Given the vast resources you have on-hand—search engines, websites, social media—buyers expect that you’ll come to every sales call fully prepared.
For instance, when someone calls on me, I expect them to know that I run a sales training company and that we’re a global business. If they haven’t taken the time to do some basic research and prepare ideas to support why we should even have a conversation, then I’m not interested. And since time is such a valuable resource, I expect them to use the time I have set aside wisely and efficiently.
One of the fastest ways to engage with buyers is to “show ‘em you know ‘em.” Whether the vehicle is by way of a phone call, in-person appointment or email, pre-plan your sales calls and make the most of the time you have in front of a decision-maker by following these three tips:
Make the topic relevant. Don’t make buyers bring you “up-to-speed.” Gone are the days when you could start the conversation by saying, “Tell me about what you do and what keeps you up at night.”Instead, do your homework. Prepare by researching their role, their business, and their industry, and make that knowledge evident right out of the gate. Not only will this earn you credibility, but it will also set the stage to expand the conversation on uncovering the business issues – and the measurable impact that these issues are creating.
What barriers are they facing to achieve the business’ revenue, cost, quality, or compliance goals? Then connect your solution to their business issue and, suddenly, what you have to say will become relevant quickly.
Include valuable content. Ever go to the hardware store, looking for a particular gadget to fix a leak? Getting advice from somebody who knows what they’re talking about makes the trip worthwhile. It makes you feel good about spending money with that business.
Likewise, any objective or outside insight you can provide into a buyer’s situation adds value to your communication. To pique their interest, be prepared to share a scenario of a client with a similar issue and most important, share why that problem was worth solving. Let the outcome of the story set the context for how working together will generate results.Bonus: it boosts your credibility. (Credibility is a common thread to be cultivated at all stages in building a business relationship.)
Use emotional triggers. What’s your reaction when you read a mass email? If I can tell that the same email went to a broad audience and had nothing to do with me as an individual, I’ll delete it. It’s a gut response.
So tailor your message to each. Carefully think about who you’re reaching out to. What would motivate them—from a business or personal value perspective—to stop and take notice? What internal or external customer, supplier or peer can you reference in the initial communication?
Include multiple emotional triggers to create anxiety, influence and motivation. This will increase the likelihood that one of the triggers will resonate with the buyer and prompt them to engage in the discussion for more information.
Every sales professional seeks a productive conversation that moves prospects further along in the sales cycle. To speed the process, discuss relevant topics, include valuable content and use emotional triggers. In doing so, you’ll demonstrate your expertise and more important; you’ll show ‘em you know ‘em – which is the key to engaging buyers and building a credible relationship to earn their business.