Double Your Turnover in 2012...It's Still Possible!
- Love Thy Customer - Existing customers are an incredibly rich source of business. To start off with they've already bought from you and therefore have a strong affinity with your solutions and services. Have you really explored what other needs they may have though? There could be a real opportunity to maximise 'product / solution' penetration. Don't forget also, that 76% of people will buy on the strength of a recommendation so ask your customers for a positive endorsement, a referral to a new customer or to feature in a case study.
- If you aren't using social media, you aren't in the game - Regardless of your views, you just can't ignore Social Media. Sales 2.0, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, these are all sites, terms and services that Sales Pros have been meaning to 'do' for some time. So you've got a LinkedIn profile. Start using it, join some groups, engage in conversation through comments, and ask questions on LinkedIn. The more success stories that are made public or engagement happens, the better the chance of success. Ignore Social Media and you're missing a massive trick.
- Think like an entrepreneur - The modern day sales professional will need to think and act more like an entrepreneur than ever before. New avenues should be explored to generate new business and fresh innovative methods used to keep existing customers. For once the phrase 'think outside the box' couldn't be more appropriate; do something different.
- A shift towards unbiased benefit selling - The term 'what's in it for me' (WIIFM) has been around since the dawn of time. However, the modern buyer knows that this is a biased point of view. WIIFM needs to be replaced with PISB (prove I should buy). Demonstrating and explaining the 'what' is no longer enough. You need to shift away from you telling the whole story and instead move towards a collaborative proof, which should include input from your customers via video, audio, written testimonials, unbiased social media and showcasing of products and services.
- Negotiation is vital - Margins are under serious threat these days; after all it's a buyer's market. Negotiation skills training is normally tagged on at the end of sales training courses or as part of the closing / objection handling section but in these tough times, never have negotiation skills been more crucial. Your buyers are going to demand more and more and will want to pay less and less so those that are best equipped to deal with the price bashing barrage will win the day over the competition. Just remember to stand firm, price is a derivative of value so make sure you fully understand your customers' needs and fully align the product or service (which you MUST be an expert in) to their needs and don't be afraid to recommend a cheaper solution elsewhere it's amazing how many customers will choose to stick with you when you follow that route.
- Align marketing and sales- 'The leads are weak' say the sales team. 'They can't close anything' argue the marketing team! Just remember, you're both on the same side and alignment of marketing and sales has never been more critical. You will need to engage with customers much earlier in the buying cycle. Reports and research illustrate that 25% to 40% of the buying process is completed online before the sales team is engaged. Those companies that can 'catch' their prospects whilst they are conducting their online due diligence will have a distinct advantage over the competition. This will need an aggregated approach via both sales and marketing to create the 'bait' and 'thought leadership content' all over the internet to attract interest followed by effective lead capture, follow up and engagement systems.
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Created: June 11, 2012, 3:32 pm