There are three Strategies you can start to employ today that will generate a significant increase in sales revenues in a very short period of time. Some of these strategies you will intellectually understand and know already. The key is to go beyond your intellectual comprehension and identify whether or not your tactics are in support of these strategies. If they are not, then you may be missing out on sales you should be closing and leaving dollars unnecessarily on the table.
Strategy # 1: The Power of Increase
When you look at most buying decisions, the issue at hand for the buyer is to eliminate pain or gain improvement. Any time you eliminate pain, you gain some kind of improvement in an area of your life. By solving problems for your customers, they will realize a gain in efficiency, sales, performance, career path, satisfaction, enjoyment, etc. All of these gains revolve around the concept of increase.
Everyone is looking for improvement in some areas of their lives. They may want to increase their standard of living, take longer vacations, increase their satisfaction in life and career, improve relationships, increase quality of products, improve their customer service, etc. Everyone wants to achieve a level of increase in some part of their professional and personal life.
Here’s the question. What increases in life are positively affected by your products and services? Once you have answered this question, the next question is are you communicating the value of your products and services in the context of the specific increases each and every customer is looking to achieve? In other words, are you customizing your message in the sales call to the specific increases that particular customer is looking for? Most people do not. We will come back to this issue in Strategy #3.
Strategy #2: Competition vs. Creation
In my book Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way, we share a story where one of my clients repositioned themselves with their key customer who in turn threw out a bid and awarded my client with a 10 year negotiated agreement worth over $200 Million. During the 18 months we worked on positioning my client as an invaluable resource, the client would ask the same question time and time again in our strategy meetings: “How is our competition going to react to this?” My answer was always the same. Forget about your competition. Concentrate on creating a new benchmark and your competition will take care of itself.
All too often companies worry too much about their competition and they fall into a zero sum game. They concentrate all of their efforts in beating the competition which only results in everyone doing the same thing and therefore being forced to do it a little bit better; Which in most cases means lowering the price. This strategy only leads to price erosion, commoditization of your products and services and missed opportunities for increasing market share.
Instead, you should be concentrating on creating new areas of value. Identifying new opportunities of solving problems no vendor has yet to achieve. Instead of fighting the same game everyone else is trying to win, you should be changing the game by increasing the bar and forcing your competition to play catch up. This is exactly what we did with this client and that’s why they were awarded the $200 million contract.
This concepts works for all sales situations not matter how big or how small.
Strategy # 3: Customer Focus vs. Self Focus
In my sales boot camps, I ask the audiences if they are more self focused or customer focused. The majority of the participants claim they are customer focused. At the end of the two day program, I ask the same question and they now claim they were self focused. Why? Everyone truly wants to be customer focused. Yet their actions throw off the perception of being self focused.
This is clearly evident when sales people “Puke” (see video) about all the features they have to offer vs. finding out what’s truly important. Selling products and services for reasons you think they should buy vs. their perceptions of what they truly want. All of you have what your customers need. But are you giving it to them the way they want it?
In his new book The Mirror Test, Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of Kodak clearly states that if you want to succeed in marketing today, you need to personalize your message around the specific needs of your market place. I take this a step further. If you want to increase your sales, you need to personalize your sales pitch around the specific needs and wants of the buyer. This means you need to ask better questions and listen more effectively. These two skills are crucial in order to build a value proposition that will compel customers to accept your offers.
All of you are asking questions. But the real BIG QUESTION is Are You Asking Enough of the Right Questions? Most people are not. This includes those selling professional services, key account managers involved in the complex sale and those selling products and services on a smaller scale.
Remember this simple message: People buy for their own reasons, not yours! Find out their reasons for buying and you will in most cases get the deal. Or, at the very least, your closing ratio will increase significantly, it will take you less time to close the deal and the deal will most often be more profitable than the deals you are closing now.
To learn more about this subject, please join me on Monday, October 3rd at 2pm ET for a free webinar where we will show you how to engage alliances as well as other strategies to immediately grow your sales. Click here to reserve your free seat now!
Check Out the November Sales Success Summit ’11 in Orlando Florida, an event destined to dramatically increase your sales success. Spend two days with me and I will personally customize ideas that have generated millions of dollars for my clients to your selling environment. This is a small group. Two days of personalized attention. Reserve your seat today by clicking here!