I wasn’t always a salesperson. I actually started as a stock analyst for a bulge bracket investment bank. Granted, I was familiar with cross-selling products and “selling” stock ideas. But cold calling? Selling to put bread on the table? I never envisioned making Sales my bread and butter (forgive all the bread references, I’m addicted to carbs). To say the least, it has been hard to connect with customers and help them realize the benefits of BuildingBlok without being overly passionate or overly pushy. Nobody likes buyer’s remorse, but the fact remains that it happens and sometimes you push too hard. I always saw BuildingBlok from my eyes, but not the customer’s. So how did I overcome this and improve my sales process? I threw everything I thought I knew about sales out the window, and learned from my customers.
Every salesperson is driven by metrics.
“Our solution can expand your profit margin by 25% in 6 months”.
“With our system, you will achieve a 100% ROI in 2 years, guaranteed or your money back”.
While metrics are great, too many salespeople jump into the numbers without first understanding the prospect. Ask questions. Find out exactly how they conduct business, what they are looking to improve, and why they contacted you. What are they really looking to achieve? WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. Now you have ammunition to start molding your argument. I always determine how BuildingBlok can help on the spot. Before I start my pitch or demonstration, I quickly right down a plan of attack, and tell them exactly what we will be discussing. Give them a guideline of how your solution addresses their problems. This is very important because it allows you to keep the mic and stay on task. The hardest sale is one in which the prospect takes over and asks 100 random questions. Nobody wins.
Next, the pitch. During the demonstration, try to instill a sense of urgency. Nobody wants to be the last on the technology adoption curve. And nobody likes to lose money. It’s do or die. Also, as you go through the previously mentioned guideline, recount each problem area that the prospect mentioned, and specify how your solution resolves it. Don’t be threatening or overbearing, but show the customer that you listened to them – it will go a long way. As you conduct pitch after pitch, write down what worked and what didn’t work. If you close a deal, ask the new customer what exactly sold them. At what point did they say YES? Rinse and repeat. And always believe in yourself and your product. If you don’t, it’s time to look for a new job.
These are just a few quick tips. Just remember, you learn something new everyday. More like every hour. Be willing to learn from your leads/prospects/customers. Always adapt and evolve.