Sales Tips for Non Sales People
One of my areas of personal development recently has been sales (and frankly getting better at it!) and what has become more clear to me is that marketing a business and selling are two very different things. Although there can be some overlap, particularly for smaller businesses, being a great sales person and being a great marketer are quite different.
Successful selling is about more than just pitching your wares, you have to know how to close the deal and this means you need to be able to think like a sales person rather than a marketer (and yes, there is a difference!).
As a marketer, it is easy to get so excited about what you do, and to focus so strongly on your potential clients’ problem (and your solution) that you forget to think in terms of budgets and measurable outcomes and all the other factors that contribute to whether or not you will actually be able to close the deal.
As I have discovered, here are the things that must be discovered in the selling process:
- Budget – When working on attracting new leads you’ll need to think about how much the client or customer has to spend. Even if you have the best solution in the world, if your client doesn’t have the money to pay for it, all your efforts will be wasted. Knowing how much they want to spend can help you tailor your marketing to emphasise your value for money and show them how much they’ll be able to get out of their spend.
- What has and hasn’t worked – discovering what a customer has previously tried and how successful they were gives you a great starting point in your marketing. By doing this you can make sure you aren’t trying to promote something to your audience that they have already decided won’t work.
- Decision makers – who the decision makers are so you don’t waste your time pitching to the wrong people.
- Cycle – at what stage in the budget cycle your potential client is. Have they spent all their money for this year? What are their timeframes? This can give you a realistic idea of what to expect and when to expect it.
- How do they measure success? If you are in the B2B area, are your potential clients looking for new customers, increased sales or do they have some other measure of success? Knowing what results your client is looking for can help you tailor your strategy more effectively and ensure that you deliver the best solution for them.
Sales, so the experts tell me, is primarily about building relationships and if you are passionate about providing the best solution for your clients and giving them the best value you can, there is a better chance you will be able to build a positive relationship and successfully close the deal.