Five sales tips this episode focus on closing deals, improving your expertise, writing a review, reconnecting with past contacts and partnering. Each of these has a quick win benefit and a longer term return.
1. Find or create a compelling reason for customers to buy now:
When a deal stalls or takes a long time to close there may be a lack of urgency or deadline for the buyer to make a decision. Understanding ‘why’ the customer is looking to buy early on in the sales process should shape your campaign. Identifying their deadlines and any dependencies will alert you to the risk of slippage later on. Accurately establishing the reason for the delay, the real objection to moving forward, will enable you to explore ways to tackle and overcome it. A useful checklist to run through as a review for delayed deals as well as earlier in the sales cycle for larger deals, (or multiple smaller deals), goes by the pneumonic of SCOTSMAN. Offering something of low cost to you but high value to your prospect is a great tack to take to move the deal forward, as long as it addresses the real reason for the delay.
Review one of your pending deals against SCOTSMAN and see if you can identify the root of the delay, validate with the prospect, and then be creative to overcome it.
2. Improve the quality of what you read:
The explosion of content marketing and social media has created a vast quantity of material. Finding authority sources has many benefits – it raises your knowledge, provides a source of material you can highlight to others, and can trigger you to write your own unique material, to pick just 3 benefits.
Can you identify 2-3 sources of quality content relevant to your industry and build them into your regular reading?
3. Write a review:
If there’s a product or company that is core to what you do – such as a product you sell or a company you partner with, write a review about them for your website or, blog. Clearly you want it to be positive, but avoid going OTT or it loses credibility. You might cover 3 parts: what business challenge you were facing, how and why you chose the product/company, and what difference it’s made to you and your business. It will help your credentials, boost SEO, help lead generation, give you something to link to from social media and email marketing etc. If you highlight the review to the company in question they may well circulate it through their channels. To give you an example, I wrote a review of Nimble, a CRM system I use.
Which product or company would you start with?
4. Reconnect with lapsed contacts:
You have a head-start in the ‘know, like and trust’ process with people you’ve known previously, Your previous reputation should count in your favour. You can use the opportunity to update them on what you are doing now, your typical customers and the problems you solve and/or benefits you help them achieve. You might even go so far as to see if they know anyone who matches your ideal customer profile. LinkedIn and Facebook make this so much easier than before, and as new people join and connect you have new opportunities. I reconnected with a good colleague I lost touch with 10 years ago via LinkedIn recently. There are more tips to help you connect on Social Media here.
Can you reconnect with 20 people this week?
5. Partner with other businesses:
Whatever size your business is, you may have formal or informal partner arrangements in place. Perhaps others help your selling, by providing referrals, inviting you to joint bid, or to work on projects they’ve already won. Maybe they help with your ability to deliver, by providing you with products or services that you then sell-on. Or do you outsource some activities to others? I partner with several organisations, such as creative agencies and IT businesses for larger deals.
Can you identify a new partner to compliment what you offer, to add value to your customers and prospects, or introduce you to their customers and prospects.
I hope you can pick just at least one of these sales tips to take action on today or this week.
Do comment below, and let me know how you get on, or if you’d like some guidance and encouragement.
Have a great week.