Scientists predict that if you do an activity for 30 days you’ll break a habit. Sales do not come naturally to me. I know how to help people, give advice, or feedback, but asking for the sales – no way.
So I want sales to become more of a habit for me – natural, easy and graceful! That said, I don’t want just any sale. I want sales from people who I want to work with. I wrote a really fabulous article for Mint 360, a local real estate. I found I really enjoyed working with their team. So, I decided I wanted more of that style of work.
I decided to do an experiment, over the course of the next 30 days I devised a plan to drive more business and increase my sales within the real estate market. I asked my friend Sidney at Sales Native for his advice and we devised a plan to increase my confidence and work my up to asking for more sales in real estate. This is some of the advice,
Sidney advice is great, he said you’ll feel a bit of fear because you’re a writer and with that comes emotion. So, you’ll need to make a commitment to the process.
“I will commit to the next 30 days for myself, my team, my business, my suppliers and even my bank to follow Sidney’s sales challenge”
Congratulations to me I’ve just covered the first step to more sales. Now I’ve committed to removing the fear I’ll be unstoppable – whenever I come up against a challenge and I want to walk away or create an excuse I’ll go back to this saying.
Neuroscience predicts that when humans name the goal, visualise it, they are more likely to achieve it.
So, let’s name my sales target and see if I get the sales. So, I want 12 new sales this month and a pipeline set for next month.
Sidney reminded me that if my product or service needs more than one decision maker or requires a heavy investment then my goal might be to find partners to add value to your service, retarget former clients or pick an industry you want to target for your sales pipeline.
For me, it’s real estate!
Sidney said that the fastest way to more sales is by asking the right questions. Knowing how people feel about your product or service will help you understand the value you create in their lives. So, I asked these five or six questions of my customers:
Why do they use my product or service
How do they feel about my product or service
What do they love, what isn’t creating value for them
Would they refer me to friends
Do they find the price point is right for the product or service
Emotion can drive plenty of sales, if people love your product then they refer it to friends.
Yes, asking these questions was confronting and some of the feedback gave me the opportunity to improve my product or service or gain another sale.
Okay so, for me it’s referrals. I get referred around, which sometimes works and sometimes has not worked. I’ve been referred clients who I did work for and they never paid for the work. This reflected on the referrer who I thought saw me as free or cheap labour so I refused to accept any more work from that person.
Long before the sale, is brand awareness, interest in my product or service, then the decision to buy then the sale.
I decided to map out on a piece of paper my sales funnel. How do people come to know about me?
As I operate on referrals I don’t invest to heavily in advertising, social media or similar but realise that one day the referrals might just stop! So, my sales pipeline needs a review. These are the questions, I wrote down and answered:
Is my sales pipeline working?
How do you know?
What’s working and what isn’t.
If it wasn’t working I found out why and then simply stopped. Where I invest my time is really important to the success of this challenge so I decided to map out each day in sectors.
6:00 am get up early. Exercise then meditate and write as per my content schedule.
Then come 10:00 am get on the phones and pitch my services until 12:00 pm.
Afternoons are client pitching in person (meetings!) followed by more writing!
I explained to Sidney that I only have 2 clients in real estate, Mint 360 and a solo agent called Ben. He said that’s plenty – that’s one more than someone who doesn’t – such a positive man. His story is really interesting if you have opportunity connect with Sidney, he is based at Tyro FinTech hub on Clarence Street, Sydney and learn how he rebuilt his life after a business bust-up. It’s truly inspirational.
Rest of my clients are startups or companies looking for help before they launch products to market.
30 days is a short time to convert sales so, my plan is to find the audience that will convert the fastest so I feel the momentum and as we all know sales will cure all.
It’s easier to sell to someone who is ready to buy, so simple! So I contacted Mint 360 and I asked them would they refer me to friends? The answer is ‘we love you, of course, we will help you find more clients’. How lovely!
Social media, email campaigns, lead generation, websites, blogs, content, it’s a lot – when I help people build their brand online I do in-depth research which looks at the entire competitive landscape. I focus on only two funnels for clients and until they nail those funnels we don’t move.
All of these are fabulous tools to build brand awareness can remove the cold call but they are not a sale. So, over the course of 30 days, I’m going to focus content towards Facebook and LinkedIn (maybe Medium but see how we go).
People like dealing with people they trust so my aim is to build that confidence before a call and then ask for a sale.
I used all the information and data collected above and I wrote a sales script.
Scripting sales call means that you stay focused on the end goal – the sale. During the entire 30-day sales habit building, Sidney from Sales Native said I must also think about my vertical markets.
Sidney gave me this valuable advice and case studies to help focus me on next steps (after I’ve completed my 30 days).
Time is valuable so the work I’ve done above will make sure I don’t waste it on markets that aren’t a good fit for the product.
If you’re reading this and playing along, think about who your best customers are (or who you’ve had the most success calling in the past) and look for common attributes. So, mine is in real estate which other verticals could I target? Mortgage brokers, real estate analysts, loan providers – spring to mind.
For example, maybe you’re a builder so your verticals might be hospitality and retail. Or maybe you’re a renovation company and they’re finance and banking. Once you’ve figured out which verticals to target, you’re ready for step 2.
For me, I want to do business with local people. So I’m focusing on low hanging fruit in my local area. If cold calling research on LinkedIn or other online tools to type in what your customers would type to find your product or service.
Let’s say you’re looking for a renovation company who might benefit from your glass tiles.
Search “People who work in renovation” and/or “General manager” with the “Renovation” filter.
Voila — a list of potential customers.
People like working with people who live near them, so starting local is a good idea – you never know who that person knows.
Most people would rather pick up the phone and call. But, spending just a minute upfront will make you 100% more successful, so make sure you do it.
These days, we have hundreds of opportunities to connect on LinkedIn, Medium, websites, blogs – all your research on a person is done, so you just need to find:
Make sure you look up how to pronounce a person’s name. Nothing makes people more annoyed and less likely to listen than hearing their name being pronounced incorrectly.
You can also use a tool to make sure you are pronouncing it correctly like Name Shouts.
And if you’re still out of luck? Ask, “I want to be sure I’m saying your name right. How do you pronounce it?”
At this point in our chat, I say to Sidney “you know we aren’t really cold calling anymore – our brains have connected with the person just by reading a little more about them, it’s already a warm and friendly call.” “Bingo,” Sidney says.
Now let’s get to the sales script. First, say your name and your company, you need to sound confident and energetic.
After you say, “This is [name] from [company],” then pause for between 5 to 8 seconds.
Sidney said that knowing me I’ll want to jump straight into pitching, but he said, take a deep breath and say nothing!
This creates space for your prospect to rack their brain for who you could be. Are you a client? A former coworker? A current one? I thought this might be a little awkward and creepy – but I actually tried it, and it works.
Our goal is to then start them talking and prove you’re familiar with them and their company.
A good question is topical and makes someone smile but obviously keep it professional. If they seem receptive to chatting, ask them more questions! Keep in mind that your goal is to move them through your sales funnel.
Always use a positioning statement This shows your prospect you work with similar companies and understand their challenges. Always be closing.
Here’s a hypothetical positioning statement: “I work with real estate companies with five to eight sales reps on their team. My customers are typically looking to increase return rate on their sales brochures. Does that sound like you?”
Since you’ve pre-qualified them, they’ll always say “yes.”
Simply say, “Tell me more about that.”
Now they’ll explain their pain points and objectives and hello pitch time.
Whether your soloist, an entrepreneur, a creative, the best cultures are those that are transparent, encourage people to jump in and get things done. iI you have staff make sure you encourage a culture of inclusion and problem-solving.
For example, if you want a meeting with your staff’s uncle who is a perfect prospect make sure you have a culture where you can ask your staff and they can ask you!
If you’re calling a C-level executive or even a mid-level employee at a large organization, it’s likely you have to get past an assistant or front desk. Gatekeepers are more likely to pass along a director, founder or CEO than a sales call. So make yourself a founder or CEO!
When the conversation turns to why I called, I say, “I called to help.” This line usually stops the prospect in their tracks. From there, use a positioning statement like the one above.
Once they’ve finished explaining their pain points, repeat it back to them: “So, what I’m hearing is …”. your prospect at this senior level will never want to meet with you straight away, they’ll try in a few months or so.
So, before they can fob you off ask – “How about a meeting tomorrow?” If they can meet and they are just a little bit interested they will find the time to meet you.
Everyone wants to feel successful in life and work. And everyone wants to laugh, so make your prospects smile or laugh. Give them a chance to talk about their problems, and show them you might have a solution, you’ll improve their days towards great.
That means stronger relationships and ultimately, more sales.
wordpress theme by initheme.com