I recently heard an interview on the subject of ‘Sales’ from a leading business executive telling me that each member of my company, no matter what their role within the team, is involved in Sales. The big surprise for me was when the interviewee said that as a Managing Director for www.dosh.org 95% of my time should be devoted to sales!
I am not sure about that percentage but I do know being responsible for a company who want to grow (and grow quickly) I do need to focus more of my time, skills and knowledge to making a sale – preferably a big sale!
Last year my key learning & development as a manager was in ‘Marketing’, especially ‘Social Marketing’, so for 2015 it is going to be about Sales. This is what I have learned so far:
Making a Sale – My Top 12 tips:
- A Sale is not a Sale until someone starts to pay for your service. Until then it is just a referral.
- Sales tips learned from Apple and Steve Jobs: Don’t compete on price, compete on Value. Apple computers are expensive, but most people want them for the status and their quality over much cheaper models. Now you just need the ability to translate your Value into Price.
- Know your product: What makes your product different to your competitors? Make it relevant to the people you are selling to. Could your customer be missing out if they don’t have your product? Communicate with Passion.
- Presentations are pointless without the right people present: Find out who holds the budgetary power and make sure they are at the table. When you get to that table also identify the ‘doubter’ – the person who might be against your sales pitch then try and win them over.
- Use charm: While you are setting up for your big presentation share something about yourself, it could be a hobby or something not connected to your sale, but it puts people at ease and shows you are personable. Be enthusiastic but not pushy.
- Small talk reveals big issues: As you settle, ask questions to gather facts about their business, motivations and challenges.
- If you are asked to deliver a presentation about your service/product, how about starting your presentation (or stopping the conversation) by asking the question why they have approached you – have they done it for a particular reason? So find out what they see as your unique selling point then focus on that during your presentation – you will save everyone time
- For your presentation: Gather facts and data to support your offer. When presenting, get straight to the point, be succinct by avoiding jargon; make eye contact; memorise and try not to read from a script
- Present your ideas as a starting point: Do not depend on your prepared presentation. Close the laptop, turn off the projector and then start a conversation; find opportunities for mutual gain to seal the relationship.
- Honesty: Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. Your company’s image and reputation is priceless. Your ‘Brand’ is the relationship you have with your customer. Protect it at all costs.
- Dig deep: Explore both parties’ interests in detail. What are their fears? What can you do to take them away? Be the solution!
- Present the deal and then throw in something extra for free (added value that your competitors may not have thought of).
A take away from this post:
- Leadership stuff I have learned. There are 3 things you need: Likeability (a winning smile, a good handshake, appropriately dressed), Integrity and a Quality product.
PART 2 COMING SOON – COMPLETE THE SALE (DEAL)
“I have never worked a day without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard” anon so please check out www.dosh.org