:
- Ask for and show client testimonies
- Showcase awards and achievements
- Be active in review sites
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews
Don’t forget the power of handwritten messages.
Have a high-quality printed and folded card that is blank inside, so you can carry a personal handwritten message. Include contact details and universal message on the cover. Make it aesthetically appealing. Try to use it whenever possible (such as to show gratitude and say congratulations).
Your framework to recommend.
“Because of the fact that you said ABC, what we recommend is XYZ.”
Whatever you recommend to your customers must be based on the concrete evidence you gathered.
Follow 3-stage questioning technique.
- What’s your plan…?
- How would you feel…?
- What are the consequences of not…?
Help them come to their own realizations of success and failure. Understand that most people are motivated to act out of losing something than gaining the equal amount. Don’t forget to use fear of loss as a leverage.
Include risk reversals.
Risk reversals reduce customer resistance and increase commitments. Examples are:
- Money-back guarantee
- No success, no fee
- Guaranteed results
- Free trial
Word choice matters.
- When instead of If
‘If’ sounds conditional and future. ‘When’ on the other hand sounds more ‘present’ and ‘active’. Just compare the message “if you knock that glass over, the wine may stain the carpet…” vs “when you knock that glass over, the wine may stain the carpet…”.
- And instead of But
- Investment instead of Cost
- You instead of We
- Premium instead of Expensive
- Value instead of Cheap
- Challenge instead of Problem
- When you own instead of When I sell
Craft a show-stopper presentation.
- The Beginning
- A scene latter (opening statement for why you’re here)
- An agenda
- The Middle
- History and credibility
- Range of product/services you offer
- One solution that best suits the customer
- The End
- Close the sale
Prepare your closing techniques.
- Assumptive close
I’ve a simple form to finalize the investment. It starts with your name and address. What’s the best address for you?
- Conditional close
If I can meet your delivery deadlines, will you make an investment?
- Alternative close
Would you like it in the red or the black?
- Direct close (should be avoided unless you can clearly show your confidence)
Are you going to place an order?
- Summary close
So, you definitely need an accountant?
And you have a tax return due in next month?
And you’d like the account to be a local?
… and this is something you would like us to get started on straight away?
Use buying triggers to your advantage.
- Scarcity of product (limited stock, quantity…)
- Limited time offers
- Ease of first auction
- Quantity discount
- Attractive payment terms
- Speed of delivery
- Risk reversal
Stop overpromises. Leave room to overdeliver.
- Don’t hide the catch from your customers.
- Be proud of your price.
- Set their expectation levels realistically.
Create offers wisely.
There’re six different types of offers you can use to influence short-term buying decision.
- Multibuy offers (buy 2 get 1)
- Discounted offers (get 20% off)
- Conditional offers (buy above $100, get 20% off)
- Membership (flat recurring charges for automatic value delivery)
- Gift with purchase
- Loss leader (reduced margins on the first sale to create bigger margins in subsequent transactions, example: razor-blade approach)
Avoid altering your pricing. Keep your integrity.
Protect your pricing at all costs. Don’t make your customers feel like they’ve been cheated or paid more when they realize the cost is now lower. Provide consistent pricing. However, there’s on time you can consider altering your pricing. That is if what you’re getting in exchange for the discount is something that equals to or bigger than the loss in margins.
- Clarify the objection.
- Agree (and apologize if necessary).
- Check if it’s the only concern.
- Receive it positively.
- Answer positively.
- Summary close.
Keep a list of NNTs.
NNTs are your list of No, Not Todays. Although the time is not right yet, try to stay in touch with them (via e-mails, occasional hellos, social networks.). Ensure you’re the first person they think of when their circumstances change.
Genuine care triumphs everything else.
It bears repeating that people don’t buy your products for your reason. They do so for their own reasons. They don’t you’re your features. They buy what benefits them. If you try to see the world through the lens of everyone you come across, you will not only triumph in sales, you will win in life.