All businesses have a sales process, a way of getting your product out there into the market, but these processes differ greatly. From fruit ‘n’ veg salespeople shouting on the street, double glazing companies going door to door & here at Approved Index we pick up the phone for some quality conversation with prospective clients.
Different business sales techniques work for different markets, but there are some core business sales tips that should be kept in mind when trying to sell your product to web generated leads, whatever your market.
We have pulled together the 10 essential business sales tips that can help you close leads and focus on the best prospects first, thus speeding up the overall sales process.
1 – Fast response is essential. All businesses have competition, so don’t rest on your laurels. Contact qualified leads quickly. A fast response shows you’re keen to do business, and that you’re ready to help the lead with their enquiry. Creating a good first impression can go a long way to securing a possible sale.
2 – Sell the benefit of the initial conversation. A well thought out and clear idea of what you are going to talk about is important. Being able to explain the benefits of your product or service in a succinct manner will help you turn this initial conversation to a finalised sale.
Keep in mind the following when making that initial phone call
- Who you are
- Who you’re with (company name)
- What you sell (in very simple terms)
- How your prospect will benefit from your product or service
- A question to gauge interest of the prospect
3 – Recognise the importance of a well crafted email. Read our previous post on tips and techniques for business email etiquette for a full summary. But keep in mind formality, providing the correct information and making sure you email as soon as possible after the first phone conversation.
4 – Know your competition. Keeping abreast of what your competition is up to can be a great way to maintain competitive advantage. Know what they sell, prices and how they like to sell. Gather as much information as possible and it will prove beneficial when you’re pitching your business to the same prospects.
5 – Identify which type of lead you are dealing with (hot, warm, beauty parade, infinite loop, black hole) and invest time and effort accordingly.
- Hot (you are talking to the decision maker, and they have approved budget)
- Warm (the prospect has a genuine need, and is looking at options)
- Beauty Parade (the prospect is merely comparing the market, and may decide to buy if prices are cheap enough. Equally, they may have an existing supplier and simply be checking that they are getting a fair deal from them)
- Infinite Loop (you make contact, you send information, but then the requirement gets put on hold and remains there every time you re-contact, sometimes indefinitely. You never get a no, but never a yes either)
- Black Holes (you are never able to speak, or you have one conversation and send information, but the prospect never takes your call or responds thereafter)
6 – Make sure you capture prospect data in your CRM. Even if you don’t win the business on this occasion, keep the prospect on file and expand your contact list for future reference. A prospect may not want to make a purchase at present, but that might change in time.
7 – Highlight your successes to prospective clients. Make sure you mention previous successes and accreditation’s that the business has accumulated previously. If prospective clients can see that you’re officially recognised by governing bodies, and that you have completed work to a similar level in the past it will add an extra layer of trust between both parties. Gaining you that all important sale.
8 – Ask for feedback when you don’t win – but also when you do. This helps to refine your sales technique, and what you learn could mean extra business, by adapting how you approach prospective leads in the future.
9 – Do your research on each prospect (what do they do, where are they based), but not at the expense of being the first to call them. Going in there with some knowledge shows that you are interested and that you have made the initial move in researching the company.
10 – Agree next steps with prospect.”I will send you an email, and if you agree I’d like to call you back on Thursday to follow up”. Mention the next steps to the prospect then you and they have a clear idea of what will be happening next, and there are also no unexpected calls or emails that haven’t been pre-agreed. This will keep the sales process moving smoothly and in the right direction.