Sales is hard for many people in business and can sometimes seem hard and feel awkward but in business getting new clients is our lifeblood. But sales doesn't have to be hard even if you are an IT professional, Lawyer or Manufacturer without any sales experience.We learnt this when recently sat down with Anthony English (a business coach specialising in training IT Business Owners) on the latest Marketing Strategy Show to discuss how IT companies and others can learn to sell better. In the interview Anthony described a simple process that takes the pressure away from you as the person responsible for bring in new business and the buyer and here it is.
1. Find the Right Clients
- This makes it easier to have a conversation rather than a sales pitch because you know they are "good fit" rather than just someone to sell your services to
- When looking for the ideal client consider what type of person they are, their age, geography, race, religion. Try to get as clear a picture of who you want to purchase your product or services before you start looking for them
- Another important question to consider is how many clients do you need, how many is essential to sustain your business
- You need to want to work with the client as if you don’t enjoy working with them or both parties aren’t satisfied with the end result it will be much harder to maintain that business relationship in the long term
- An example of finding the right client could be If say a dentist reached out to you and offered you a root canal surgery and they start listing all their accolades and achievements and high profile clients but you don’t know whether you need any dentist work done so if the dentist had first searched for people who are experiencing discomfort or mouth pain they would be able to have a much better chance of getting the person to agree to have work done
2. See yourself as a solution
- Resist the urge to start troubleshooting the problem or offering what you think the best fix for your problem is.
- To take the pressure off, take the time to truly understand what underlying business problems they are facing. Then you can see if there is a fit - if not there's no sale and no pressure if there is you can proceed.
- For example a lot of IT companies will say "For a monthly fee we will take care of all your IT problems" but most people cannot clearly identify what their IT issues are
- As an example if you were a web company you might ask simple questions like what do you want to improve with your website? What is the biggest issue for your website currently? What roadblocks are there to solving your issues?
- Its a lot like a claim from any business that says outright we can save you time and money? How do they know they can save you time and money if they don’t know where your time and money is being spent/allocated?
3. Learn the discovery conversation
- A discovery conversation is essentially a conversation where you are talking with a prospect or potential client and letting them do most of the talking where you are trying to understand them and their issues
- It’s about asking the prospect where they are with their business now? What are their goals? Where are you headed? Ask them where they’d like to be in 6 months’ time or even a few years’ time.
- A perfect example of a poor discovery conversation is when you go to a medical centre or a doctor and because they are trying to serve loads of people in the day as soon as you get into the room with them they are trying to fix the problem and offer you medication before you have had time to explain what you are sick with. Instead they should take the time to understand your problem.
4. Focus on Client Outcomes
- Focus on the outcomes or the result of your product or service .
- Rather than focusing on yourself you are making it more client focused and using client-focused language. It's not actually about you It's about your clients and the solutions you offer to their problems.
- Companies need to shift their internal focus away from the traditional model of spruiking your business or selling yourselves to selling a successful outcome to a problem or challenge your clients faces they cannot solve themselves.
5. Sell Calmly
- A big step towards being able to sell confidently and calmly is having a clearly defined sales process that you can follow to a tee as having a clear path for all your prospects can put you at ease
- Having a good CRM can also help you sell calmly as with the automation software available you don’t have to panic about sending follow up emails as they can be automated through your CRM
- Having good time Management and planning skills can also go a long way to helping you sell calmly as if you have your days planned you don’t need to worry as much about missing a meeting or giving a prospect a follow up call
If you need any help with your sales strategy or learning how to sell better, feel free to contact us for an obligation free discussion on (02) 9125 0520 or contact us and we will be in touch with you shortly.