You’ll know how difficult it can be out there to maintain your effective pricing strategy. How often have you been drawn into a price battle with your customer, with the biggest threat going through your mind that you’ll lose the sale if you don’t discount?
We often discuss on our courses the value that you offer to your clients. Many salespeople forget how valuable your services can be to your clients, as you’re effectively helping them to create new customers for themselves, simply by being there for them. You have the power to make your customer base very profitable in their markets.
Preparation prevents poor performance. You know that. It’s the most obvious rule you’ve ever been told by your manager. But what sets you apart from the also-rans is the quality of your preparation. Here we take a look at what highly successful salespeople do to prepare for that first meeting with a prospect.
I’ve sat through literally hundreds of presentations by salespeople trying to sell me their products or services. And most of them have been from companies I have actually asked to come in and tell me about their products. Whether they were office furniture salespeople who wanted to kit out our new offices or recruitment agencies for new people in the company, I have sat through some real humdingers of presentations, I can tell you!
Of all the skills you probably need to develop most as a successful salesperson, but actually practice least, is the skill and art of negotiating to a collaborative conclusion. This may be because you think it has to be done in front of the client, and any practice would never prepare you for the real situation.
One of the most powerful strategies you can develop as a sales consultant, is the ability to manage, and effectively lead, the relationships with your clients. And if you adopt a strong profile with your best clients, it opens up so many avenues for you to identify further opportunities where you can assist them. When you manage customer relationships well, you prove yourself an invaluable asset to your client. Here are some ideas you might want to consider in driving forward the long-term business relationships you have:
Often, people will prepare their positions effectively before going into a negotiation, but find that they haven’t determined adequately enough what the other party’s perspective will be, and so create problems for themselves in the process.
Today, more than ever before, customers are looking at price as a key denominator in the criteria they use to judge the effectiveness of your offer. But many prospects are still hung-up on price and forget the cost justification to themselves or their managers. This element of buying criteria is influential but not overwhelming when it comes to progressing the sale.
You know that your products and services are better than your competition. You’ve checked them out and done your homework. You’ve seen off many competitors and they’ve bitten the dust in your wake. So why on earth would customers still use them instead of you? Unbelievable, yeah?
We often get sales people on our courses who have been employed for some time and have picked up some, erm, shall we say, ‘interesting’ habits! They may have been quite successful some time ago, but they have peaked or plateaued, and they want to go on to the next level.
Have you received sales letters in your in-tray? What happens to most of them? After a quick scan, unless they are offering something that will change your life right now with absolutely no effort or risk on your part, they are filed under ‘B’ (for ‘bin’).
Many times, when your prospect has had a chance to think about your offer, they come up with observations and comments that stall the progress of the sale. For whatever reason, they are yet to be convinced that you have the answer to their problems.
You’ve heard it said many times that it costs much more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing client. You can do the sums. There’s so much research to show how a partnership with a client’s business helps you achieve goals and targets in a way that struggling to get new business never could.
The quality of your questioning and listening skills can have a profound effect on your professional success in sales. Ask most prospects what skills they most admire in their suppliers’ representatives, and you can rest assured that ‘listening to our needs and wants’ will be high up their list.