We salespeople are experts in the most important process of any business, making money. Think about it, nothing else matters if you’re not selling something.
You could bin your finance, marketing, personnel and even manufacturing departments, keep sales running and likely still have somewhat of a profitable company (before sales runs out of things to sell or don’t get paid and leave).
Here are a few of the shortcuts to business that salespeople take for granted and other people in the business world will benefit from working on –
A) We know how to cold call
Cold calling isn’t dead. Most of the time even when you have a ‘warm lead’ it’s essentially a cold call in the fact that the prospect isn’t really that fussed if you don’t call them and so they still need to be sold correctly.
We learn to script our messages to –
- State what we’re going to do for the prospect
- We ask permission to speak and comment we respect the prospects time
- Give a seriously compelling reason to continue the conversation
- We discover if there really is a good fit between the two businesses
- And confirm a specific time and date to follow up
B) We know how to motivate ourselves
Us sales folks have to get up and face rejection day in day out. The only way that this doesn’t turn us suicidal is by being able to instantly flip the trigger of motivation and be raring to go.
We learn to do this by understanding that –
- We are in control of our emotions
- Words that come out of other people’s mouths can’t physically hurt us
- Working towards goals are the only way to make progress
- Keeping perspective that the little things don’t matter if the big things are positive
- The media is generally negative and is generally a good thing to avoid
- Our job is to HELP people. We are genuinely adding value to the world
C) We know how to give an elevator pitch
A sales pro knows that they might have to pitch at any time in any place. When opportunity comes a-knocking we’re always there with open arms to take its money.
We develop an elevator pitch that has a –
- Immediate clear benefit to show that we’re pitching for the prospect not ourselves
- Hook or something counter intuitive to get a “carry on, tell me more” response
- Reason why we’re the person to buy from
- Ask for time to discuss it further
- Transition into a normal conversation for the remaining few minutes we might have
D) We ALWAYS get referrals
The best companies are always built on word of mouth. We salespeople are pros at driving this and never miss up on an opportunity to leverage a happy customer into an asset rather than a time suck.
We get referrals by –
- Not asking before a deal is done and the customer loves us
- Asking for a personal introduction
- Chasing the customer for the introduction once they’ve committed
- Or even better ask them to do it over the phone there and then
- Keeping the customer informed as to the progress of the communication
- Thanking them again when we close another deal
E) We know how to suck up to the C-Suit
A lot of B2B salespeople have to regularly deal with the C-Suit. We might suggest it’s all about building rapport and becoming a lifelong partner but really we’re just using the following facts to close deals –
- CEOs want to improve stock price
- COOs hate their title and want to become CEOs
- CFOs only care about profit
- CTOs don’t want technical hassle (isn’t that their job?)
- CMOs want to look ‘cool’
- CSOs want to get in front of more prospect
F) We are masters of customer loyalty
A customer that is loyal will come back time and time again. Sales becomes quite a cushy job when you’re well known in the industry and you have a lot of repeat customers.
We keep customers loyal by –
- Focusing on long term relationships, long after everyone else has given up on the customer
- Being simply curious about people and their lives out of work
- Letting customers know we’re reliable
- And occasionally venerable by asking for help
- Having REAL conversations
But always adding value
G) Most importantly we know how to close a deal
Of course the most valuable skill of a salesperson is the ability to close a deal. Until that invoice is paid nothing moves forward.
To do this we –
- Think of every stage of the process as a mini close
- And we have a process…
- Help the prospect understand why this is going to make them more money/make their life easier
- And understand that nothing else matters to them (unless we can help them get laid)
- Focus the prospects mind into completing the next step
- Ask questions to make sure they’re still heading down the right track
- Do all the crappy paperwork to reduce friction
- Don’t sky away from asking to speed things up