1. Build solid sales relationships at all levels of the hierarchy
There are many challenges involved in moving a sale forward, many of which can be resolved by correctly interpreting signs in the environment. The more contacts you are able to make at the top of a company’s hierarchy the stronger your position will become. At the same time it is important to build solid relationships at all levels, and to always be respectful of organizational structure and the people it comprises. Don’t depend on this hierarchy to stop the competition, make your competitors, not you, deal with the politics of the company and aim to work above them in the organization. Make it your focus to discover the decision makers and define a well-defined sales process. Successful sales people use the organization to beat the competition.
2. Build productive sales relationships
Keep all your sales relationships productive, make the value of what you offer known to the top people and never try to sell during any internal reorganization. Do not allow your efforts to be distracted by negative people within the organization. Be aware that sometimes opposition can be hidden, let your competitors, not you, be blindsided by them.
3. Keep ahead of the competition
Endeavor to be one step ahead of the competition and look for signs that your competitors might be about to move in on the sales opportunity you have been working on. Listen for rumors about the competition, these could well come from senior management. Look for indicators of the competition’s activity, such as if the goals of the purchase suddenly alter or there are too many purchasing requirements or if your supporters are suddenly unavailable. Should the competition try to collaborate with you they probably need your help, at the same time if they offer to split the sale or even give it to you beware of a trap!
4. Develop strong customer relationships and present concise sales proposals
Your relationships with your customers need to be strong. The customer must believe in you and that you are vested in their success. Successful selling is all about making it easy for the customer to buy, ensure that this happens, educate them and they will order from you repeatedly. Your proposal needs to be clear and firm, especially when working with new customers. With customers you have previously worked with you need to be more flexible, let them give you their new ideas. If your proposal cannot win the sale refocus your efforts, prepare for the competition, gather information and delay the sale never letting the competition get ahead of you.
Do you think your customer’s believe in you and that you are vested in their success, what ideas do you have, we would welcome your suggestions?
Determine customer needs
Why, at the very start of any sales situation is it so important to determine your customer’s needs? Having successfully made the initial customer contact and therefore met one of the most challenging aspects of selling, what is the next priority? It is difficult to predict the exact path that the sales cycle will take so it is important to be prepared, to be flexible and to plan for possible outcomes. Although people don’t like being sold to, most people like to buy something that they know they need. By determining what your customer needs, you will have a greater likelihood of being able to demonstrate how what you have to offer meets your customer’s needs and increase the chances of a sale.
1. Understand the customer’s business
The first step is to understand your customer’s business: become knowledgeable, use any contacts you might have within their company, meet with them, talk to them, and try to take advantage of their input and their perspective. Do not appear to be too keen to make a sale. Suspend that sales pitch; focus on the customer, not on your sale. The more you understand the customer’s perspectives and their needs, the better off you are and the more easily you can tailor your presentation to meet those needs.
2. Focus on the customer, be empathetic and sincere.
In your sales efforts always try to differentiate yourself from your competition. Try to focus your conversation on the customer, on their markets, their challenges, their opportunities and not on your product. Listen to your customer, be empathetic and sincere. This approach will encourage the customer to share their ideas and gradually will earn you their trust. Your goal is to become their ‘trusted advisor’, the one they turn to for solutions, the one they continue to buy from and advocate to others.
3. Be creative and inventive
Look for creative ways to help your customer find new opportunities and success. Be proactive in suggesting innovative ideas, it will demonstrate your sincerity, that you genuinely want to find viable solutions to your customer’s problems. Be inventive; try to identify new opportunities which the customer may not even have considered. Look for ways to suggest how the customer might try different approaches and explores new ideas.
What do you think, how successful have you been in determining your customers needs? How creative have you been in showing your customers how you can help them? How effective have your sales effort been to enable you to successfully close a sale? Let us know, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions