I love the stories that people tell themselves!
“I hate selling. I am no good at sales. I don’t like sales. I don’t want to sell. Does that sound familiar?”
We don’t have a choice but to sell if we want our businesses to survive. These hints and tips from Nevil Tynemouth, New Results Training, should set us all on the right course to making sales work for us.
- ‘There is nothing that you have to do, everything is a choice’
This is such a powerful statement. Every action (or lack of action) we take in our business is up to us. If we do nothing, that’s still our choice. We need to take responsibility for our choices and turn any negative thoughts about sales and selling into super Sparkly ones.
- Flip the negative association you have with sales
Sales = serving customers. We can all do that. Associating sales with helping people reinforces the positive message relating to our business processes. It reminds us that we are helping to solve people’s problems via the services or products we offer. Sales is helping.
- Write stuff down
If we write down plans, targets, opportunities and growth plans, the detail becomes more firmly fixed in our minds compared with we type it or just keep it remember our list in our head. Without written plans things slide – we need to get writing, doodling and using our favourite colours to make our plans stand out (But we need to action the activities on our plan!).
- The ability to sell relates to our confidence
Whether it’s through internal or external factors, we have to get confident. Here’s how:
- Knowledge gives confidence (knowledge, market, field) the more knowledge we have the better we feel;
- Positive feedback reaffirms that we are doing it right so ask for feedback from your customers. Evidential feedback is the most helpful because it can’t be argued with;
- Belief in ourselves makes us happier and this resonates in everything we do in our business;
- Qualifications are proof of knowledge, a rubber stamp of your abilities;
- Money gives us confidence. Price your products and services correctly and charge what you are worth. A lack of money can drive poor behaviour, we can appear desperate. We all have bad times running our businesses, develop the strength of character to focus beyond it and plan how to move forward;
- Find your talent. Knowing what we’re good at gives us all confidence.
- Some people choose to be happy, some people choose to be miserable – which do you choose?
- Practice makes Permanent (not perfect)
Practice the right stuff and if you don’t know how; ask for help.
- Recognise when you have had a good (SPARKLY) time
Record good moments, great deals and calls. Always reinforce the positive. Surround yourself in your work environment with items that force you to remember the good times.
- Do the absolute basics extraordinarily well
We all fall foul of trying to rush ahead and forget the basics.
- Think about challenging times in your business and how you resolved the problems and got through it all. Remind yourself of your successes.
- Find people to emulate
Surround yourself with confident people and learn how they do it.
- Don’t reinforce negative thoughts and behaviours
We all believe the stories we tell ourselves (and will adjust our behaviour accordingly) when we tell ourselves that we ‘hate selling’, we’re ‘no good at selling’, we ‘won’t be a success’, we ‘can’t do it’. We have to change our own dialogues with ourselves. [Check out The Fish Philosophy from John Christensen]
Ideas on how to win new business
- Networking: Target people to talk to before you go. Keep a track of your success at introducing yourself and any meetings, leads and business you win from developing relationships. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work the first time, keep going.
- Trade Fairs: Choose the correct fairs to attend and make a plan to speak to other potential collaborative partners and as many visitors as you can. Consider the time away, the travel, the expenses and other costs versus how many people you meet, leads, relationships and opportunities that start as a result.
- Social Media: An opportunity to deliver great customer service, collect recommendations, talk to people, find out what they like and dislike, build a community, show your skills, prove your value, run advertising and more.
- Ask for referrals: Ask happy customers who they think you could help. Do this in three stages:
- Who else (could I be speaking to)?
- What else (could I do for you?)
- Who else outside of the business would benefit from a similar approach to the one we’ve delivered for you.
- Advertising and promotion: Online, on social media and traditional advertising and promotion. Always track the outcomes, know how much you are prepared to spend and be very clear on the objective of the promotion before you run with it.
- Repeat business: Make sure there is nothing else you could do for a client by asking them what else you can do for them. Make sure they know the full range of products or services you provide (they may not be aware of them all). Stay in touch and nurture those relationships (personally or via online methods) and don’t let them forget you exist!
- Remember: it is often the case that 20% of customers give 80% of revenue.
- Tenders: get help writing tenders to make sure you meet all the criterion that the client needs.
Try this: Write a list of 30 businesses you’d like to work with. Pick the top 10 from the list. Work up a plan about how you’re going to approach them and work to make it happen!
Remember WTF – Where’s The Focus.
Where is your focus?