Suppose your VP of Sales would task you to gain twelve new good quality customers in the next quarter. How would you go about that? What would be your plan? Where do you start? Who would you target? What is your approach? Let me share with you five steps that lead to guaranteed success. The plan has similarities with creating the world’s best cocktail (so you will remember):
- Know your strength and replicate it. Use ingredients you know best; Ingredients you know the look, taste, and smell of. Don’t target prospects you are unfamiliar with. Look at your top customers and find prospects with similar profiles. The result is a confidence-inspiring target list of prospects based on the following segmentation:
- Who are your best accounts?
- What industries are they in?
- Why did these customers trust you?
- Why did they change their business to you?
At the first meeting with these prospects, you will have instant credibility. For many, you know already their business pressures. You have previous experience in understanding where their challenges and issues interconnect with what you know best. You have stories of similar business cases to share and satisfied customers to prove it. You can sell with the buyer’s perspective. Put this into an Excel sheet. This is your base, your foundation. Now let’s find out what else we put into the mix.
2. Who is your audience? For the best cocktail, you need to understand your audience. Why would they buy from you? What is their interest? Target middle management first, then their bosses. Executives are strategic thinkers; they are interested in growth, competitiveness, and profit. They are not interested in product details, but they do want to know if you have been consulting with others in the buying group. Test your business proposition with as many stakeholders as needed until you are confident you have a great business case to offer. Talk the Executive language; Get right to the point, see yourself as a peer and talk about what you can do strategically for their business.
3. Inspire with movers and shakers. You are not going to win these accounts based on tiny little differences. The business of these type of customers is complex; hence only groundbreaking strategic advantages will make it to the boardroom;
- Share market trends that may drive a need for change
- Understand and appreciate their current objectives
- Challenge if their current results are good enough
- What needs to happen to make it great?
- Share ideas and insights to help with their objectives
- Help stakeholders to see that their current set-up may not deliver the results they are looking for
- Describe how a future state can look like
4. Blend. A cocktail from soda, grenadine, and a cherry on top will not be the winners of tomorrow. You need to mix your activities. Jeb Blount introduced blending as the success of the new normal. Approach your prospects how they prefer to buy. Ask yourself which communication type is the most useful and effective for the buyer. This varies by stakeholder and their situation:
- When does communication need to be face-to-face?
- When is a phone call better?
- When is the right time for a video call?
- How should you apply the mix of emails, social media, video messages, and WhatsApp?
- Blending and virtual selling let you reach stakeholders you could not meet before
The final but most important step:
5. Successful recipes are always documented. What a waste if you cannot remember the ingredients and procedure of your incredibly successful mix. A lot is going on to get a business to like what you say, reflect on their current results, and inspire them for a better future. You will mingle with many stakeholders across many functions and ranks. You communicate with email, phone, video, visits, video messages, Whatsapp, and maybe Chat in the future. You need help. And the support you are looking for is your CRM. Only disciplined recording of your progress will help you determine your next steps. Let the CRM work for you.
An award-winning cocktail shouldn’t cost you sweat and tears. There are no rewards for salespeople who work really hard. The rewards are for those who are working smart, particularly in creating the right mix to gain new customers. Cheers!
Thank you for your Likes. Please feel free to share with your network.