Our industry is full of sell-doers. You know, those independent consultants, owners of small firms and executives at large firms who spend part of their time serving as a sales rep for their business.
Do they want to be selling? Generally, no… but without a dedicated salesperson on their team, the responsibility falls to them.
And why don’t they want to be selling? Primarily, because they did not get into market research to sell, they got into it to do research. Selling is often a task they’re uncomfortable with, not trained for and just don’t like to do.
So, if you’re a seller-doer who doesn’t want to – but has to – get out there and sell, here are 7 behaviors you must employ to help drive more revenue:
Change your mindset. Your job is not to sell (old mindset)… your job is to help the prospect buy. You can’t make someone do business with you, but you can help them make a good buying decision. Understand their needs. Understand their problems. Understand their sense of urgency/timing. Then recommend the best solution. And if you can be part of that solution, then you’ve got a new client.
Remember this phrase, “Seek first to help…then to sell.”
Make selling a priority. At any given time – as a seller-doer – you might have to choose between taking care of a client (doing) and engaging in some business development efforts (selling)… and when you have to choose, taking care of clients always wins. And it should.
So, selling become a lesser priority. And every time you have to choose, selling falls further and further behind… until you just never seem to get around to it.
If you’re going to have any success selling… you MUST make it a priority. You MUST find those blocks of time when you do nothing else. No interruptions! No exceptions!
Do that often enough… and pretty soon, you’ve got a new habit. A sales habit!
Do a little every day. Part of making sales a habit (see #2 above) is to make sure you’re doing a little bit of it every day. And while you might not be able to make ‘sales calls’ every day, there is certainly time, every day, to:
- Connect with a few prospects on LinkedIn.
- Send out follow-up emails to nurture a relationship
- Participate in a LinkedIn conversation (inside the right group)
- Do a little homework on a prospective client before making your first sales call on them
- Make sure your CRM notes are updated
So, get to the office a little early, grab a fresh cup of coffee… and get to work!
It’s not just about new prospects. How long has your firm been in business? And how many contact names are in your sales database or CRM? Hundreds? Maybe thousands?
Rather than focus only on trying to stir up ‘new’ sales prospects, allocate some of your time to reconnecting with and reengaging with those folks in your database. Reaching out to these ‘old’ contacts is not ‘cold calling.’ They know you… and maybe even did some business with you a few years back. That’s a pretty good starting point.
And if that old contact is no longer at the firm?
- Where did he/she go? Then follow up.
- Who replaced them is and now making those buying decisions? Then follow-up.
Think Activity, not Results. You can only hope to influence a buyer’s buying decision… you cannot control it. And if they do have a project for you… you can’t control if it’s worth $10,000 or $100,000.
But what you can control is what you do. Your activity. So, set and work to achieve a series of “Activity Goals.” For example:
- # of phone calls every day
- # of emails sent every day
- # of demos each week
- # of capability presentations each month
- # leads generated at a networking event
Remember this, “Activity breeds results!” So, start there.
If you ink it, you will think it. The life of a seller-doer is crazy busy. It’s as if you’re juggling two jobs… because you are! And because the “doer” role tends to take precedence, it easy to lose focus on the “seller” side.
One of the best ways to not lose focus – and to ensure that all the activities that need to get done actually DO get done – is to write them down. Use a CRM… or your Google calendar… or a handwritten journal. It doesn’t matter. But write everything down and, as importantly, refer back to it several times each day to make sure you stay on track.
The worst thing that can happen during the sales process is to promise a sales prospect you’ll do something (even something as simple as sending them a few case studies, for example) and then NOT do it. That lapse in memory can kill the buying process, or worse, damage your reputation and credibility.
So, remember…WRITE IT DOWN!
Embrace networking. Old joke…
Question: “How can you tell an extroverted market researcher?”
Answer: “He looks at your shoes when he’s talking to you.”
In reality, that joke can be applied to almost everyone in a networking situation. Afraid to approach strangers…. unsure of what to say… lousy elevator pitch… and so on.
But the fact is, a person-to-person initial contact is THE best way to start a buying-selling relationship. It’s a chance to get to know the other person (even if just a little) and a chance to connect on a personal level. And if you’re doing that – and your competition isn’t – then you jump right to the top of the list.
Remember, “People do business with people they like”… and it’s awfully hard to get to like someone without ever looking them in the eye and saying, “Nice to meet you.”
So, if you’re a seller-doer for your firm and are finding the dual role a bit challenging – especially on the ‘seller’ side – then perhaps integrating the behaviors above can help you to be a bit more successful.
Good luck and good selling.
Looking for a few more selling ideas? Join us for our upcoming webinar, 14 Smart Selling Ideas for the Part-time Salesperson. Learn more at www.CupOfCoffeeWebinars.com.