Sales brings everything together and people are scared of it.
There are so many avenues and aspects and books published on sales, but at its core it’s just communication.
Chris Gibbons, Andy Gwynn and John Asquith share some top tips for not just selling in general, but selling whilst in this lock down phase!
You need to believe in what you do and the business you're in, then you're just helping people to buy something that you believe will benefit them.
Who else can you sell to and What else can you sell?
Some businesses still need to generate leads and business. However, some businesses can’t operate in the way they used to and might have to stop selling, or sell something different.
If your usual customer is no longer buying from you, then think about who else could you be selling to instead?
If you have a poor conversion rate and you speak to lots of people that are never going to buy, that can impact you. If you focus better on the people who are more likely to buy, you will find better results which will lead to improved confidence which overall will aid your results too.
Blissful unawareness is just ignorance - Be prepared for things changing and recognising this, being ahead of the curve.
What’s happening is a forced recession, like an economic season.
Businesses have found themselves paralysed and are stunned by everything around them and have stopped. Activity is more important now than ever.
Now is not the time to be poor with numbers
What are you doing, what’s working and what’s not.
Stop doing what doesn't work and do more of what does . . it’s that simple.
Track what your doing - accurately, you can then see what activity is working and what isn’t, and you can stop doing what isn’t working
Little Changes - regarding your approach every day will significantly improve your results at the end of the week / month.
The world has changed because of this, and whether it’s a long term or short term change, we must change too.
If that’s making more phone calls or needing to make more LinkedIn connections, then that is what needs to be done!
Lots of people do LinkedIn wrong. Say the same on LinkedIn that you would on the phone, don’t dance around what you want someone to do. You're contacting someone one offering something that you know they probably want ( from your prior research).
WIIFM - Whats In It For Me
Why you’ve connected,
What you can for them,
Are they interested?
There will be some people there connected with you that want to buy now, and some that want to buy later. The quicker you find out if they are in one of those categories, the quicker you can move on with your lead list.
Be sure about what your business is and what you have to offer. It changes the conversation from being a sales call, to a conversation about what you like to do and what you believe it, to just telling someone about a product or service that could improve their business.
YOUR JUST HELPING SOMEONE BUY.
What’s the right way to approach people NOW compared to before
You’ve got to get to more people.
Massive Action, Consistently.
Regularly performing your massive action, if that's calling extra people or connecting and engaging with more people, it needs to be done consistently.
COVID 19 hesitance - There’s less money going round, but there’s also less action . . meaning there’s money available!
Physical selling is gone. We only have virtual selling and this will slow things down (as we can’t see body language and surroundings) so allocate more time for a sales pitch and call. However, we want to speed up the process.
Quicker time frame, but longer on each step.
Don’t schedule a meeting for 2 weeks time when you can have it quicker, so much can change in those 2 week! Speak to people sooner, speed up the steps, but engage and talk to them for longer, build the relationship.
As we’re now only selling virtually, instead of having a big decision to make, split your cycle up into 3 or 4 smaller decisions which are easier to magangue and commit to.
Do they want more information - little yes
Do they know the budget etc - another little yes
Do you want to continue to the next stage which is XYZ - yes
Prepositioning - getting somebody to tell you what they want
Positioning - telling them how they are going to get what they’ve said they want
Every sales meeting should start with asking the same 3 questions:
Why did you want to see / meet me? Them telling me what they want to buy
What's the ideal outcome of this meeting for you? Even if you contacted them, they agreed to the meeting, so what's the ideal outcome they had in their head from attending and agreeing to the meeting
What assurances or information do you need from me for you to be happy with a escision today? - You know no exactly what you need to tell them and inform them of.
Before the meeting you ask some questions for them to think about, what are your current challenges, what have been the main stopping points for your business progression.
Getting a decision
Start the meeting by saying that either way you want to get to a conclusion, whether it’s a yes or a no, either way it’s completely fine and I’d rather know. What I don’t want to do is get to the end of this call, and end up following you up for 6 months waiting for you to tell me no, if you don’t want to do this after the meeting, just let me know.
It’s human nature to not immediately commit because of regretting and doubting what you’ve done. It’s easier not to make a decision in case it’s the wrong decision.
Help the client explore why they’re concerned, what information are they missing to make a decision.
Ensure they know the next steps if they do say yes at the end of the meeting, they are just saying yes to the next step, so ensure they know it’s not a huge decision, it’s just going on to the next steps in the process.
This should stop at the end of a meeting or call, hearing the line, “great, I just need to ‘X’ before I decide”.
Stay in control
Use the methods above but stay in control. Don’t just send over quotes / prices / all information you can possibly give them. This should be a discussion with a person.
Knowing your closing line is key and ensure you know it. Don’t finish on a weak “so what do you think”.
John's closing line is always “We’d be a bit stupid not to do this wouldn’t we”
Lets look how we can get started, If i’ve got someone to this point of the meeting, it would be stupid to not go ahead.
How do you generate more leads?
Focus on A1 and A2 activity!
A1 - following the money, retail are doing more online selling than ever before, website, ad management, SEO companies are busy!
They’ve busy, so approach those people. Look in the marketplace and where is the A1, where is the money being spent right now.
A2 - compassion. Who will be spending money soon. If I help you fix a problem now, potentially for no or less money, as they’ll be able to pay me later when the situation changes.
Setting up deals for the future
You may not be able to do the job or provide the service right now, but you could set up ready to provide that in the future!
You could put your business into hibernation and work on upgrades, for instance a function on your website that you've been meaning to add. Make sure you're doing something that will increase your future sales.
Adapt your business models, pubs currently can’t open, so some are offering a delivery service, bringing their products to you via delivery.
Action Points that EVERYONE should do
A1 and A2 Activity
B2B LinkedIn is perfect
B2C Paid social ads or digital ads ( ensure you know your demographic well)
Speed process up, see and speak to people sooner.
Sales is like a water pump, you’ve gotta keep pumping to get water, whether it’s hard or effective, you’ve gotta keep this action up, otherwise it’ll go straight back down.
Activity is everything at the moment.
Make sure your profile says what you can do and how you can help
Connect and engage - do you want to talk to me about how I can help you achieve x, y and Z
Look at what has worked, check after each meeting what I did well and what I could have done better. Analyse yourself to enable you to constantly get better.
If your business is really struggling, from sales / marketing to business in general, John is offering 5 pro bono hours a week, go to sheffield.actioncoach.co.uk or find him on Linked in “ John Asquith” and send him a message.
For assistance with your LinkedIn connect with him on LinkedIn, “ Andy Gwynn” you will receive some automated messages, but give him a message and he’ll be in touch to help you improve your LinkedIn AND get your posts to more people!