Salespeople who turn a complex issue into a simple one for their customers can be rewarded with more sales. By getting back to the basics and speaking in simple language, they can differentiate themselves in the minds of customers. Yet some salespeople confuse prospects and customers by providing them with too much information, causing them to get stuck in a bog of facts and figures. They favor complex solutions over simpler and more effective approaches, and bury prospects and customers with too much unnecessary language and data.
Whether it is in person or on the phone, the initial sales call is critical. Salespeople start building a relationship from the opening words and begin the discovery process that will tell them if this person is a potential customer. These posts can help.
A person performing the role of a gatekeeper has one purpose: to protect the decision-maker’s time. And it’s the salesperson’s job to help the gatekeeper realize he or she’s important enough to earn a meeting with the boss.
A recent survey asked 50 telephone gatekeepers how they determined who gets through to a decisions-maker. The top answer was “People I like.” So treating whoever answers the phone with respect is in the salesperson’s best interest. This person is very close to the decision-maker and has a lot of valuable information. So work with him or her to establish a friendly rapport.
Four tactics to pass along to your sales reps:
Successful salespeople exhibit these two behaviors when opening sales calls effectively:
Here are four huge pitfalls associated with cold calling – along with tips on how to avoid them:
A sales training video opened with a sales manager saying, “Sales is all about fear. The salespeople are afraid the customers won’t buy, and the customers are afraid they will buy.” Sadly, the sentiment rings true for some salespeople.
For some salespeople, prospecting is the weakest link in the selling chain because they suffer from call reluctance. But whether they’re experienced sales pros or new to the field, they need to quickly overcome it to survive.
Because prospects are pressed to do more with less, they’re more determined than ever to get good value for their purchases. And to make the best purchasing decisions, they may ask more questions and raise more objections. When that happens, salespeople can turn the situation to their advantage.
Here are three reactions that will help your salespeople turn objections into selling opportunities, courtesy of Stephan Schiffman, author of The Career Salesperson:
A lot of companies faced with slumping sales have resurrected a traditional sales tactic that has worked for years and still works today.
The tactic is cold-calling, and it’s especially important to step it up in a tough economy, for at least two good reasons:
In their haste to satisfy customers, many salespeople make a big mistake.
In his book, Slow Down, Sell Faster! author Kevin Davis explains why presenting solutions too soon in the sales process can lead to a lot of problems, including:
- It shifts the focus away from the customer and on to the salesperson.
- At this point in the sale, the salesperson doesn’t really know the full value of the solution.
- It’s too early for the salesperson to know what problems or opportunities the customer has and doesn’t have – so he or she may end up emphasizing features the customer doesn’t want and miss capabilities they do want.
The strategy of proving to the prospect that your solutions are better than the competition’s may not work, because demand may evaporate in hard times. A better step: creating demand.
The following charts illustrate the difference between responding to demand and creating it: