There is nothing wrong in pursuing “big” sales opportunities as long as it is not at the expense of other opportunities. But, some salespeople develop tunnel vision. They are so focused on finding and developing the big deal that they lose sight of other opportunities before them—the smaller size (and often more plentiful) sales. They are of the mindset that if you take the time to develop a small or modest size opportunity, a big opportunity will be “getting away.” They fail to recognize that you can’t lose an opportunity—big, small, or otherwise—that you never had.
They also fail to recognize that collectively, a few small or modest size opportunities not only equal or exceed a big opportunity in terms of order size and commission, but also expand your client base from which to obtain future business and referrals. And, they don’t pay heed to the fact that a modest size opportunity (or even a small size opportunity) can grow into a big deal if you take the time to thoroughly explore the situation.
Consequently, they invest insufficient effort developing the small or modest size opportunities and close few of them. That strategy creates a situation where they now need the big deal to pull their numbers up. They feel pressure from a situation THEY created!
If you’ve been operating with blinders—focusing too narrowly on the elusive “big” deal, take the blinders off and broaden your view. Focus your energy on identifying, qualifying, and developing opportunities, regardless of your preconceived idea about their potential. When you stop looking for the “big” sale, it will show up on its own—perhaps disguised as just another modest opportunity.
If You Got Inside Your Prospect’s Head, What Would You Find?
It’s easy to accept things with which you agree. It’s quite another thing, however, to accept things with which you don’t agree or perhaps are unfamiliar.
You don’t have to agree with your prospects about everything. But, you do have to understand them if you want to accurately analyze their situations and determine if your product or service appropriately addresses their concerns, goals, and problems. If you can suspend your personal judgments and see things as they do, feel things as they feel them, then you will be able to relate to your product or service as they would.
Empathizing with your prospects, seeing things through their eyes, will not only help you understand what is happening, but also help you get a better idea about why it is happening. You will be better able to determine if your product or service is a good fit for their situations.
Don’t confuse empathy with sympathy. Empathizing with prospects doesn’t mean automatically “buying in” to their perceptions. It means being able to understand the situations from their points of view. And, if your product or service is a good fit, that understanding will help you position and present your product or service in a manner that will enable the prospects to best relate to it.
So, don’t be afraid to get inside your prospects’ heads and have a look around. What you discover may help you close more sales.
Why Is Your Sales Approach Dry, Dull, and Lifeless?
All too often, a prospect’s initial introduction to a company and its products or services, whether through web site copy or a salesperson, focuses on features and benefits with a couple of buzz words and a fact or two thrown in for good measure.
Features and benefits convey information, but they do little to grab—and hold—the prospect’s attention. Facts are cold. They don’t evoke emotion, a required ingredient for prospects to take action… and buy.
Following is an example of a salesperson’s prospecting approach that closely mirrors the copy on the company’s web site (names have been changed to protect the guilty).
For more than twenty-two years, Production Max Associates has helped injection molding manufacturers maximize production throughput, improve quality control, and reduce reject rates through a comprehensive workflow analysis and the development and implementation of optimized process protocols.
Technically, there is nothing wrong with this description. It highlights aspects of the company’s services and mentions a few benefits. It’s informative…to a degree, but it leaves you flat. It doesn’t arouse your curiosity. (OK, maybe it stirs your curiosity about what an “optimized process protocol” might be. But, do you really want to stick around and find out?)
The benefits of the service sound like the benefits of so many other products and services. It’s almost as if someone created a template with a series of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives, with appropriate spaces to insert the product or service and the target market. You could drop another company into the template and voilà, instant marketing copy. Let’s try it.
For more than thirty years, Apple Peel Advertising has helped specialty retailers maximize target market exposure, improve market position, and reduce the perimpression expense of direct advertising through the use of comprehensive competitive positioning studies and the development and implementation of target-specific integrated marketing campaigns.
Again, technically OK. And again, DRY, DULL, and LIFELESS.
When you describe your business, product, or service, breathe some life into the descriptions.
Tell a story. Add names. Add numbers. Make it real…and relatable.
Let’s breathe some life into the first example:
For more than twenty-two years, 87% of the nation’s leading injection molding manufacturers, including Mallory Casting, Engelhard Fabricators, PrecisionCast Metals, and Black Rock Casting, have relied on Production Max Associates’ analyses and recommendations to maximize production and profits while maintaining extreme precision tolerance standards and achieving unprecedented reject rates below one-half of 1%.
Names and numbers make the description more interesting and give the reader or listener something to which to connect and compare. Descriptions should refer to real situations and, when permissible, reference real clients and customers.
When you make your product or service descriptions more interesting, your prospects will be more interested.