Keeping with our Monday morning Sales Inspiration call format (join us any Monday – click here for more information) it may seem difficult to just choose three points when it comes to valuing your time.
For me it is simple, because while these are not all of the issues in selling – they account for the majority of lost time: Clarity of your offer, Niche (who you sell to), and Qualifying up front.
1. Clarity around your real value that you bring to the prospective customer. Are you an “also ran” – do you do just what a whole bunch of other companies do? Or is your company different by niche or strategy or results? Make it easy for potential customers to buy, and for others to refer you, by being clear with the value of your offer.
2. Unless you are selling consumer commodities, you have a niche where your offer fits better with some companies and not as well with others. Do you understand this, or do you just look for anyone with a pulse and a heartbeat? Know your target customer profile – this will give you a focus for which prospective customers to go after, and where to focus resources and energy. Prospective customers who don’t fit need to be focused away from. Example: You sell high end technical services. A prospective customer wants to go to bid for the lowest price because they feel it is a simple project.(although you know that it isn’t). Once you attempt to differentiate your company and educate the prospect – and the prospect still doesn’t see the value – I wouldn’t respond to their bid. Period. The difference between making that quick decision instead of a long, drawn out period of time to talk with them, follow up, respond, and await an answer can kill a salesperson’s time (think what this does times ten or fifty times).
3. Qualifying up front: this goes hand in hand with point #2. Know who your “more probable” prospective customers are and focus your time, energy, and knowledge with them. Nurture THEM with mailings, follow up calls, handwritten notes, and ideas. Qualify by asking the important questions up front. Don’t just assume because they seem to like you that they may buy from you. It doesn’t work that way. Recoup hours and hours that some salespeople are wasting – and business owners are as well – by focusing on knowing if a prospective customer is more likely to buy or not. If not, have a simple drip marketing program to keep in touch with them, so that when the time is right, they will remember you – OR if they do not fit, just move on.
By implementing these three ideas, you can literally add hours to your week. Then, for the next step, throw in some referrals in place of prospecting to “net-new” prospective customers – and you’re on the path to success.