Sales is what will drive your business forward and whether you love it or hate it, you’re going to have to do it. But don’t worry if it’s not your particular area of expertise; there are a range of sales tools that can increase your chances of closing the deal.
Cold calling no more.
Steve Trehair, MD of Matrix Marketing, says that sales, and especially cold calling, has changed a great deal in recent years.“In the old days when people were doing cold calling, they’d pick up the telephone book, pick up the phone and start dialling. They had no knowledge of the company they were calling and almost certainly knew nothing about the individual they needed to speak to,” he says, adding, “A lot has changed since then. You still need to pick up the phone and make the call but today there are sales tools that enable you to access information about the company you are prospecting, its size and location and whether it might need your product or service. Importantly, you can get the name, job title and telephone number of the individual you should be speaking to. Asking for them by name means you’re not blocked by the gate-keeper receptionist.” What this means is that your sales targeting can be more focused.
Requalifying your lead is key.
Trehair believes that pre-qualifying who you are going to call makes an enormous difference to your chances of closing a deal. “The biggest mistake people make is to talk to the wrong person or to not know who they should be talking to. A good sales person probably has a 10% success rate in getting appointments. Other people have less success but you can improve the odds of getting appointments if you are talking to someone who has a need for your product and service and has the capacity to purchase it,” he explains. Prospecting is also product-specific, according to Trehair. Your product will determine the market you pitch to.
Getting your foot in the door is only half the battle won, however. “When you’re actually with the client, closing the deal is about how you frame the offer and your presentation,” he says.There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. You might be selling the same product but remember that you are selling it to different people. You need to tailor your presentation so that it speaks to the needs of the individual you are speaking to. And the more information you have about them, the better your chances of being able to do this effectively.