To succeed in sales you must really want the business. This sounds obvious, but it is much deeper than it appears. Giving your customer the impression you will go the extra mile, you really want their business can be very persuasive.
Think about your own experiences. Time and again if people have gone to great lengths to make you feel important and valued, you choose a supplier based on that feeling, not just on the proposed solution.
We all know selling has changed dramatically in recent years. The buyer has much more information at their fingertips. Products and services are becoming more and more alike. Competition has shifted from who has the best product to who can best assist the customer to achieve their objectives. Many customers now rank sales person effectiveness above product quality and features. Think about it. That’s a huge change. A good indicator as to sales person effectiveness is conveying that you want the business. Here’s how it can help:
One of our clients won a £1 million contract to supply a German customer against very strong competition from the market leader. After finalising the sale they contacted the German customer and said, ‘I’m delighted we’ve won, may I ask you why you gave us the business?’ The customer replied, ‘For one reason, we felt you were hungrier, more energetic. At the end of the day, we paid more for you but we felt you were going to be more responsive, more flexible.’
John Hegarty, co-founder of the BBH Advertising Agency, puts it this way: ‘People want to do business with people who pay attention to them’. We want to do business with people who make us think they will look after us, who convince us they really want to work together.
Imagine you are interviewing candidates for an important position. You have drawn up a final shortlist of two people, George and Emma. George is slightly better qualified than Emma, but Emma really wants the job. Who would you offer it to? We have asked this question to thousands of managers over the years and the vast majority answer ‘Emma’.
It’s exactly the same in sales.
Suppose your managing director passed you a lead and said, ‘This is the only lead you are allowed to deal with in the coming 12 months. What you do with it will determine how much we pay you and what your promotion prospects are.’
How would you handle that lead? You would give the customer the benefit of your personal attention. To succeed, treat each lead as if it were the only one.
Sales person effectiveness
Caution alert. Conveying that you want the business doesn’t mean simply saying ‘we want your business’ – by all means say this once or twice – but by itself it is unlikely to be that persuasive. Instead it’s the little things you do that add up to give the right impression – the aggregation of marginal gains.
Here are two tips that make a difference:
- Respond fast! Get back to people quickly. If someone contacts you online or leaves a voicemail respond as soon as you can. It’s not being overeager, it’s conveying professionalism and reliability. It builds confidence in you as a supplier.
- Answer your phone with energy. In today’s hybrid world most calls are via smartphones. Yet you would be amazed how many people answer with a downbeat, even dreary sounding ‘ughh, hello’. Instead be bright, be light. Sound like you are having a terrific day. Even if you’re not.
These simple tips help you to deliver a superior sales experience for the customer. Combine this with acting as a trusted adviser, a consultant and a partner and you will be well on your way to winning more sales.
Remember nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Learn more about LDL sales training and the Skill+Will™ approach.