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15 Tips for Winning a Sale!

How many times have you been so close to closing a sale but lost it in the end? I have been there many a times. But I didn’t lose the lesson. Let me sum up my learning and guide you to make a successful closing.

1. Ask for the order:

If your prospect keeps postponing the order without any real reason then they are trying to avoid you. You need to have the courage to ask them for the order and hear their real objections.

2. Qualify, Qualify, Qualify:

In the prospecting stage, we all make this mistake. In order to have as many prospects as possible in our pipeline, we try to qualify in a hurry and let some prospects into the pipeline but in reality they aren’t ready yet or do not have the need or money or both.

3. Probe, Probe, Probe:

Ask as many questions as possible during the sales process. Questions only lead you to find the real objections, find the real needs, know the budgets, get to know the decision makers and buyer’s perspective of your brand / product / company.

4. Face the objections and solve them:

Unless you face the objections and solve them you will lose it to your competitor. If there are no objections, then it means there is no need or you simply haven’t sold enough.

5. Assume you have won the order and talk about the next steps:

When you reach the closing stage in the sales process, ask them if they would need the delivery in a week or can they afford to wait for a fortnight. Would they prefer to get their people trained at their office or at your office?

6. Nurture the prospect:

Create the need if there is no need in the first place. Make them want it. Keep feeding them. Grow the relationship. Become the only face to remember for their needs.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs

7. Figure out the reasons why they will not buy:

Early in the Sales Process, write down the reasons the prospect may have for not doing business with you or for not buying now. Try to address those. If it’s not possible to address them, drop it and move on to the next prospect.

8. Read the buying signals:

Have you implemented this for any other customer in our Industry?

What’s the RoI?

Can you provide me a cost savings calculation with your solution Vs competitor’s or Vs current systems.

How long will it take for you to deliver?

9. Align with the buyer’s journey:

Understand what stage the buyer is in right now and align with the buyer accordingly. If you are behind, it will be an insult to the buyer and if you are ahead then it would mean you are jumping the gun and in a split second the buyer would have got his reasons to reject you. Now, the prospects do their homework online prior to calling you, the salesperson.

10. Be confident.

11. Be Persistent. This is the key.

12. Build Trust. No one wants to do business with someone who is not trustworthy.

13. Be Patient:

It’s a marathon and not a sprint. Sales is not a sprint but a marathon!!

14. Put their needs before yours.

We get it. You have monthly targets to meet. But that’s not the prospect’s problem. They are not there to solve your problems. On the contrary, you are there to solve their problems.

15. Help them buy. Don’t sell. Ever.

All of us like to buy. Don’t we? We think the product or service that we are buying is going to make us a super hero. It is going to make us look modern. Belong to a cult. Put us in the upper crest. Will help us reach our goals. Make us knowledgeable. Make our lives easier, comfortable and efficient. Now, help the prospect achieve his / her goals and help them buy.

Happy Selling!! [I hear you ask: doesn’t this contradict the 15th item above? :)]

 

 

 

 

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Create Content else Curate Content!!

Today Customers are better informed than the Sales people themselves. They do all the homework before calling you for a discussion.

Content is King, as they say. And Marketing is the new Sales. Though it can never replace Sales, Digital Marketing & Inbound marketing is a given. And businesses need to invest in it.

So, how to create content?

  1. Make a list of what your customers are looking for. And write about them.
  2. Problems faced by your customers and probable solutions for those problems.
  3. Reference guides in your industry – trade them in return for email ids.
  4. Best Practices – will show your thought leadership on the subject.
  5. White Papers – can be completely unbiased on any topic. Need not narrow down to only what you sell.
  6. Approach Papers – what will be your approach for any given situation.
  7. Case Studies – what did Customer A do when faced with a certain issue and how did he become successful with your product or service.
  8. eBooks – helpful resources for various tasks or problems.
  9. What to do in any situation or what not to do – if you help your customers when they are stuck, there is a good chance that they will remember you when they are looking for what you are selling.
  10. Customer speak – not just testimonials but capture in depth customer experiences.
  11. Expert Views – collect views from experts in your area of operation on a particular subject and publish them.
  12. Events – Talk about the upcoming events in your Industry or your experience in a just happened event.
  13. Podcasts – nothing like a talk show and it will be interesting if you can invite industry experts for the show.
  14. Demos – You can have a YouTube channel to give a sneak peak in to your product.
  15. User guides – Let it be easy for your customers to locate them online.
  16. Last but not the least, Curate Content: it is not that you are the only expert in your industry. There are plenty of them out there. They are creating good quality content as well. Curate them. This should add to your credibility.

Happy Creating and Curating !!

Happy Selling!

For any help in Marketing, Sales, Startup Consulting or CRM Software, please contact me at:

kannan @ zignalytics dot com

#marketing #sales #crm #startupconsulting #digitalmarketing #inboundmarketing

Keep your Content Fresh!! Always!

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Your Greatest Weakness is Your Greatest Strength!

Sales People are by far the only ones who do not stop learning. Yet they feel inadequate and identify areas of improvement. And continuously they upgrade, refine & groom themselves.

Your Greatest Weakness is Your Greatest Strength!

Identify your Greatest Weakness / your business’ Greatest Weakness and you will be on your way to achieving Great Success.

Some thoughts to help you identify your weakness:

  1. Customers are smart. If you fit the bill, you are in. Else, you are out. It’s that simple.
  2. It is all about Perception. How do customers perceive you? What you think about yourself does not matter. What matters is what other people think of you.
  3. First impressions last longer. So work harder and give a good first impression to your customers.
  4. Dressing up well to give a Professional outlook. Or having a sparkling office that readily proves your worth.
  5. Giving respect to Customers.
  6. Asking for feedback.
  7. Your knowledge on your Product or Service.
  8. Being in tune with times.
  9. Customer Experience. In every step of the buying process and beyond.
  10. Being Sincere.
  11. Showing utmost seriousness in solving customers’ problems.
  12. Ensuring that the excitement that you created around your Product / Service stays forever. Or work on that and keep the excitement on.
  13. Delight: Always having something to surprise the customers.
  14. Easily accessible, no waiting time, more parking space, to the point, forward looking, well meaning, helping & solving problems.
  15. Adding Value. Don’t you want to move up the value chain?
  16. Working with you & your business adds to the Customer’s Brand Value.
  17. Do your existing customers vouch for you?
  18. Meeting your existing customers regularly.
  19. Does your Customer Service team meet the demands of your customers and generate more business from them?
  20. Are you an early adopter of Latest Technology?

Do you have any thoughts on this. Share your valuable thoughts with us.

Happy Selling!!

For any help in Marketing, Sales, CRM please contact:

kannan@zignalytics.com

 

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Sales is not a sprint but a marathon!!

I happened to watch a portion of a documentary on marathon running. What I learnt is that it calls for more preparation than what is required for a sprint. Endurance is key for a marathon.

While speed and agility are important for a Sprint, one should save energy and stay in the game at a consistent pace, to be successful in a Marathon. But both require stringent practice. It’s needless to state that the training is completely different for each.

What can we learn from these and apply in our day to day Sales situations?

  1. Sales is not done on a level playing field.
  2. Techniques are for short term whereas in the longer term these simply don’t work.
  3. While a good start can give us a boost and make us look confident, it is only consistent performance that is going to keep us in good stead in the long term.
  4. Practice makes us perfect. So, let’s start practicing.
  5. Each situation is different. It may be a well laid out road / a pathway / a narrow path filled with stones or thorns / an uphill or downhill and it may rain / shine. Just like running a marathon, Sales situations also call for using our judgement on the ground.
  6. We should use our limited resources in a rationale manner.
  7. Let’s be prepared for the long haul.
  8. We may have to incorporate changes [slowing down or picking up speed] as we go along.
  9. We should focus on the rhythm and keep going forward.
  10. We should have less burn out for maximum productivity.
  11. We should know the route map well and be prepared for the encounters on the way.
  12. Most importantly we should enjoy the journey.

Some portions of a marathon resembles a sprint. So, the techniques will come in handy. We must be trained to handle such sudden sprints as well. And we should respond with speed and agility when the situation demands.

So, Sales is not just a marathon but a “series of sprints” as well. Success in one sprint or couple of sprints don’t guarantee success in the marathon. Marathon is a different ball game altogether.

If we know how to enjoy it, it will be a breeze.

Happy Learning!

Happy Selling!!

Contact us at:

sales at zignalytics dot com

#sales #salestips #crm

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An Interior Designer reveals his secret!

I asked him how me manages his customer data, in the hope that I will generate interest for a CRM.

He is my friend. And it was a casual conversation. He laughed & said “we don’t have too much data to manage”.

What he said after that makes sense.

He said that he & his team complete the interior designing of a flat or a villa or an office space & hand it over to customers. We make sure that they are happy, he said. They refer customers to us & most of our business comes only through word of mouth & referral, he added.

He said, he mostly gets invited for the inauguration of the property. It is there he meets his prospective customers. Now there’s the secret sauce. Hang on for a second. He said, if those people, his customer’s friends & relatives, who come for the inaugural function, like his work, they will take his business card & call him when they have a need.

This is nothing but in-bound marketing coupled with social proof, touch & feel & non salesy approach all put together. What more can you ask for? He has all the relevant marketing strategies with right mix & proportion. It is a well oiled machinery. It will take care of itself.

He should only concentrate now on deliveries, quality, speed & customer satisfaction. Fantastic, isn’t it?

Some pointers for us, to work on:

  1. Be where our customers are.
  2. Be non-salesy.
  3. Provide social proof.
  4. Let the word of mouth spread.
  5. Provide good customer service.
  6. Create a community of happy customers.
  7. Let our customers touch & feel. Test Drive, Free Trial, Freemium, Freebies, what have you?
  8. Get referrals. No sales involved with the referred prospect. Our customers do the marketing & sales for us.
  9. Pick up the phone. Meet face to face.
  10. Be friendly. After all, we don’t live to sell or do business & make money. Only.

Happy Marketing!

Happy Selling!!

sales @ zignalytics .com

#marketing #inbound-marketing #wordofmouth #referral

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Where do you get ideas, ask my friends!

It makes me think. Where do I really get ideas to write?

It’s a beautiful rainy day. Sitting by the side of the window in our beautiful office, my thoughts are flowing and my fingers are typing them as they flow. It’s 10 past 6 in the evening.

Except for the occasional interruptions I have from the notifications on my android phone [I hate notifications], I am not disturbed at all.

I get inspired by the daily events in my life and the conversations I have with others. And the conversations I have with myself too. 🙂

The other day, a friend told me that he doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings. Wow! That’s a good behaviour. But is it possible to live like that?

Let us examine this in the Sales context.

You cannot afford to hurt customers. No matter how rude they are.

You may not agree with them all the time. But you need not express that in a way it hurts them.

The work around is to find a solution to their problems that fits them in all sense. That would make them say “Yes”.

Some thoughts around this:

  1. Proposing the right solution
  2. Increasing their productivity
  3. Cost savings
  4. Easy to switch, use & adopt
  5. Low maintenance cost
  6. Availability of resources
  7. Future road map, upgrades, new features
  8. Far easier to exit.
  9. RoI
  10. Vendor commitment [that’s your commitment]

We have got their back covered. There cannot be any more objections. The question can now only be: “How soon can you deliver/implement?” or “where should we start first?” or “what variants/options do we have?”

Look for those buying signals.

Close Deals. Win.

Happy Winning!

Happy Selling!!

sales at zignalytics.com

#sales #closing #artofdealingwithclients

 

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Great Conversations start with empathy

All of us humans have a basic need to be understood. What we stand for, why we do what we do, where are we going & what gives us satisfaction. This is the core of all human beings.

Let us think for a moment when was the last time we had a great conversation with someone. If you go deeper into that conversation you will understand that it was EMPATHY that struck a great conversation.

Even your foes will listen to you if you empathise with them. And may finally agree with you and even work with you. Who knows, you both can even become great partners.

In Sales, empathy plays a very important role.

Customers will do business only with someone who understands them completely.

It is great conversations that lead to great relationships. In Life and in Business.

So, how do we start and have great conversations?

Some thoughts:

  1. Ask open ended questions – for ex, what gives them energy and/or drive?
  2. Acknowledge their work, achievements & challenges.
  3. Admire their +ve qualities.
  4. Ask for advice.
  5. Talk about something that you learnt recently.
  6. Share interesting anecdotes. Who doesn’t like to hear stories?
  7. Talk about some challenges you faced & how you dealt with them.
  8. Keep up the momentum. No dull moments ever.
  9. Move forward: Always talk about your dreams, goals, ambitions.
  10. Deliver Juice: Some ideas that will make you both travel in the same direction together.

Happy Conversing!

Happy Selling!!

#greatconversations #sales

sales at zignalytics.com

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Which part of your Life you enjoy the most?

Let’s be honest.

What causes Stress? Or what makes you feel energized and rejuvenated? What makes you feel great? What makes you feel stronger as an Individual? In short, what gives you happiness?

For most of us, it is not the WORK that is enjoyable or one that gives happiness. Reality.

So, where’s the problem? Let’s figure out.

Our life should be our message. Our work should speak for itself. We should enjoy it. Just like how we will enjoy a holiday in Hawaii Islands.

And we should have made significant contributions to the area of work that we do and people readily identify us with that.

Is it easy to find such work? Definitely not.

It is a hell a lot of work to find something that touches our heart, soul & mind. When you find something that does, I think you should make it your life.

One can start listing down what he/she hates and gradually move to what he/she loves. This will guide us in the right path.

Sales is a tough job. No doubt. But I think the Sales Guys are a different breed altogether. They are natural problem solvers. Entrepreneurs. Social networkers. Even before the so called social networks came into the picture. They jump up and down when they get orders, howsoever high they grow in their careers. They are childlike people. Always cheerful and energetic.

Have you ever seen a kid’s face when he/she is given a chocolate sundae. Worth a billion dollars.

Treat your Sales Folks with love and respect! They deserve every bit of it. It will make them even more confident and successful.

Celebrate Work!

Happy Working!!

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Freedom from Fear!

If we think deeply on what’s stopping us from realizing our goals, it is nothing but FEAR.

Fear stops us from realizing our true potential.

But fear can be good as well. It can help us address problems early and solve them. Sometimes even before we encounter them. But solving problems before we encounter is being over cautious. That’s not necessary.

More than Planning and Execution, what is important is this: Persistence. That is the single most important ingredient for Success.

Persistence can be the antidote to Fear. There’s nothing that cannot be achieved with Persistence. Simply nothing.

In Sales, we have fear of rejection and that stops us from even approaching a client. The bright side is that there are a million Opportunities worth pursuing. There is someone whose needs you readily match. Find them. Get them. In the process, you will lose many opportunities, but that’s fine.

Fear need not be feared but needs to be addressed and overcome.

In Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, there’s a RED hat that signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. It is important to address fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.

Even to Lose a game, we need to first PLAY.

So let’s PLAY without FEAR.

Happy Playing!

Happy Selling!

sales@zignalytics.com

#sales #fear #persistence

 

 

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Two Peas in a Pod!

That’s exactly how you and your customer should look like.

The phrase “Two Peas in a Pod!” means “Two people who are very similar, typically in interests, dispositions, or beliefs”.

They say opposites attract each other. But that’s not true in Sales! At least.

Customers do business with people whom they like. They find excuses, reasons & justifications to do business with them. And they like those that are just like them. That’s not strange.

I have been in a number of sales situations and have studied them deeply. What I found is that Customers will go to any extent to buy from you, if and only if they like you. And the reverse is true as well.

Sales is both an Art and a Science!

When you analyze, you find that, more often than not, Customers buy from People who match their Interests and Beliefs.

Early in the process, it is very important to understand the Customer deeply and quickly align with them. Just like how a chameleon changes its colour depending on its surroundings.

Humans can be manipulated they say. But I believe that manipulating our own self is much easier. Build yourself to what the customer wants if you want to strike a deal. I am not talking about those ruthless, unethical customers. Those are exceptions.

How can you become “Two Peas in a Pod” with the customer:

  1. Find customers whose interests & beliefs you readily match. There are plenty out there.
  2. If not, match the interests of the customers you meet. It’s called aligning with the customer. Only if it makes sense, that is.
  3. Treat their problems as your own.
  4. Have the customer’s perspective.
  5. Partner with them.

Years ago, before I became an entrepreneur, I had a colleague who worked in another team in Sales. Whenever he met any prospect or an existing customer he used to smile, just like all of us do. What’s different is this: He used to repeat the last two words in every sentence that the customer spoke. He didn’t undergo any training to do this.  He was doing the same thing whenever he spoke with any of us as well. This probably helped him get Social with the customer. Worth emulating, right?

What are your thoughts on becoming instantly like-able?

Share your thoughts and comments with us.

Write to us at: sales@zignalytics.com

#sales #twopeasinapod #likeable