I don’t want to go away from the usual subjects of my posts. They are usually around people management techniques and product/project management and a few protocols. However and, without being a pure sales person I’ll share a few ideas and tips that I’ve seen across the business word, that were shared with me by pure sales people and of course that you find on the web. If you want to know in detail more about this subject I’m probably not the right person :).
Sales, sales, sales. Get out there, prove yourself, show that what are you selling is what your costumer needs.
Seems simple but in order to better than the rest you must prove that your product will bring more value than what your competitors are selling. Sometimes it is not easy but here are a few suggestions how you present yourself differently and distinguish yourself from others.
1. Seems a bit harsh but your appearance matters. You and your product are linked and you are the image of your product. Basics of fashion in the business world say that belts and shoes should be the same color. Have your shoes polished and when it comes to your clothes… buy good quality (even if it implies having less).
2. Every company has their own business cards and sometimes you can’t personalize yours but remember. After you are gone… your business card should speak for you and still be appealing to your costumer. I’ve seen black and silver business cards. Printed on both sides. One side can have your product inspirational slogan or your personal inspirational quote. I’ve seen suggested that on the back you can stamp the 7 reasons why customers like doing business with you. I’ve seen a personal business card that was divided in 4 different parts that could be detached because the person was representing 4 different and similar products. You have all sorts of ideas. Just let your imagination flow (if you can).
3. If you communicate by email (doesn’t everyone?) make sure you have a effective e-mail signature. Your e-mail signature should have all the relevant contacts such as your name, a small and catchy sentence describing your expertise, a telephone number, and your/your company web site. Don’t write long emails presenting your product. Keep it short but include periodically a P.S. and a P.P.S. to emphasize new product introductions, special sales, and special events. You are not a boring brand ;).
4. You call, you call, you call but.. your potential costumer is not returning your calls. Again here, you should differentiate yourself from others. Use other channels. Make sure that somehow, the person you are trying to reach will get your message. In TV we’ve seen airplanes asking the other person to return your calls. Well.. I would not go that far. Some colleagues shared with me a few ideas. Send a package to your receiver with your contacts and a paper with a sentence of what do you want to talk about tied to a few balloons. When the person opens the package.. He/She will try to “grab” your words. Another idea is to buy a coffee mug and print these words on the mug. “Would you like to talk business over a cup of coffee.” Make again sure that you include a note with your business card and the times you’ll be available to take his telephone call.
5. Sometimes you need to make yourself visible. Organizing a scheme to do it is might be a good idea. Here is my simple tip. Develop a follow-up system every time you meet and/or talk to potential client. Within 24 hours send an e-mail (not very pushy and try to be slightly less formal than your previous business meeting. If you don’t have a reply within 10 business days send a handwritten note with an article to your prospect.
6. Prepare creative organizational charts for your biggest proposals. In your business, if you do proposals especially for larger deals, consider using a very creative organizational chart. If you can, have a tree chart where you’ll introduce your team, from the sales representative, costumer service to the tech support. It is proven that it’s easier for a prospect to say no to a salesperson than it is to say no to the entire team.
7. Promise what you can deliver. You have to get into the mind of your prospect, understand their ideas. To offer generalities when customers are begging for specificity leads to “no deal”. Don’t permit generalities to skewer the real differences between you and your competitors and match your product specificity to the client needs.
If you want to make a difference you have to be different, creative and innovative. You have to stand out from the rest!