Put Your Heart and Soul into Selling – Increase Market Share

When you work as a professional salesperson in any industry, the only way that you will achieve a dominant market share and a good income is through putting your heart and soul into the selling process. Over time that will help you with building your business and your income.

Professional selling requires practice, good market knowledge, excellent product knowledge, and total personal commitment. Not all salespeople will check all these boxes when it comes to personal performance and business focus.

It is worthwhile saying that many salespeople are not totally committed to the task and the clients that they serve. They prefer to work the hours of an ‘order taker’ and not a top salesperson. That being the case, it is better for them to work in customer service. Let the front line sales go to those people that know how to encourage the transaction, and value to the customer, and grow the relationships over time.

So let’s go back to the point that top results require a top salesperson with a quality level of focus. Here are some points around which you can build your sales business and your leads and opportunities:

  1. Most customers and clients don’t want to be an experiment when it comes to placing an order or achieving a result. They like to know that they are working with the best people in the industry with the best product or service capability.
  2. Providing you have a top quality product or service to supply, most of the upcoming new business that you will generate will come from personal relationships established over time. This then says that you will need a good prospecting model and contact process to implement with all of your clients and prospects. It is a personal process that cannot be delegated.
  3. It may take three or four attempts at contacting the person before a meeting can be arranged. It may also take two or three meetings from that point onwards to establish a potential sale or order. Consistency and persistence within your prospecting model will be essential to building market share.
  4. Enthusiasm, knowledge, and trust are key elements to the client and customer relationship. Most of the people that we work with will want to see all of these elements before they share their business opportunities with us. Those salespeople with lower levels of integrity or attention to detail will usually not last in any industry over the long term.
  5. It should be said that people like to do business with the people they know and trust. Top salespeople rise to the top of their industry due to the levels of trust and the relationships that they have established.

Whilst the process sounds basic and simple, many salespeople overlook the necessity to follow through on the points of establishing new relationships and strengthening trust with their clients and prospects.

Forget about the need to make a sale, and focus on the relationships that you require; the business will come your way over time. Put integrity back into your selling processes.

Get Serious About Prospecting in Sales

When you work in sales and it is a major part of your career, you should be very serious about prospecting.  It really does not matter how long you have been in the industry or in your career, the prospecting process should not stop.

Here are some rules to help you understand this important priority:

  1. If you have been in your career for some time and you have an established market share, then you should be prospecting for 2 or 3 hours per day.  Half of that time should be devoted to existing contacts whilst the other half should be devoted to new contacts.  Do not overlook the requirement to find new people to talk to.
  2. If you are new to your career and have few contacts of any type, then your prospecting time should take up at least half of your day and in that case over 4 hours.  The research required to make that work should occur outside of those hours.  Use your prospecting time to make calls and meet new people.
  3. Make at least 40 to 50 outbound calls per day. You will need a tracking system and database to help you there.   Monitor your calls to meeting conversions. Also track your meeting to new business conversions.
  4. The way to get your ‘head’ into the process of productive prospecting is to understand that you are a ‘specialist’ in your field and that you are calling to see if the person has a need or an interest.
  5. Understand the best segments of your market and the best clients to keep in contact with.  Maximise your efforts in the productive areas and segments of your market.
  6. If you are new to prospecting, you may require a script to help you get started.  After 3 or 4 weeks the process becomes more natural and you will not need scripts to keep you on track and professional in your call connection.

To make all of this work, you will need a good time management process that allows you to do the right things at the right time.  Prospecting and cold calling should become a regular daily event in your diary.  It has to become a habit.

Networking Tips for Sales Teams

In sales today you must build relationships.  It is those relationships that will bring you long term business rather than short term gain.

If you put a networking process into your prospecting model, you will see better results from a customer and sales perspective.  So how do you build a networking process?  What do you need to do?  Here are some ideas to help you.

  1. Encourage friendship and common interests.  Find out what the prospective client likes to do and what sport or interest they may have.  Providing their interests are legal and ethical, get involved and do something with that prospect through that common interest.  Ask them to join you at the golf course, a sports game or theatre event; whatever may be of interest to them. Involve their partner in the process if that seems appropriate.
  2. Keep the prospect up to date with market or product updates that can help their business.  Invite them to product or service information workshop and industry briefing.  Let them test out some of your latest products or services.
  3. Get some other people in your team involved with the client so that the relationships broaden.  Have your most experienced people touch base with your prospect.
  4. Have frequent coffee meetings or go to lunch.  Keep those meetings of high value but not overly long to interfere with the client’s business day.  Show respect for time and the client.
  5. Introduce the client or prospect to other like-minded clients of yours that you have worked with for some time.  In this way the friendships can be built.
  6. Show interest in the clients business and put one of your experienced team members into the clients business for a few days or a week (at no cost to the client), so the systems and processes that the client operates with can be fully understood.
  7. Give the client some samples of your latest products to use and test.  Ask them to give you feedback ‘as an industry based response’ for your head office team.

A lot of this may seem common sense, although experience says that much of it is not done enough today.  When you get really involved with your prospect or client by giving them some tips and ideas to save them money or time, your long term client relationship will start to thrive.  Good relationships and networking in business today are built from valuable contact.