Seeing diminishing returns from the same tried and tested sales tactics? It’s time to forget everything you thought you knew about converting a lead. The sales game has well and truly changed, thanks to the advent of the connected consumer, but too many companies are still operating along outdated lines and wondering why they don’t see an increase on their bottom line. You may think you know it all when it comes to proven sales tactics, but it could be time to rip up the rulebook. Here’s why you need to hop off the soapbox and embrace the world of social selling:
Feel the frustration….traditional sales tactics are dead. Image.
Your Feedback is More Important Than Your Pitch
One thing the internet has given us is the ability to connect with other customers and instantly find reviews on any product or service we may be considering purchasing. And now the tipping point has been reached where even the most polished sales deck will struggle to overcome the barriers raised by bad customer reviews. Make sure a large part of your sales strategy is proactively researching what feedback is out there by people who have used your service. Think about incentivizing happy customers with a discount or a small reward to tell their positive stories about dealing with you, and if you do find any potential problems, make sure that you work with customers to nip them in the bud. Social networking has amplified reactions, so a bad review can now spread faster and further. Building good positive feedback should be a concern of sales as much as customer care.
Find The Customer POV First
Instead of talking about the features and benefits of your product, you need to start listening; new sales success lies in truly understanding the needs and challenges of your customer, as well as what’s happening out there in the wider world that is affecting them. Good sales rely on knowing when to hold back almost as much of knowing when to pitch – you should only jump in if you can genuinely add value to a customer’s situation. This may seem counter-intuitive, but short-termism in business is being phased out, as people realize that the transparency of everything online now means that genuinely benefitting the customer will have a better long-term effect on the bottom line than forcing a deal to close a monthly target.
Be Where Your Customers Are
Sales success these days means joining in the conversation – with the aim of building relationships, not of pushing a sale. Put lists of decision makers and large-scale mail shots to one side, and concentrate on understanding and being able to add real value by knowing the market inside out. It’s all about the fuzz factor – reach out, engage, and make prospects feel good about themselves – with no hard sell. Its an approach that takes time, but people will remember you positively when it next comes time to source that internet marketing company or new CRM system. The ecosystem now is about making a solid contribution, and if you become known as a thought leader, opportunities will follow.