We are living in a fast paced world. Technology is changing the way we lead our lives and do business. Who had thought of Twitter or You Tube five years back? Yahoo chat is almost passé. Face book and Twitter are in. Prior to the 1990s pagers were used to send quick messages. Now SMS on the mobile phones is the way to go. If talking on the mobile phone is not enough you can have video conversations on a smart phone. There is no need to fly thousands of miles to attend a conference with business associates. Cisco’s video conferencing has facilitated real time conferencing right from your office with associates or clients in far flung places in the country and abroad.
The basics still remain the same. We still want to talk about a new car or a movie with a friend and business with associates. But the way we do it has been transformed.
The question is how much have you changed in these changing times as a person and as a sales professional? Do you use the latest sales techniques to leverage your business? Just check out how current is your sales skills? Don’t despair if you are lagging behind. With a little effort you can catch up.
Are Your Cold Calls Hot Enough?
Do you check out a company’s website before making cold calls? Do you check out a senior executive’s profile on the Internet and social networking sites, if possible, before making the call? Do you try to access the direct mobile phones of key persons in addition to the company landline phones? Do you send information about your product and company to the key persons via email before or after making calls? How do you make sure that your emails do not end up in their spam boxes? Do you wait hours for the office receptionist or telephone operator to put your call through to the senior executive or do you call the concerned executive after trying once with the office operator? You can do so and save time. You can offer an apology for calling directly making their “extremely” busy office telephone your excuse for doing so.
How Do You Qualify Prospects?
Ok, so you use Excel sheets to store your list of prospects. Smart enough! But, is your data of prospects stored on your laptop and can you access them via your mobile phone just in case the need arises? Or may be your sales assistant has emailed a hot list of prospects, can you check that email with your mobile phone?
The Use of the Internet and Social Networking
As a sales professional of the 21st century you should be actively involved in networking with clients, customers, prospects, suppliers, and anybody that can improve your sales. The best place to network in today’s world is the Internet – the social net working sites such as Face book, My Space, and Twitter. There are hundreds of networking websites related to specific activities or hobbies of its members. You should be in some of them depending on the nature of your business and the likelihood of finding your customers there.
Briefing the Customer
While meeting the customer and briefing about the product a sales person has to be specific and short. This is an age of information glut. Newspapers, magazines, books, TV channels, the Internet, mobile phones, office communications, and advertisement hoardings they are all keen on keeping us well informed. Your customer is being bombarded with information from all corners. An excess of information about the product will not register in the client’s mind. Be selective and pass on the most pertinent info about the product. If the person you are talking to is not technically very savvy do not over present technological details.
It is better to repeat selected info many times in the meeting or demo.
Stress on Customer Service
A few decades ago all salesman had to do was sell the product and calculate his commission amount. There was no or very little thought about customer service. This is an era where purchase decisions hang on the quality of customer service that a vendor offers. When other factors such as quality of the competing products, looks, and designs remain at the same level, customer service becomes the deciding factor. Talk about your customer service to new clients and follow up with your customer service department in case an existing customer has any complaints. Make sure that the customer gets impeccable customer service.
Our sales skills must change along with the changing times and focus on the latest trends. Dinosaurs became extinct for a reason – for not evolving. If you are not following these latest sales techniques your sales skills run the risk of getting extinct. To avoid that, your sales skills need to evolve now and stay in tune with the times.
About the Author:
I am actively involved in social media marketing and also write for the same. The book – “Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success” has helped me get a detailed insight about the growing need of social media in today’s net-savvy world. This book is a must-read for people who want to win business and build concrete network through social media.
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.
Copyright 2010 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.