Generating sales is more important now than ever. Following a few simple steps can help to identify the right prospects and get the deal done.
Suddenly the sales operations within our businesses have changed. Although most of us have back-up plans for unforeseen circumstances, there is no contingency plan for our businesses post-Covid-19. Should you follow the same sales processes as before? Does your business need to start selling to a new market sector? The following tips will help you boost sales in the current market:
Identify new prospects
Take the time initially to develop a sales strategy to make your sales activities
Identify your ideal customer profile: the target company or person who is predicted to need your service or product. This could be your customers’ customers, the competitors of your customers, or a new industry sector within the supply chain. Identify the behaviours of your prospects, e.g. what social media channels they use. The more you find out about your prospects, the easier they will be to sell to.
Identify the right channel
Research and attention to detail are key skills that will help with the next steps for developing a relationship with a potential customer.
There are various avenues for contacting a prospect, e.g. telephone, email, post, videoconference, website enquiries, networking events, referrals, podcasts, social media and so on. A consistent approach across the various ‘touch points’ is essential.
The sales process needs to be designed, analysed and adapted to meet the expectations of your potential customers.
A prospect is likely to engage with you through the buying process if you take the time to listen and care about their values and interests. Building rapport should
occur early on within the conversation, and can make the negotiation and closing easier.
To boost your sales in the current market, build a connection with your prospect by getting to know them. Actively listen to how they communicate with you (their tone of voice and body language etc). Share knowledge of mutual business relationships or a similar network.
Sell your service or product
There are two areas to consider. First, can you sell (i.e. have you been trained to have an effective sales conversation and apply selling techniques)? Second, do you know the finer details of your service or product? It is crucial to learn and be passionate about it.
Pre-Covid-19, selling techniques included describing features and benefits. However, your business should now focus on the needs of a prospect: how your service or product will have a significant impact on their business in current markets.
Be ready for objections
There could be several objections from the prospect. Before providing an answer to an objection, you need to find out if it is the only one or if there is anything else.
Appreciate the objection, and respond with further needs-based selling techniques, e.g. ‘what if my service or product solved the problem?’ Deliver an anecdote of a similar situation with a previous customer. Explain it was the same objection, but after purchasing from you this customer experienced the benefit of your service or product.
Make use of testimonials
During the negotiation part of the conversation, highlight the value of your service or product using testimonials or case studies from previous customers. Relay the outcomes your service or product has had.
The new prospect will relate more to hearing real feedback from others and will be more likely to proceed from fear of missing out.
After negotiating, follow-up with the prospect within 24-48 hours. The more time a prospect takes to decide whether to purchase, the higher the chances are
they will not do so.
Jamie Martin is Managing Director and Founder of Correct Careers Coaching and a sales trainer