In today’s small business world, the art of selling is changing rapidly. In order to adapt and succeed, your business may need to overhaul its sales skills and adapt new methods to meet the changing trends. Here’s how you can respond to trends that are transforming the sales landscape, and improve your own sales IQ:
- Know what Customers (Really) Care About: First, know what they don’t care about, like how “great” your service is; how “low” your prices are, and whether they might have been your customer in the past. Loyalty runs thin these days, and old sales platitudes fall flat. What customers do care about is how smart you are about their business; how you can lower their risk; and how strong of a reputation you’ve built with people they might know.
- Become a Research Racehorse: Given the multitude of information available online, you must come to the table equipped with a depth of information and knowledge about you target customers that proves your interest and attracts the prospect’s attention.
- Create Contagious Content: Increase your credibility and build awareness of your products or services by publishing content relevant to your customers. This is easier than ever to do online. Start a blog, or contribute to community sites in your industry or profession. Regularly post comments and participate in web communities and forums where your customers also participate.
- Sync up your Messages: Email, voicemail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other messaging methods must work in tandem. In fact, prospects expect it.
- Find the Real Buyers: Especially in the business-to-business world, more people today are involved in the decision-making process — but fewer of those individuals actually have the power to make a purchase decision. Learn to recognize the decision makers and bypass others without making them mad. One trick is to avoid leaving “tracks” such as emails and voice messages that can be forwarded back to the non-decision makers. Once you contact a decision maker, always mention the name of the non-decision maker and compliment their efforts, but say why you are working around them.
- Become an Expert at Online Presentations: Web conferencing tools have replaced in-person meetings, but holding audiences captive through a Death-by-PowerPoint presentation almost guarantees a lost sale. Taking the time to organize, design and build strong online presentations will quickly convert prospects into buyers.
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About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.