We try cold calling, and get ignored.
We send emails that don’t get read.
We get on social media and try to connect with our prospects … and then get their attention, only to be shut down quickly.
How are salespeople supposed to do their job if they can’t get the prospects attention?
Here are a few thoughts …
“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” Zig Ziglar
1. Most decision makers are extremely busy, and their time is probably their most important asset … you need to demonstrate that you will not waste their time.
- Get to the point.
- Have a compelling story, but don’t be hokey.
- Make sure you have the right person.
- Understand what is important to them.
- Don’t ask them to do your work. (Visit your website, point you at the right person etc.)
2. If a decision maker doesn’t know you then you are already at a huge disadvantage.
- Get referrals whenever possible.
- Get out and meet lots of people, while NOT selling. Get involved in the community, with charities, in clubs, etc.
- Use your network to get introductions and grow that network.
- Use your social media to provide value, NOT to sell. Become known as a thought leader.
- Find ways to meet the people you are targeting, without a sales pitch and hopefully in a non-threatening environment (industry organisations, networking groups etc.)
3. If you can’t get close to a decision maker, then get close to the people who are close to them.
- Executive assistants are great people to know.
- Receptionists wield a lot of power. If they put in a good word for you it often has influence
- Direct reports or even trusted senior employees might be able to help your cause … IF you build a good rapport with them.
4. The sales profession requires a short, medium and long term strategy. If you are not consistently working on your long term plan, then you will never get ahead.
- Work harder than those around you.
- Network more than those around you.
- Give back more than those around you.
- Take the short term wins, but always be working towards a longer term strategy.
- Build your credibility every day.
“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” Mary Kay Ash
Perhaps you might have other suggestions for the up and coming salesperson?
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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