Sales have not really changed over the years. The tools have increased and allowed us to be more effective however the principles are the same. The new tools such as social media, use of CRM, the internet in general, and many others can make you much more efficient, however if you are not following the basic principles you will not get the results that you could be getting.
First you must understand and accept that in making a sale what you are doing is solving your customer’s problem. In order to solve a problem you must understand what that problem is–duh! That can be done in numerous ways–research, industry knowledge, and so on–but the most effective way is to ask them. If it is face-to-face it means not talking, it means asking questions and listening. I recently had a discussion with a small, in-home candle maker who sold mostly through Amazon. She wanted to greatly expand her number of accounts so I asked her the question that you should always ask yourself, “Why should a customer carry your candles?” In response she told me all of the good things that went into her products but she never told me how carrying her candles would benefit the customer. You must put yourself in the shoes of the customer and understand how purchasing your product or service would benefit them. It’s not all about you–it’s all about them.
A second way of finding out their problem is educating them–they might not even realize that they have a problem until you educate them to the benefits of the solution. This can be true with new products on the market. You must educate the customer as to the problems created by not changing and by not using your product. Remember that change is resisted. The benefit of change must be overwhelming and again it is the benefit of the customer that matters.
The second principle is to create and understand your own sales system. You must create a system that follows the four functions: lead generation, lead qualification, closing and customer service. Each should be examined separately and each should be accomplished in the most cost effective manner. Lead generation is a low-level, often automated, function. How can we generate the maximum number of leads as inexpensively as possible? Many companies have their high-paid, top sales people inefficiently performing this entry level task. Secondly, once we have leads how do we qualify those leads? What is the matrix of variables that makes a lead qualified and how can we apply that matrix to the leads as efficiently as possible? This winnowing of the leads creates the pool of leads upon which you focus your attention. These are the leads towards which investment of resources is directed. Most companies focus their efforts here in training sales people to close–a function which does require constant attention–however it is just as important to make sure that closers focus their time on qualified leads. Lastly customer service needs to be treated as a sales function. The most valuable sales asset in most businesses is their customer list. A strategy must be implemented to maximize sales from this list.
The mapping of your Sales System allows you to produce and monitor results from each category and gives you control of the sales process. The owner should always have at their fingertips the information as to the “numbers” in each of these phases.
Let’s examine and refine your Sales System through an Initial Consultation with one of our Success Partners. Give us a call today–303 338 9300 to set up your IC!