Sales is tough. Lessons can be learned. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been selling for 3 months or 30 years, there is always something to learn.
Here is a list of what I learned in sales this week.
1. It’s tough to reach a decision maker and set an appointment. Business owners are busier than ever in 2014 and are facing more competition than ever before, not only from bricks and mortar, but also online. In order to make an appointment, which is the best way to make a sale, you must be persistent, creative, unique and offer a benefit to the business owner. Do not talk about your product or service, talk about their product or service and how to bring them more customers. Use different tactics to break through the clutter because email does not work. The tactics include phone calls, texts, LinkedIn messages, Facebook messages, providing them with information that can help their business, blogging, snail mail, and even dropping in with a coffee.
2. Establish clear expectations when you sell a product or service. If the customer expects one outcome and another occurs, you have a disconnect and the relationship becomes problematic. If you are selling a branding campaign on the radio, and the client expects immediate results, they will not continue to advertise. Set out the expectations at the beginning so that both parties are clear. If you want a marketing campaign to brand a product or servcie, it will take time – up to 5 years. If you want to sell a large volume of products in a short period of time, then you must take a different approach with a higher level of frequency and a call to action.
3. Stop wasting time in the office. The most profitable time a salesperson can spend is in front of prospects and customers. Any other tasks such as paperwork, proposal preparation, or calendar juggling should be done before 9am, at lunch, or after 4pm. Use the prime time hours for the most critical activity. Every face to face meeting can result In a sale, strengthening a relationship, a referral, or just a positive feeling of reassurance.
Now get out there and make something happen.