Create a compelling message, why you do what you do.
My last blog discussed the idea that the corner stone of a successful sales and marketing message is being able to define what your business represents. This blog explores this further, why it is important to define not just what you do but why you believe in it, why you are passionate about it. Whether face-to-face, via marketing campaigns or in the ever growing, important, social media world, when your message expresses passion it creates attraction. If you resonate a sincere and clearly defined, compelling message people start to listen to you, and if you have something to offer which they need, they are more likely to buy from you.
Is there passion in your promise - does it create attraction
Are you passionate about what you do? Is your sales message clearly defined and why is that important? Wikipedia defines passion "as an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire…...” Passion is indeed intense and contagious. From experience, when I talk excitedly about what I do, showing a sincere conviction in why I do it, my enthusiasm entices people to engage, a dialogue begins and a relationship starts to develop.
Business is connecting with people, to engage others know what differentiates you.
Central to this for me, is that although we might be business people, first and foremost we are people. Regardless of the size of the corporation you work for, business is about connecting with people. So if via your communications you are perceived as a sincere, enthusiastic, reliable and competent person, aren’t people more likely to want to work with YOU?
If our Integratis marketing message just said: ‘we are a sales training company’, the chances to engage are slight, there are many other sales training companies.
By expressing enthusiasm and passion in what we do, explaining what differentiates and defines us we attract attention: "Integratis believes that people do business with people.That people can be helped to develop their skills to become more successful."
Curiosity is aroused, people want to know more, ‘how do we do this?’ A conversation starts, where we can try to find out what the listener’s needs might be and show how we could help them.
I would say something like this: “we can teach your sales people how to build partnerships with their customers, how to develop a consultative, customer centric approach. Our process focuses not on selling, but on the customer’s goals and concerns. We show how to build ongoing customer relationships, how to become perceive as a preferred solution provider, a trusted partner, the person the customer thinks of first when they need help.”
How would you articulate how you might be able to help someone? Our business is trying to teach people to think of the other person, to be supportive, to build relationships built on trust and in so doing help others to build success. Yes, like any other commercial venture we want to be profitable, to make money. Our success in doing do is because we have a clearly defined passion and belief in what we do, we believe in people and have well proven tools to help develop people to be better than the best. What do you believe in? Why do you do what you do? I would love to learn your thoughts.
Selling is all about competing for business
The need to develop solid sales skills and a clearly defined sales strategy has never been more imperative than in today's highly competitive marketplace. Most of our customers or prospects are probably already talking to, or considering, an alternative supplier to our solutions. Sales people have to be prepared to compete for EVERY piece of business they are chasing, that means not only competing against other suppliers, but also competing for the revenue that the customer might want to spend on other projects. If you're not ready to compete - you're not ready to sell. So it follows that we must develop our sales skills and strategy to win against the competition. Remember, the will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.
Aim to win and then keep your customers
In the book the ‘Art of Sales', based upon the ancient Chinese warrior, Sun Tzu’s strategic principles, there is succinct and relevant guidance to help sales people succeed by developing their selling skills and defining their strategy. In Sun Tzu’s view the secret to winning, is winning quickly and economically and learning to keep what you have won, combating the competition by finding the places where the competition is not active, becoming involved early in the customer’s buying cycle – before the competition is aware that an opportunity even exists. Tzu counsels that the ultimate victory goes to the person with the most knowledge, this means having better information than anyone else, knowing more about your customer and their industry than any of your competitors. The true consultative sales person spends more time analysing and understanding the customers’ business and less time focused on selling the feature, function, benefits of their products. The battle for the customer’s mind is won by focusing on them, not on your own products or solutions.
Sales people should think competitively.
Sun Tzu teaches that in addition to having a professional approach and adhering to a proven sales process you must also learn to think competitively. Try to focus the sales process on those customer problems that only your product and services can effectively solve. Tzu’s view is that you need to be innovative, to broaden your standard sales process so that it addresses a wider variety of your customer’s concerns. This usually means that sales people need to broaden their contact base within the customer’s organization and develop relationships with people who have the most to gain from adopting your solutions.
Sceptics might consider it surprising that an ancient warrior has any lessons to teach us about selling, especially for a modern sales person competing in today’s highly technical, rapidly changing market, a world which Tzu would probably have found impossible to envisage. Actually Tzu provides the basis for many strategic selling approaches, especially as they relate to competitive strategy. As you will have seen from my blog on Xenophon it is of great significance that another esteemed modern business guru, also claims to have learnt a great deal from the ancient world. That person, often regarded as the father of modern management and leadership principles is Peter Drucker. Drucker’s favourite book on leadership, the one that he felt was still applicable and offered the most advice for the modern business leader was ‘Kyropaidaia of Xenophon’. Xenophon was a Greek warrior who fought the Persians in the fourth century B.C.! Look for more on Xenophon and Sun Tzu in previous and future blogs. I believe that can both teach us a great deal, what do you think?!
Developing sales skills & a competitive selling strategy will help win & keep clients. Think competitively, be informed, focusing on the client not what you are selling.