Whether you’re part of a sales team in a company or a business owner, winning new business can feel like hard work!  You’re working hard and selling harder, but the prospects don’t seem to go the distance and materialise into paying clients.  What could be the reason?

Check out these five steps to help you look at your sales processes and turn that “No Thanks” into a “Definitely Yes”.

 

1. BE RELEVANT

 

Many salespeople go into meetings with a prospect with their own agenda.  They have made up their mind about what the prospect needs and how they are going to fix their problem. They are blinkered to what their ‘would be’ client is saying and is only interested in letting them know about how brilliant they are!

Think about that person at a party who just talks about themselves… and the more they drink the more they talk!  You just want to run away and hide, don’t you? Don’t let your prospect feel the same way!

How can you know what your prospect needs if you’re not listening to them?  Listen with intent… understand what they do… be sympathetic to their needs. If the prospect feels like you’re taking an interest in finding a solution to their problem, they will find it difficult to run away and hide!  

 

2. BE TARGETTED

 

Having a niche product or service may seem like you’re alienating ‘would be customers’ and turning good business away.  It’s actually the opposite.

When you niche down your business offering, it allows you to focus on the kind of customer you want to work with.  You can start to explore what they do; their pastimes, where they spend their time on social media, their reading preferences and their buying habits.

If there is a part of your business that you love, then do more of it!  Passion is infectious, and your customers will pick up on your enthusiasm for what you do.  It will make them want to work with you because they can clearly see your drive for what you are doing.

Niching your product or service and targeting your customer is your way of finding that perfect fit.

 

3. BE PATIENT

 

When a prospect has given you a sign that they are interested in what you do, it’s vital that you don’t jump straight in sell, sell, sell!  Being too pushy will make them run a mile!

If you went on a first date with someone and it was going well, you wouldn’t then ask them to marry you, would you?  You would go more dates (a lot more) and you would see how you got along in different scenarios.

Give them time to find out about what you do at their pace.

Define some steps during the sales process… Engage… Meet… Evaluate… Decide.  There may be several opportunities to meet and demonstrate what you do before the prospect evaluates and decides if they wish to work with you. Don’t push it and come on too strong, they will know when they are ready to make that all-important decision.

This process will also give you plenty of opportunity to engage with them emotionally.  Tap into how working with you will make their life much easier, how it will allow their business to grow and what might happen if they continue as they are.

By having a process, it will enable you to evaluate each step as you move through it.  Look at where a prospect might have dropped out along the journey. Work out what happened at this point and whether you need to tweak it!

Be patient and trust the sales process.  

 

4. BE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

 

Most salespeople use email as a form of communication with their prospect… but think about how many times you have missed an email in the hundreds you receive each day!

Why not go back to basics and pick up the phone! It’s the BEST way to develop a rapport and build on a relationship with a prospect.  And don’t give up after the first time if they’re not available. Try at different times of the day. Sometimes the end of the day is a great time to catch someone as they make their journey home, or maybe first thing before they have got too far into their day.

If your instinct is to do what everyone else does, then stand out from the crowd and do something different!

 

5. BE PREPARED

 

Before meeting with a prospect, it’s so important to do your homework first.  Having knowledge about what they do, their market and who they work with will demonstrate that you are serious about working with them and will make a great first impression.

It will also help you to prepare what you are going to say.  Having a structure of areas to cover will ensure that the conversation is steered in the right direction to a positive outcome.

Be ready to face some objections.  If you can confidently qualify an objection and not let it stop you in your tracks, your prospect will have more trust in what you are doing and how you wish to help them.

Practice these five tips in your daily prospecting and it will ensure you finish 2018 Winning!