Selling Made Easy
Something I notice time and again is that when business owners add the blanket term ‘sales’ to their to-do list it never gets done! Selling can be made easy!
It’s frighteningly commonplace, so if it’s something you do, take heart, you’re not alone!
Sales. It’s only a word, but it’s one that strikes fear into hearts and turns legs to jelly.
When I sat down to write this guest post, I wondered just what is so off-putting and scary about sales? I suspect it boils down to these two things:
- Lack of Curiosity
Pressure comes in various forms and is usually present when we believe there is a finite supply of something, be it time, money or love.
Time and money pressures create desperation and a need for speed, both of which can block the sales process. Separately or together, time and money pressures create a lot of pressure. Really? How does that work?
Think of when you’re desperate for a sale, maybe because it’s the end of the month. Or you’ve only got an hour marked out in your diary each week for sales calls. Perhaps an extra sale is needed due to a last-minute cancellation.
Whatever the reason, when there’s a constraint or pressure on you, like everyone else, you can end up being caught like a rabbit in headlights. Perhaps even become a bit pushy or thoughtless. In this state of being less caring or considerate to others, you create disharmony with ease. This disharmony may be an entirely unconscious understanding between you and your prospective client. But it is one to be aware of.
Let’s face it, I very much doubt you’d like to talk to yourself when you’re in that harried or needy state, let alone buy from yourself, and it’s from that perspective you begin to realise where love comes into play.
Love is the conduit you need to foster a healthy and respectful relationship between your clients and your company’s product or service.
Lack of curiosity
One of the reasons I think curiosity is so challenging in a sales environment is due to the exposure it can bring to both parties. You are embarking on a relationship with someone you don’t know and they may or may not be right for you or your business. The most common stalling points to picking up the phone are wondering whether they will want to speak to you, will like you? Will you catch them at the right time, in the right place and in a receptive mood? Often the answer is no but curiosity is the answer. You’re gathering information, you’re not making a sale.
One thing which stops people from being curious is the tendency to think they know the answer already. This is one of the most dangerous positions to adopt in life, never mind sales! How are you ever going to learn about a company or prospect if you don’t ask questions and remain open to learning how different they are from the last or the next? Curiosity gives you the opportunity to create a treasure hunt with everyone you speak to.
It is said that the best salespeople are the greatest listeners. In my experience, the easiest way to learn to listen is simply to ask a question, sit back and listen to the answer. Keep your ego, your all knowing-ness and solution finding in check until you really know what you’re dealing with.
The more you listen, the more engaged the prospect becomes and the less selling you have to do. Curiosity, therefore, removes the need for you to sell and allows you to build relationships upon which all involved end up happy ever after!
Curiosity is the conduit between their problem and your solution.
Daily Sales Tasks
I currently work with various clients, all in very different marketplaces. The sales process for each is pretty standard across the board but the time element to move prospects from one step to another varies enormously depending upon the product/service.
The most important element for them all is to remain in contact and communication with the prospects. How this communication is achieved varies. Each day I employ the use of texts, phone calls and email to some degree or other. The importance of personalised emails or texts cannot be over emphasised, and in most instances, I’m not talking about a mailing list email.
Knowing which of the many in your database to contact first requires a small amount of prioritisation and then it needs elbow grease! Prioritising for the sake of it can be yet another stalling tactic.
This can be the sales stage a business owner finds most difficult – how to start building a functioning database and then keep on top of it. Time is of the essence for businesses and if most of their day is spent ‘doing’ the work, sales is potentially an evening slot in the diary. Unfortunately, that means missing core business hours and phone calls are unlikely to be one of your outreach choices.
My newest client works in a very fast-moving market. Before he engaged with me, he was operating blindfolded – his CRM was extensive but had months old outstanding items in the tasks field the overwhelm of where to start stopped him in his tracks.
The CRM logged his calls, but no content, the online sales board had no sales numbers, if he remembered the tasks for the next day they got done! He kept afloat but couldn’t expand. Within two weeks he has started to feel his old passion for the job return. With new ‘live’ tasks being entered daily, the outstanding ones have all but disappeared (they’re being recycled, 5 a day – because that’s the healthy limit, isn’t it!)
Your CRM, whether an online system or an Excel spreadsheet, is the lifeblood of your business. It needs to be constantly updated or it will wither away. Your sales funnel, your pipeline, is your company’s potential and it can increase.
Consistency and application create relationships and by default, sales. It is a numbers game, but it’s a relationships game first and foremost. Consistency creates reliability which creates trust and strong relationships.
It’s a Process- Selling Made Easy
Sales is a process, not a one-time event. It is the conduit to your business prospering through you supported by your love and belief in what you’re doing. Remove ‘sales’ from your to-do list and replace it with a creatively enticing item. Be curious about 6 people; discover a new route through gatekeepers. See what happens when I use a new calling script; target – all calls today have to end with a laugh.
The deficit of time, money and love is easily remedied when you recognise that to sell effectively, all you need to do is commit to at least half an hour a day and flex those curiosity and sales muscles, pick up the phone and make half a dozen calls. By the end of the week, that amounts to 30 calls – and that’s a lot more than moving ‘Sales’ from today’s to-do list to tomorrow’s or next week’s.
Contact Jackie Roberts for outsourced sales support at Jackie.firstname.lastname@example.org