Your personal characteristics, skills, and professionalism can be the most powerful tools you use when looking to separate your brand from the competition.
With a wide variety of different sales tactics, books, seminars, videos, and other media being used in today’s marketplace, I find it interesting that very often people forget to focus on the most important factors of all when trying to find success in building their brand—building relationships and growing sales numbers. Let’s face it; all of us (including myself) have been guilty of this at some point. However, when planning to build your future as a successful salesperson, it’s important to take a look back at the fundamentals that helped get you to where you are today, while continually seeking out new ways to incorporate those wonderful tried and true factors into your everyday efforts. Wherever you are in your sales development—B2B sales, B2C sales, retail, etc.—these are some of the basics that can really make a difference in driving your path to success.
So whom do people buy from, anyway? Surprise, they buy from other people! What shouldn’t be a surprise is that more often than not people are inclined to want to like the people they do business with. It’s crucial to your success that you make yourself easy to like and always remember that it’s your focus on the “smaller” things that will really end up making a difference in your bottom line. For instance, something as simple as making sure that your response time to questions is consistently fast and efficient can have a very positive effect on your sales. Also, make sure you are paying attention to not only what you say, but also how you say it, as your voice inflection can make a world of difference in the message you’re trying to convey. Check and double-check your emails for spelling and grammatical errors. Trust me when I tell you that your voice and your grammar usage have a much bigger impact on your likeability than you may realize. Additionally, it’s absolutely crucial to analyze your follow-up skills and how you might be losing sales just because your follow-up efforts aren’t as strong as they need to be. But if you think about it, in your daily life, would you be satisfied with anything less than excellent follow-up when you are the customer? If you tell someone you will be following up with him or her next Friday at 10a.m., then you should make absolutely sure to follow up with him or her next Friday at 10a.m. In other words…BE PROFESSIONAL.
Paint a clear picture. This does not mean you should go negative on your competition or create a negative vibe during the sales call in any way. But you absolutely need to make sure that you are showing enough passion about your product that he or she will strongly consider the negatives if they don’t use your service. Create your story, tell it masterfully, and make it all connect. For example, what happens if the prospect makes the wrong choice? What could that mean to them? Will it end up costing them money? How about the potential for wasted time or service deficiencies? In other words, help them see into the future. Talk about how using your services will save them time and money, will help them avoid headaches and service deficiencies, and will help them operate more efficiently.
Focus on your services and on their needs. It’s important to quickly identify what they need. In a line of rational thought, get them to agree that any service that delivers what you have available is the one and only thing they need for their business. Then, once you agree on that product or service expectation, show them how your product/company is the only one that can exceed their required expectations. Ideally, you should show them how your company has a service or product quality guarantee that no one else in the industry can match.
Finally, remember who is the best—YOU and YOUR COMPANY. Compare yourself and the experience you can provide with the experience your prospect has had with the competition’s sales rep. Communicate who presents as more professional and more knowledgeable. Look at who had a better presentation and better follow-up. Make how you do business a CLEAR SIGN of how your company is an extension of you and the kind of service the prospect can expect from you. Paint a picture to the prospect that if this is the impression the competition presents when they are trying to earn your business, how are they going to perform when they already have your business?
By the end of your presentation, you should be so confident in your performance that you should be able to deliver this line: “If I’m not better or if you don’t get the feeling that I am at least a better representation of the company I work for, then don’t choose my company.”
Eric is responsible for developing and implementing the marketing and sales plan for Benetrends, the original 401k rollover funding company. As Director of Sales, Eric works hand in hand with Franchisors, Business Brokers and our clients to provide total funding solutions for the life of their business.
Prior to joining Benetrends, Eric spent eight years leading sales for Fortune 500 companies driving growth and market expansion. Eric has been a strong team leader, relationship builder, new business developer, contract negotiator and sales strategist. He is Six Sigma Green Belt Certified.
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