These days, more than ever, salespeople are challenged by "think it overs", "we'll let you knows", "we'll be sending you the P.O. soon", "the order is on its way", broken promises and order cancellations. Prospects and Customers are unsure and scared as job security erodes and 401K's would well be described as " 40.1K's", as they are worth about 40.1 percent of what they were.
So, what can a salesperson do about all this? Since we can't change the economy or any prospect, we can only focus on our own effectiveness and our team at our company. Here're a few things you can do to change your results:
- Go and meet all your "A" and "B" accounts that you haven't seen for some time. Since your "Ideal Customers" and even your "Bread and Butter" accounts are someone else's best prospect, doesn't it make sense, at this time, to make sure that relationship is secure? Also, you may uncover some areas that need change in order to keep the customer 100% happy and those orders coming. While you're at it, since they "love you", or they wouldn't be an "A" or "B" account, why not ask for a referral!
- Don't get comfortable! When someone says the order is coming, go get it. Do whatever "go get the order" means in your world, whether it's obtaining the P.O. number, stopping by to pick up a check, or stopping by to get the agreement signed. Since, as you've noticed, "time kills deals", use time to your advantage; make time to close the "sure thing" instead of waiting for the order. By the way, customers will appreciate you getting the job started right away and you showing up for a "face to face" as you pick up the order. Frequently, there's more business there and why not use the opportunity to "cross sell", "up sell" and bond with the customer.
- Stay in continual contact with "A", "B", "C" and "D" accounts through any of the following: e-marketing monthly, snail mail, re-contact calling by yourself, your assistant or customer service, gifts and reminders and anything you can think of that will keep YOU "top of mind" with your customers. Create a frequency for all of these "touches" that may vary depending on the type of customer and type of "touch". Don't let any one customer "slip through the cracks"! Ask your whole team to participate; your boss, your assistant, your inside salesperson and others in your company that may have a relationship with your customers, such as the delivery person or technical support. In this time, everyone needs to be customer and sales oriented to some degree.
- Remember, selling is a Team Sport, not an Individual Sport. I was watching the ARCA race at Pocono this weekend and Tony Stewart won the race. Yeah right! Tony's Crew Chief helped him calculate how to get the last ounce of fuel - saving him a Pit Stop so he could win the race. He was running on fumes at the end; his Crew changed his tires flawlessly; his Spotter was superb on the radio - pointing out track conditions and guiding him through traffic on the track. The Crew prepared the car well as it was "dialed in"; meaning the suspension and engine were perfectly tuned for the race. If you go out trying to race against your competition without encouraging your Crew, you are missing out.
Our job as salespeople is getting all of our Team on-board and participating in this selling race to higher and more profitable sales! Elicit the help of all in your organization. They know they are fortunate to have a job and will want to help you in your efforts. They know it's for your good, their good, the good of your customers and your company!
If you're not satisfied with your sales, we invite you to participate in one of our workshops for FREE as our guest - along with paying clients. In other words, these are real training workshops, not promotional programs. Join us on Wednesday, 3/16/17 in Braintree or Friday, 3/17/17 in Woburnfor a sales workshop called "Advanced Prospecting and Closing Clinic" that will show you how to get that sale and maintain profitable relationships. Register today for Braintree at https://advanced-prospecting-closing-braintree-31617.eventbrite.com or Woburn at https://advanced-prospecting-closing-woburn-31717.eventbrite.com.
Greg Nanigian is CEO of Greg Nanigian and Associates, affiliate Sandler Training. Over the past 29 years, we've helped thousands of sales professionals and organizations optimize their selling strategies, increase profits and create lasting relationships with their customers.