We've all heard how important first impressions are. Many of us have experienced first hand the make or break of meeting someone for the first time. But how exactly can salespeople make good impressions? In Andy Paul's video, Four Ways Salespeople Can Make a Good First Impression, Paul shares four important principles.
The first tip Paul gives is to respond to all leads. If someone has taken the time to contact you, this shows that they are truly interested. Responding to them and giving them attention and respect will only help the fact that they sought you out. The second principle is to respond in zero-time. If you can respond first to customer's questions, this will dramatically improve your chance of winning the sale.
The third principle Paull gives is to maximize the buyer's return on time invested. Help your customers get their job done quickly and effectively. And the fourth and final tip Paul gives is to provide insights that illiminate the problem the custome needs to solve. Help them achieve the buying solution to their problem.
What is culture and why is everybody talking about it when it comes to companies? In Mark Birch's article, Birch writes that culture "drives the values of an organization and what that organization deems important." When it comes to a company, culture is what "drives everthing in a company from decision making to hiring to customer relationships to product direction."
Birch talks about the importance of culture and that it is "transformative." Culture is often started with the founders and executives and is part of the initial vision. Birch writes,
...these cultures are the very cultures are the very core of their respective organizations...The culture sets the expectations, the values, and what matters most in the organization.
So we've established that culture is important, and now we must realize how sales culture is totally different from corporate culture. Corporate culture is general to the whole company while sales culture is the culture specifically for salespeople.
Sales involves a lot of rejection and often salespeople get the blame. Birch writes that, "Established companies understand this. That is why there are plenty of sales contests, President Club trips, sales retreats, and the like."
Culture makes the organization.
We've defined sales culture, and now Birch addresses how he's noticed that with the rise in startups, "there is a growing lack of respect for and recognition of the importance of sales." Because of this, companies need to reevaluate their own sales culture. Whatever the specifics of your companies sales culture, "what makes it stick is leadership and commitment." Birch ends his article with a profound statement,
...sales has its own place in a company and needs to have its own unique culture.
In this article by Richard Maun, Maun writes that "Selling is part of life. We are only as good as the ideas we sell to people." He then points out that sometimes we can forget we are 'selling' something because conversations where we share ideas are a natural part of life and they flow around us. One mistake people make is to assume that confident networking professionals are the real deal when it comes to selling-but really they are just doing their best.
We can find our own way of doing our best. A way that works for us.
Maun continues that you can sell by "inviting people out for tea and cake, or offer free taster evens, or simply explain what makes us special, different,unique." There is cold calling, and social selling. There are so many strategies of selling and they can all be good. We simply have to pick and focus on the few strategies that work the best for us and our company.
Part of all this good work, that is easy to overlook is the skill of listening.
Maun's advice is to switch to 'recieve mode' instead of 'send mode' and listen to your prospect,no matter what strategie you are using to sell. He ends his article with a profound sentence, "Good sales people talk less and listen more."
In this article by Terry Gremaux, Gremaux writes, "As you know, most people never join on the 1st time. In fact, industry standards are between the 5th and 7th touch. Follow up is critical."
Gremaux then goes on to explain his thoughts on follow up. He writes, "First it starts with how you set it up...Tell them WHY it's a BIG DEAL." After your initial presentation, talk to them with excitement asking them what they liked best about it.
When it comes to Sales Techniques-most often they are SIMPLE!
He then gives the tip that as long as the feedback has been positive, always give the prospect an invitation to continue and you can be quite forward about it so long as you received positive feedback from the presentation.
In this article by Meridith Powell, we learn that although health and fat are two words you never hear in the same sentence for a positive result. But, "when it comes to developing and building an effective sales organization, giving your team the skills they need requires you as a leader to focus on makin' 'em FAT."
As a leader, you must build your team and keep up with them. Continuous improvement is required or your team will end up floating backwards. You need to create a team of professionals. But how?
(get it? it spells FAT and causes HEALTH in your sales team)
A word on focus: the world is full of noise and distraction. And well, distraction is not something your team needs. Help your team prioritize and focus on what is at hand. Can each member of your team tell you where the company is headed? If so, you know they are focused.
When it comes to accountability, people may groan. It is "the most dreaded word in sales..." but really, it's just "misunderstood." You need to focus on being accountable not just for what people are NOT doing, but for what they ARE doing. Spend some time affirming your team members' hard work and praise them. Everyone needs encouragement, and a word of praise will brighten their day, and possibly cause them to be more motivated.
Tracking involves analyzing past data and recording how far you've progressed. You need to know what you've done and what you need to do to continue to improve. This is critical information.
Make your sales team FAT and make them healthy!
Find Merideth: Twitter
In this article by Alan Mackie, Mackie starts off by explaining how long it has taken him to realize the biggeset mistake in sales.
Can you guess what it is?
He writes, "Many salespeople are stuck in transmit mode, telling to sell...Few really listen to the answers or try to understand what is behind what has just been said and ask further questions." Don't steer the conversation to "you." Mackie continues,
"Once you have noticed you are thinking up the next question or wondering what you are having for tea or the weather forecast for the weekend, just pause and become aware of your breath." This will help you focus on listening and then you'll try to truly understand.