Summer’s over; vacation’s over and lame “everyone’s on vacation” excuses are over.
It is back to business; back to work and back to sales.
Back to reality: The economy still sucks; business is still slow and your competition is still cutting prices. Your customers are still paying slowly and you are struggling to create a difference between you, and the people you hate.
Reality: Concentrate on your economy, not the economy.
What can you do that actually creates new and renewed opportunities to sell? Plenty! But you have to renew your personal commitment to do more and work more.
Here are the elements you’ll need to devote time, creativity, and hard work to:
1. Understanding their reality. You’re down because they are down. You’re slow because they’re slow. Meet with them. Talk to them. Understand them. Help them, and they will reward you with both business and loyalty. Reality: Unless you help your customers win, you will continue to lose.
2. Value first. The more I espouse this philosophy, the more I am convinced it’s a key differentiator. Make a list of what you have discovered about your customers needs, and give them ideas to meet those needs. Reality: Value first requires a new mindset.
3. Value perception. Whatever you decide to do in favor of the customer must be perceived by them as valuable. Reality: If the customer doesn’t perceive it, then it isn’t.
4. Daily social media activity. Assuming that your policies and lawyers are coming to the reality that social media is dominating the world’s market attention, and are choosing to let you participate, get involved today. Begin your personal value-branding today. Goal yourself to gain 100 LinkedIn connections, achieve 500 Facebook followers who “like” you on your business page, and earn 250 Twitter followers who are re-tweeting the value messages you have to offer to them. Reality: Social media is the new cold call.
5. Differentiation. Decide on what’s really different about you. Not what you think is different or better, rather what your customers think is different or better. And then get customer video testimonials that support those differences. Reality: Testimonials are the only proof you’ve got.
6. Helping customers. If you know what your customers need, why not spend quality time actually helping them. Connect with them and offer genuine help. Reality: Even if they don’t accept the offer, you will win their respect.
7. Brand building. This is both for your product or service, and you. Reality: If you blog, have a personal website, and send a weekly email magazine, you can build both brands at once.
8. Creating WOW! There are huge opportunities right now to make a difference. Maybe it’s your email, your welcome, your delivery, your phone response, or your service. Reality: You’ll know it when you hear it.
9. Breakfast and lunch. These are the two best times for relationship building and sales meetings. Reality: You can combine this with Wow! by bringing a referral or prospect for your customer.
10. Creating and capturing IDEAS. The key ingredient to this entire “back to reality” process is your ability to generate and capture ideas. This requires new study, new habits, and new thinking. Reality: Ideas come from focused thought, an open mind, a positive attitude, and a renewed belief that you can do it.
10.5 Forget your “sales-pitch” and lose your “sales-pitch.” It sounds pathetically like your competitors. It never ceases to amaze me that a sales presentation that ends in “send a proposal” or “I want to think about it” or “no!” gets repeated over and over. Idea: Collaborate with the last ten customers that bought from you. They have all the answers. It’s time to revise and revamp your value proposition, and present something new and exciting. Reality: The more the prospect perceives value, the less that price will matter.
Reality: Sales have not stopped, they’ve just slowed down. Your value and hard work will ensure you more than your fair share.
For 18 years I have offered something extra at the end of each column. Today is no exception. If you want more information about what can help you win more sales now, go to www.gitomer.com and enter the word reality in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704-333-1112 or e-mail to [email protected] © 2010 All Rights Reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.