Whether you are a small or a large business, a not-for-profit or an all-about-profit business, a local or an international business, whether you provide goods, services, ideas or even hope, at some point someone in your organisation is having a sales conversation.
We are constantly pitching our goods and services to customers, the benefits of our organisation to potential and current employees, and ideas to our managers and executive teams.
Yet, research shows that 55% of those who make their living in sales lack the necessary skills for success. These skills include technical sales strategies as well as the ability to have effective and consistent sales conversations.
There are many reasons salespeople are not successful. COVID has been a recent obstacle for many, but other reasons include lack of skill, lack of desire, lack of strategy and lack of effort.
One of the big issues we come across blocking the selling process is the fear of coming across as a pushy salesperson. No matter how thick-skinned or driven a salesperson might be, no-one likes to be rejected or to be seen as annoying, and this attitude undoubtedly impacts sales success.
Research indicates that:
- although 91% of customers say they’d be happy to give referrals, only 11% of salespeople ask for them
- salespeople who actively seek out and exploit referrals earn between four and five times more than those who don’t
- while 80% of sales require five follow-up calls after a meeting, 44% of sales reps give up after one follow-up call
- it takes, on average, eight cold call attempts to reach a prospect.(1)
Too often salespeople avoid selling conversations. This avoidance is costing organisations millions of dollars in revenue and salespeople themselves thousands of dollars in commission and bonuses.
What can average salespeople do to have more selling conversations and, ultimately, close more deals?
- Change their mindset. Great salespeople don’t sell, instead they share information about products and services they believe in, just as you would share the details of a new restaurant or movie you love.
- Add value. Great salespeople have more than just sales conversations, they have inspiring conversations in which they focus on adding value. At the end of the conversation or interaction, the customer will feel that they have gained something – for example, insight, information, a great deal or a connection.
- Speak in their customer’s language. Great salespeople speak to customers in their own language and will change their approach accordingly. If their customers are focused on facts, they present research; if they are more intuitive, an effective salesperson will tell stories and share case studies.
- Create and stick to a communication and call plan. Great salespeople are diligent and disciplined in their follow-up. This communicates reliability and engenders trust, strengthening relationships and ultimately leading to more sales.
- Remain graceful in all situations. Whether having a conversation with a favourite client about a new opportunity or a difficult client about a problem, great salespeople are warm, responsive and solutions-focused.
Above all, great salespeople know that every conversation is a sales conversation, with the opportunity to sell or repel, and every conversation offers an opportunity to amplify or diminish connection, trust, rapport and sales.
To find out more about our Sales Impact Program book a time to chat with us here.