If you don’t have any competition, you must be living on a mountain in Nepal. Oh, wait, even Sherpas have other Sherpas competing for their customers. In sales the perception you leave the customer with can make or break the deal. The following are some ways to set the stage to be the victor in your sales arena.
Does your prospect know your name? Promoting awareness of your existence is the way to position yourself for success. Use Linkedin, blogs, white papers, and industry forums to reach out and add value. Notice I did not mention sell, add value by being a resource for specific industry information and get to know the people behind the computer screen. Get involved in discussion groups and ask questions. Get in the window of opportunity before it’s open. Advertisers estimate it takes five different touches before any recognition occurs in the mind of consumers. This is called an awareness campaign. Show up early mentally and physically to establish credibility with your audience.
How do you reach out to others? Are you a talker or a listener? Most salespeople know the “show-up and throw up” method of selling is ineffective. Unfortunately, some salespeople still do this because they cannot harness their emotions. This is usually the result of nervous energy when prospecting. A way to prevent this from happening is to develop a list of questions to ask the prospect and to take notes when listening to them. This has a three-fold effect; one the speaker feels like you are listening, two, you will not forget important details, three, it forces you to slow down. Try this the next time you are meeting a prospect either in a call, or a face to face meeting.
All products and services look the same to buyers. Unless you define the difference between you and your competition the buyer’s criteria to choose is the price. Send an email confirming the appointment 24 hours in advance. Include an informal agenda of the topics you will cover and the amount of time you will need. Ask them for any additional topics they would like to discuss. This one act will separate you from your competition. When meeting with the prospect, explain how you are different. A great way to start this conversation is, “some people ask how we are different from other XYZ companies. These are the three most significant ways, one we have _______ resulting _______ for our customers, two we do_______ after the sale to help our customers____three we have relationships with ______ partners resulting in _______ for our customers. Your prospect does not care about the features of your product; they care about the results of those features.
Some salespeople have a brag book. In today’s world, online reviews tell the story. You do not want to pull out your brag book and start showing all the incredibly high profile customers you have worked with in the past. Your online reviews tell the story with Google being the number one resource. Did you know if you send your customers a link for a Google review it will drive your name higher in the SEO ranking? Asking for Google reviews can send you to the top of the page when customers are searching for you.
How much education do you provide for your clients? The more knowledge you provide, the more credibility you establish. Skipping the boring parts, assuming specific information is not a need to know or fast-tracking your presentation in hopes of getting out early to start the weekend are all missed opportunities. When you are competing, you need to show differentiation to win. Information is that differentiation. Tell your story and educate the prospect on relevant data to help them in making their decision. What is relevant information? Any information they look up and say,” that’s interesting.”
Plan the journey, actively listen, focus on differentiation, results, and confirm understanding to define your offering and be the victor in your sales arena.
Luck is found at the intersections of hard work and perseverance.