Selling is always a challenge, but this year, it seems like we have even more to worry about: competitors increasingly offer lower-cost alternatives, finding true value propositions in crowded spaces is a struggle, and learning how to elude the gatekeepers that block you from decision makers hasn’t gotten easier. Then you’ve to waste time making cold calls that are never answered, trying to warm up dying leads, and struggling to close deals.
How are you expected to actually make any sales with all these obstacles to overcome?
Break Up Your Sales Routine
After calling a prospect several times and failing to make contact, you might be compelled to either give up or keep calling with no expectations of actually reaching the lead.
Instead, mix it up: try emailing this prospect – perhaps he simply loathes phone calls but always responds to email. You could also reach out on social media. Trying different ways to connect with a lead can garner better results than continuing to beat your head against the wall.
Be Respectful of What Your Lead is Telling You
You tend to look at the sales process from your own perspective, but imagine for a moment what it’s like as a buyer. All day long sellers call you. It can quickly become overwhelming to be pushed from dozens of sales reps, which can cause a lead to be rude.
Before it gets to that point, pay attention to what your lead is telling you, blatantly or subtly. If she keeps putting you off or avoiding your calls, back off. Be respectful of your prospective buyer’s need for space. Instead, send her an invitation to a webinar, a white paper, or another useful tool and then step back.
Push Through to Close the Deal Mindfully
You had the champagne chilling, ready to celebrate landing a big deal, but it slips through your fingers or else the lead keeps delaying a decision. The key is not to give up yet.
Ask your potential client questions like: what are the deal breakers here? And, who else are you looking at? Also, what is your budget, bottom-line?
If you feel like the close may be slipping away, get specific, remind your prospect why they were interested in you initially and unearth the hurdles to the close. Be assertive, but not pushy. It’s a fine line.
Leverage flexibility and creativity into the process: if your buyer is balking at the cost, re-work the solution, tailoring to the situation. If a competitor is offering a sweet incentive, see if you can match it.
Look for Leads in a Smarter Place
The quality of your leads is directly correlated to the results you’ll get. After all, if you are working with poor leads, you are on a dead-end street.
Depending on where you’re finding your leads, there might be better places. Like LinkedIn.
According to Sales Hacker, sales reps spend about 6 hours a week on LinkedIn, seeking leads. There are large, active groups bent on discussing the trends of your target industry on LinkedIn; find a few and start building connections by providing insight and value. This is a great place to find and nurture qualified leads.