The Big 3 is a David Reid Group blog series designed to give you insight into the big issues in branding, marketing and selling. We break each topic down into three straight-forward points, so you can get the picture and get on with your day.
We take selling very seriously. We know it can deliver amazing results, fast track your growth and build a business that thrives. So, what is it that keeps professional sales people from making more sales? Surprisingly, it’s overlooking the basics. Let’s get the foundation right and look at the Big 3 of Selling.
1. Find the deal
A hallmark of good salesmanship is knowing how to find the right kind of opportunity. Many businesses are frustrated by salespeople who don’t possess the level of skill or desire needed to consistently find potential deals. In Perth, WA this is partly the result of strong demand driving customers to the door: many salespeople have simply never needed to learn proactive selling. Times are changing though and businesses need a lift in performance. So what does it take? Start by thinking through: “Who do we most want as customers?” and “How will we get to them?” Marketing intelligence will help with the “who” and there are only a handful of answers to “how”. You can:
- Proactively sell to your existing customers
- Leverage from those customers to new ones
- Drive a proactive networking strategy
- Go direct or – dare we say it – cold call
- All of the above.
As simple as they sound, each strategy requires the use of a different skill set to succeed. If your business doesn’t have those skills, you either have to buy them in or start developing them. Don’t delay – the sooner you start, the more deals you’ll get to see.
2. Read the play
So you think you have a deal? Many people fail to intuit if the opportunity they have found is ever likely to come to fruition. Put simply, is it a real deal or not? Failing to ‘read the play’ in this way results in wasted sales effort – costing valuable time and money. Reading the play requires answers in your mind to surprisingly simple questions: Are they the right kind of client for us? Do they need it? Do they want it? (Now?) Are they unsure? (Why?) Can they afford it? Are they considering alternatives? To get the answers, you’ll need to be able to ‘read people’, tuning in to the myriad of non-verbal cues that weave between what’s said and what’s not said. Not every customer is open about their situation: you have to ask the right questions, listen carefully to the answers, read between the lines and trust your sales intuition. The skills needed to successfully read the play and the people are often condescendingly referred to as ‘soft skills’ but they are every bit as commercial as the hard skills you need. Failing to pick up on non-verbal cues will cost you; you won’t adapt your relational style when necessary, people won’t be open with you and you’ll be at a loss to understand why you can’t do the deal.
3. Do the deal
If you’ve read the play and the people and there’s a deal to be done, you’ll need to work through your sales process thoroughly. Everyone has one; it’s a question of how good yours is and how good you are at it. A good sales process requires background research on the client, dealing with key decision makers, asking the right questions, dealing with objections, selling the value you offer, negotiating price and closing the deal. There are other steps involved but these are the main ones. Take you eye off even one of these steps and you run the risk of not closing when you really should.
While it’s easy enough for us to outline these crucial ‘selling 101s’, we know it’s always a challenge to get it right in your sales team. At DRG we believe we’re pretty unique in the way we understand and implement sales improvement. We’re highly experienced and, with your commitment, we can help you realise the ambitions you have for your business.
That ends our Big 3 series on DRG’s Bounty approach and unifying branding, marketing and selling. We will return to these topics again and again as we continue with The Big 3.
- Part 1 – DRG Bounty – Branding
- Part 2 – DRG Bounty – Marketing
- DRG Bounty – Uniting your Branding, Marketing and Selling
David Reid Group specialises in sales training, sales strategy, and sales improvement consulting in Perth, Western Australia.