Marketing & Sales: Cracking Major Accounts
I was recently asked, "If you were mentoring a new salesperson, what would be your top five sales tips and how did you learn those?"
Good question. There are so many things I'd like to tell a new seller. But what are the most important? What things could I recommend that would have the highest impact on success?
After serious deliberation, here are my top five picks:
1. Focus on making a difference. Nobody cares about your product, service or solution—a difficult concept for sellers to grasp. All potential clients care about is the difference you can make for their organizations.
For example, if I were to call a vice president of sales and mention that I sell sales training, they would tell me they're not interested. However, once I changed my focus to the tangible outcomes they'd get from using my sales training, the door opened wide. After all, they were extremely interested in shortening their sales cycle, reducing the ramp up time for new hire sales representatives and driving revenue growth.
2. Slow down to speed up your sales. When I first started selling, I was so eager to be successful that I tried to "wow" my prospects with my great product knowledge. I closed often and early. But the more I tried to rush things, the more resistant to moving forward my prospects became. They'd present obstacles and objections that I couldn't overcome. When I learned to slow down, parcel information out over multiple meetings and simply advance the sales process one step at a time, suddenly my sales increased.
When you're scared about not getting the business, your prospects can intuitively sense your fear. One of the major symptoms is rushing the sales process.
3. Pay the price of admission—do precall research. To connect with large companies, you can't make 100 cold calls repeating the same line to everyone. Several years ago, corporate decision makers stopped answering their phones and rolled all calls to voice mail. They deleted most messages within seconds because they sounded like salespeople making pitches.