What's the point.
At present, many sales calls are consistently resulting in rejections, obfuscation, disinterest and, yes, in some cases rudeness.
Each is perhaps understandable when the prospective purchaser(s) and client(s) is or are up to his, her or their elbows with alligators.
Call resistance is a typical but not a natural or desirable consequence. Which raises a fundamental question:-
What's the point?
Those responsible for sales often rationalise a reluctance to call on and canvas existing prospective and past clients with the contention that there is little point in doing so, because “nobody's buying”.
Conversely, “time-stretched” prospective purchasers have their own take on the question. They rightly see little or no advantage, benefit or point in a call from a sales representative who simply presents themselves once again. What's the point?
The key issue in business today, with the consequences and real or perceived fallout from the Global Financial Crisis, is not how to develop a sale, nor to extend the sale or even to close the sale. No, the richest rewards will be enjoyed by those who enhance their skills on how to open the sale.
ESTABLISH A SALIENT
All good strategies recognise, respect and provide a well conceived, documented and implemented means to establish a salient in the market place and in the mind of consumers and clients. In the military parallel that equates to establishing a beach head, from which all developments, growth and control emanate.
Sadly, too many good endeavours in the current marketplace falter because of continuing use of obsolete advertising, promotional literature, packaging, sales call routines, buying packages, products and services. Those can be and are often considered to be boring.
Times have changed. So too have client needs, perceptions, expectations, preferences and buying criteria. Most challenging is the realisation and reality that many competitors and substitutes have also changed their sales strategies, products, services and support initiatives. The point is that all businesses, products, services and people need a new, fresh aspect. Relevance is an overriding imperative.
Therefore, mortgage brokers need to and indeed have an alternative sales opener of offering funds from 30 different sources. Likewise, financial planners should and can offer more than the highest dividend rates. General insurance brokers too, need to reinvent new opening lines away from insurance risks to a more appealing point of difference. Real estate agents have at their disposal a compelling proposition to vendors which outweighs any attraction of accepting a lower price.
GIVE'M A REASON
Existing and prospective clients need a reason to pause, to contemplate and to conclude a purchase.
Tim Treadgold is a well respected and well read business journalist. Each day he is the recipient of countless news briefs and media releases. Most are summarily discarded. In his disarming manner, Tim explains that many of the missives are interesting. However, interesting is not good enough.
Tim's challenge cuts to the chase. “What's the angle”. For a story or a proposition to offer value to a publication, editor or journalist, it needs to be unique, captivating and compelling.
The same principles apply to industrial sales. Success will not necessarily gravitate to those who are industrious or more industrious. Winning business on price competitiveness and tendering is increasingly marginal, with margins being wafer thin. Therefore, seek out, establish and introduce creative sales openers.
A LITTLE HOMEWORK
Dating back to the ancient Chinese leaders, through the annals of military, national and commerce history one edit has persisted:-
“Know thy Enemy”
In contemporary business, clients are not deemed to be the enemy….but the principle still applies.
Customers and clients don't necessarily want more, they simply want to get more. The distinction is subtle, but significant. In short, the product or service on offer needs to be an accelerator or leveraging factor in the prospective purchaser enjoying more satisfaction, more protection, more profit margin or more presence in selected target audiences.
Intuitively, a fundamental element in a strategically advantaged sales opener extend beyond qualifying, extending or closing the sale. A strong focus on outcomes, rather than processes, is now essential for closure.
Marketers refer to a well reasoned philosophy:
“The objective of Marketing is to make selling superfluous”
Customers respond to, welcome, endorse and get enthusiastic about a great sales opener. The result is that they buy, rather than being sold.
A great sales opener rarely ever encounters objections, which tend to be conditioned responses to stale, standard and repetitive representations. There is little to object to when the focus is on the positive, the upside and the consequences and benefits of a prudent investment. That's a superb opening line!
So considerable rewards will be enjoyed by those who concentrate on the front end (of the sales process – the opening) and then immediately orient the prospective customer and clients to the outcomes.
I hope this made the point.