First rule of Sales Club is... you always follow up. Second rule of Sales Club is... you ALWAYS follow up. Wastefully, 44% of salespeople…
Emulate the greats.
If you see them doing something, and it’s working, you should be doing your best to replicate their behaviour, especially when it comes to attitude and mindset.
Part of the following advice was inspired by none other than sales guru Grant Cardone.
1. Don’t get emotional during negotiations
Have you ever seen a salesperson freak out AND close a sale? Yeah, me neither.
It doesn’t mean you need to be cold, as a psychopath would be, but you must remember not to take things personally.
Your best asset, your best quality is your ability to stay calm and relaxed throughout the process. Your prospect is lashing out? As long as you’re not personally in danger, let them vent. You’re not the reason they are losing it. People want to be listened to, it’s a natural thing.
Be an active listener, say “I understand” or “I hear” you with intent, reformulate what seems to be important to them.
The greatest salespeople and the greatest leaders are the ones who manage to remain calm when everyone else is freaking out.
How do you manage to be that kind person? According to Grant Cardone: role playing is the key.
Sales leader Colleen Francis also spells it out for you:
Role play with your sales reps, teach them to prepare for the unexpected with scenarios…
Practice, practice, practice, and you’ll be confident about your job.
2. Go beyond selling
If you think that your job ends at the close, think again.
At Prospect.io, sales and customer success, or as Tami McQueen from 31south calls it, “the most important commitment to scaling a company“. are considered to be the same thing. Once we convince a customer to work with us, the sales team’s work doesn’t stop when the payment has been received. We make sure customers set up their account right, make their first prospects and get their first campaigns running.
To quote Tony J. Hughes:
The age of the empowered customer has kicked down those old cubicle walls that previously separated sales and service teams. Customers now expect personalised and unified information from the first person who answers their call, opens their email or reads their social message and it doesn’t matter to them which department they sit in.
Alright, it’s common practice in the SaaS industry, but let’s take real estate: getting the financing, getting the property appraised, the paperwork completed… that’s the work of a salesperson.
3. Know the difference between an objection and a complaint
Grant Cardone -yes him again, insists on the importance of differentiating actual objections from mere complaints.
While an objection is, in fact, preventing the prospect from agreeing to be sold something, complaints are just mentions of “unpleasant” elements about which nothing can be changed, such as the weather.
I don’t talk much about myself but this time I will. Besides my job here Prospect.io, I also teach drums -mostly to kids. My lessons are expensive, I tend to ask for at least twice my peers are asking. And I ask to be paid for ten lessons in advance. Which regularly results in parents saying “That is… a lot of money.”
Do you know what I answer?
I answer: “I understand. Do you prefer cash or bank transfer?”
I’ve been doing this for 4 years, never once the answer has been anything else than one of the two options presented above.
And if someday, a parent actually says “No, really, that’s too much money”, then I’ll start handling it as an actual objection.
Until it’s been confirmed to be an objection, it’s a complaint, which only needs to be acknowledged.
Also, Sean McPheat walks you through how to distinguish an actual objection from a simple excuse.
According to Ryan Stewman, Hardcore Closer founder: ‘The first objection is always a test, and 99 percent of salesmen fail it.’
Do you read this blog a lot? Then you know of we feel about persistence and follow-up.
There are things I just like saying over and over again. If you’re not used to following-up, you’re probably making this mistake:
‘Just checking in’
If you’re doing that or ‘Dropping by’ or ‘Touching base’, you’re ruining your sale yourself. How is this pushing the process forward? It makes you appear as shy and unfocused. Would you qualify any of the best salespeople on this planet as shy in their approach? Then why do you think it’s a good approach for you?
Ask for next steps, give your prospect ownership of the process. ‘What next steps do you suggest, if any?’
Also, because they haven’t signed with you after the first few emails doesn’t mean you should stop. Send them content they might be interested in, keep bringing value.
Don’t give up. Unless they tell you to, because then you risk getting sued. And we don’t want that.
But don’t be afraid. As sales trainer and business coach Lynne Jensen-Nelson puts it:
Worried about seeming “pushy” or “overbearing,” some salespeople fail to continue reaching out to potential customers. As a result, they miss out on sales.
She wrote a fantastic piece on the subject of follow-up, check it out!
5. The most important sale is to yourself
The only way you’re going to have the will and energy to try and sell that product, to persist in acquiring new customers is if you believe in your product.
Believing in your product is an essential part of being a salesperson. You need to be 100% persuaded that what you’re selling is the real deal, the real value bringer that your prospects deserve. But don’t just convince yourself, ask for feedback from customers, ask them to share their success stories with you.
It’s what will help you stay on top at all times or keep your head out of the water when times are tough.
… it’s not just about YOUR competition
As Mark S A Smith would say, the best way to beat your competition is to help your customers beat their competition.
That’s how you do it.
Follow these rules, don’t take yourself out of the equation, and you’ll manage to stay way ahead of the competition.
Share this with your favourite salesperson!