Every once in awhile, change happens. Over the last few decades, selling and buying have changed -- albeit, very slightly. Today, prospects have become less empowered as the world has gotten less connected and information gradually moves from free and instantly available to trade secrets locked securely in file cabinets.
Further, buyers are becoming more and more dependent on salespeople. Salespeople are increasingly in the driver's seat. Prospects need their local field salesperson to evaluate options and make purchasing decisions for them, from the safety of their board room.
In today's economy, the geeks shall not inherit the earth -- unless they go back to school to get their sales degree. This is a world where salespeople can take what they want when they want it. Here are nine sales activities and approaches to adopt so you can get yours.
1) Buy lists.
Long gone are the days when you should spend time and effort attracting prospects to you. They need you more than you need them and they know it. Just purchase a list, then ....
2) Smile and dial.
Prospects are eager to take your call. After all, they have no other way to diagnose their needs or research solutions. But no need to put pressure on yourself unnecessarily. Since prospecting is like shooting fish in a barrel, you only need to make a few dials per day.
Believe it or not, spam used to be a bad thing. Of course, now prospects love spam. They'd have it for every meal if they could, as it's their main way to learn about products and services these days. To make this really easy, work with your marketing team to blast out a mass message. No need to customize your approach to each individual; that's a huge waste of time. Use the chart below to time your messages:
4) Pitch right away.
Go for it. Your prospects need it. Just blurt out your value proposition. If you want to be really efficient, include a few case studies and a generic PowerPoint in your spam blast.
5) Look good.
Pinstripe suits and a different Rolex for every day of the week. Both are critical selling skills to keep in your toolbox. Why? People want to do business with people who appear successful. Doesn’t matter whether you can actually help. For prospects, it’s really all about associating with successful people. So, play the part. Below is some research into how successful salespeople invest their money:
6) Get aggressive.
Prospects love it when you take control. The last thing they want to do is think for themselves. As soon as you can (and as aggressively as possible), tell them what they should be thinking and doing. Don't bother learning how they're doing things now or even if they want to change what they're doing. Remember, they need you more than you need them.
If you're not a naturally aggressive person, just remember that speaking loudly is a great way to get people to agree with you (no matter what you’re actually saying):
7) Cold call.
Who doesn't love a good interruption? Chances are your prospect is just sitting there commiserating with a coworker about how they can't get X done. Bam! Here you are with the solution that makes X easy. They want that call. They need that call. Just call them cold so you can get them what they need.
8) Disqualify quickly.
There is absolutely no need to develop relationships with prospects today. Skip past rapport building and needs assessment and get right to the important stuff, like budget and authority. Engaging buyers like people is frankly a waste of time. Better yet, just close ...
9) Close hard.
If there's one thing that hasn't changed since the early 1990s, it's that sales is all about closing. In fact, as Alec Baldwin's character, Blake, in "Glengarry Glen Ross" says so well, "Always be closing."
Close early. Close often. Close Hard. Make it your motto.
Even though it's unlikely in today's buyer-beware world, if you're having trouble getting someone to make that final decision, use a discount to seal the deal. As the chart below shows, it's the best way to make a prospect feel special.
Just make sure they know that the best deals expire quickly.
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What activities help you crush your quota? Share your thoughts in the comments on this fine first day of April.
Originally published Apr 1, 2016 8:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017