My youngest daughter recently lost her two front teeth just in time for Christmas. As I was trying to figure out what to write about this week, I thought of “wanting more” (like teeth) and what that means in selling.
When I was younger and first starting out the “more” that I wanted was in the form of a single deal. I remember sitting at a traffic light thinking, “If I could just get all of these people at this light to do business with me I would be in great shape”. That’s a pretty sad cry for sales training, but I didn’t know. As I got better, older and more experienced the “more” that I wanted was quality not just quantity. Quality is interesting because I have a desire, not just to do a deal, but to do a big deal with a company that is perfectly suited for my offering.
If You Want More
I am lucky because recently I have been coaching new reps. Folks that don’t have the experience yet. It is interesting because it is forcing me to not only to remember what being new was like, but the importance of the fundamentals of selling. If you want more, remember the fundamentals.
- Prospecting – Thanks for all of the likes and comments on my recent writing about prospecting. It is not a dying discipline it is an unwanted task. Once your relationship changes with processing, cold calling, emails, social media, door knocking will become fun and strategic.
- Elevator Pitch – Even if you are an old pro at the practice, up dating your elevator pitch is an ongoing process, not an event. As you change and improve make sure you are not putting words or phrases in your pitch that people don’t know about or scares them off. I know this must seem obvious, but if you are like a lot of high-tech sales people you know and like your stuff to the point that you forget that others don’t know and like your stuff equally as well.
- Follow Up – Just do want you say you are going to do in the time frame that you said you were going to do it. If you are too busy to call someone back or follow-up on an issue, than either that issue or task wasn’t all that important to you or you don’t (or can’t) delegate well. Either way good follow-up is a practice in priority setting and its outcome is a visible sign of integrity.
- Percentages – As deals move through your pipe, and using a simple example, if you (1) Prospect (2) Demonstrate (3) Close (4) Service, the best way to improve the bottom line is to improve the percentage that goes from one step to another. Frist of all you have to know these number, but (as an example) if your closing percentage between step one and step two is fifteen percent, changing that to twenty percent (in my world) represents an additional $5,000 in personal income per month. Little percentage lifts make big financial benefits.
- Teaching – This is a little bit of a soap box for me… if you are selling a service or product that is new and innovative, you have to teach your customers how to buy from you. They won’t know what questions to ask, how to evaluate the impact and the differences between competitors (other than that – you are good – joke). If people don’t know what you do and the impact to the company, they simply won’t buy from you. Now, they won’t express the fact they don’t know and for the most part they won’t realize they don’t know, but the outcome will be some version of, “we have other priorities, we don’t have budget, it’s not good timing…” The key indication that you are not teaching your customers to buy is they don’t do business with you or any of your competitors.
Now that 2015 is coming to a close, it is a perfect time to reflect on what you want to be like in 2016. I hope this catches some of you off guard because what you want to be, how you want to act, what type of work you do is completely up to you. Don’t put your fate into the hands of anyone but you next year. Also, set as a goal to stay off of the selling roller-coaster. The selling roller-coaster is to do a lot of prospecting, then a lot of demoing, then a lot of closing, and at the end of that process you will have deals closed but you will then need to start back on the prospecting. I know it seems obvious, but staying disciplined to a little of everything every day will keep you off of the roller-coaster and allow you to create momentum in 2016. Happy selling!
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About The Author:
Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people who started AvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact us for more information