Two New Year
Resolutions For You

Firstly, merry Christmas to you all! You’re running around trying to take advantage of the best sales in town because it’s the season of gift giving. It’s coming up to that time of year when you’ve drank more than you should have, spent more than you should have and promised more than you should have. […]

Firstly, merry Christmas to you all!

You’re running around trying to take advantage of the best sales in town because it’s the season of gift giving. It’s coming up to that time of year when you’ve drank more than you should have, spent more than you should have and promised more than you should have.

As this year draws to a close and a new one is born, we start thinking about what we’ve achieved and what we want to do differently going forward. Will you be putting together some dreadful resolutions in the hope that it sparks some revolution in your life? Whether you are or you aren’t, we’ve got two crucial tips for you to carry with you over the threshold of 2018.

 

  1. Do more planning this year

A gung-ho head-first approach into sales has its rewards but they’re short-lived if there is no blueprint beneath it for support. We can all think of times we’ve rushed into situations from relationships to sales pitches and we wished we’d prepared just a little bit more beforehand. Those facts and figures which were rusty – what if you had a really confident grip on the client’s case before you entered that boardroom to obtain their business? It could have made the world of difference. This year make time for contemplation, consideration and calculation.

 

  1. Rank and Filter

Do you have a huge, long list of leads in your database? Are they categorised or ranked? It’s an uphill struggle if you are contacting your potential clients without a system in place to track their temperature. This does not require sticking a thermometer in their mouth but instead, simply using your intuition, the notes on the screen and your personal experience with them to gauge how likely they are to become a customer. It’s always nice to have low hanging fruit for those difficult periods to give yourself a morale boost and it’s incredibly valuable to enter a phone call or a meeting equipped with the knowledge of exactly how warm or cold the lead is. This should impact your approach and your prioritisation of that meeting/ phone call.

Why Does Black Friday Work?

It is estimated that over £2 billion will be spent on just a single day here in Britain. Some businesses make more money on Black Friday weekend than they do in the entire year. There are industries which drink such gallons of income from this price plummeting period that without it they would be destroyed. […]

It is estimated that over £2 billion will be spent on just a single day here in Britain. Some businesses make more money on Black Friday weekend than they do in the entire year. There are industries which drink such gallons of income from this price plummeting period that without it they would be destroyed. So, what’s behind the frenzy? What’s the deep-lying decision making that brings this sales circus into town each year?

Getting Lost in the Crowd

Psychologists call this ‘de-individualisation’. People find freedom to do the things they otherwise wouldn’t do, if they have a degree of anonymity resulting from large sways of other people also doing the same thing. You might think it is improper to go ruthlessly bargain hunting on one day but on Black Friday it’s socially acceptable and therefore you’d indulge.

Tip: Is there a way you can create a ‘crowd’ perception in your sales process? If you could show potential clients that there are hundreds or thousands of other clients in the same boat, this might encourage de-individualisation and help loosen their defensive grips.

The Four Factors

  1. How big is the % saving?
  2. How urgently do I need this?
  3. How popular is the item?
  4. Is it exclusive, or a one-off?

As a business, if you can tick off at least one of these factors there is a strong chance you’ll turnover a lot of cash on Black Friday and indeed, beyond. If you can cleverly consummate all four then you might trigger a landslide.

If you are a business taking part in Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday, you should check that your website, inventory and logistical processes are bulked up and reinforced to cope with the demand. The Black Friday phenomena has been growing year on year and it’s clearly not just  for brick and mortar businesses; so whether you sell a service online or a product in a shop, it would be unwise to not take advantage of this period. You should look to combine the four factors as well as the ‘crowd’ psychology to enjoy a successful and strong sales boost.

How to Improve E-Commerce Conversions

Sheep don’t bark and dogs don’t bleat. There are different ways of communicating with different people. This is an idea which, if weaved professionally, can increase your conversion rates and help turn traffic into turnover. While this is primarily predicated on you having a reasonably sophisticated e-commerce platform, there are ways you can interpret the […]

Sheep don’t bark and dogs don’t bleat. There are different ways of communicating with different people. This is an idea which, if weaved professionally, can increase your conversion rates and help turn traffic into turnover. While this is primarily predicated on you having a reasonably sophisticated e-commerce platform, there are ways you can interpret the following thesis to apply to your company’s predicament.

When you gather analytical data about the people who visit your website or open your e-mails, among many there are two juicy pieces of ripening information you can ascertain. The first is the stage your potential customer got to before being deterred from making a payment, this could be immediately after visiting the website or as close-cut as having their items in the basket but just evading the entrance of the credit card details. The second is their behaviour and responsiveness to your communications – how often do they open your correspondence, do they carry out your call-to-actions?

Let’s examine the first one regarding the customer journey and pushing it forward to a mutually beneficial stage where they receive your wonderful product/ service and you receive your hard-earned income.

Abandonment

Browser Abandonment and Cart Abandonment are the two main pitfalls of online purchasing. The former applies to visitors who looked at the goods but for some reason were not inclined to select a product or service for them. The latter applies to visitors who looked, found, selected but didn’t proceed to payment. Both of the inhabitants of these two camps need to be addressed but in a different way in order to reach your desired outcome.

With Browser Abandonment, you should think about being slightly more subtle and going back to the basics of telling your brand’s story as well as the benefits of buying into what you are offering. It is important that you communicate with a touch of discretion and caution as these are essentially the general public who wandered into the store, had a look and then wandered out again. Maybe they weren’t interested, maybe they didn’t have time or maybe they just didn’t have the proposition put to them properly. Now is your opportunity to rectify that – be accommodating, sell the idea and then encourage them to browse again with a push of a button.

With Cart Abandonment, you know you’ve already convinced the potential customer that this is what they want. Their attention may have been distracted for that moment, or perhaps they require a final moment of reassurance and adrenaline to go ahead. The ball is in your court, they’ve already shown their hand, if your communication deters them from the sale at this point it’s your error. Depending on the type of product or service you are vending, you can decide to be cheeky or inject some levity to create a more human feel to your company, thus pushing the ‘people buy people’ dogma. On the other hand, you may simply wish to give the potential customer a professional nudge to remind them to finish off what they started.

The important thing is that you separate and categorise your users and visitors into departments which should be spoken to in different ways. Your brand identity and tone of voice should be apparent throughout but the psychology ought to be different in order to reach a successful transaction.

How To Improve Morale In A Sales Team

We live in a society shrouded by instant gratification which breeds anxiety and impatience; these creep into the mindset of most employees of most companies. While it can be a part of a person’s natural character, there are things which a team leader can do to safeguard the sanity as well as the success of […]

We live in a society shrouded by instant gratification which breeds anxiety and impatience; these creep into the mindset of most employees of most companies. While it can be a part of a person’s natural character, there are things which a team leader can do to safeguard the sanity as well as the success of their squadron of sales people.

Here are two of them:

One-to-One

While training may be more efficient in a group environment and morning briefings or meetings might be more easily conducted en masse; there is serious merit to sometimes operating in the opposite way. Taking time out to empathise with an employee on an individual, private basis gives a manager a chance to really understand what they are thinking, what their personal goals are and to gauge their level of happiness in this role.

World class companies have world class leaders who go above and beyond their minimum requirements as managers of people. It’s more than KPI’s and monthly targets, it boils down to basic fundamental humanism; treating your protégés with the dignity and mentoring they deserve. You do this so that they can develop inside the office and outside. As a result of earning their trust and respect as somebody who truly cares, you’ll find that your sales team pushes harder to reach the aims you set no matter how ambitious they are.

Outside The Office         

Making an effort to spend time with your staff outside of the office is a great way to establish a genuine rapport between the master and the apprentice. Whether it’s 10 minutes waiting for a train or a few hours at the nearest watering hole, demonstrating your ability to be a friend as well as a boss is another great method to bridging the gap and closing the boundaries which the corporate world insists on creating.

You may spend hours of training teaching the dogma that ‘people buy people’ but forgetting that your people need to buy into you too. The best captains in the world have a complete commitment from their crew, and you can have this too if you’re willing to invest the time and the energy to do so.

3 Ways To Sell More In The Digital Age

Contrary to your conception, the tips in this article are somewhat ‘traditional’ because even in this modern age of ours we can look back in order to move forward. In a business environment where millennial types are scrambling for the new app, the latest piece of technical wizardry and a cloud-based conquest to take back […]

Contrary to your conception, the tips in this article are somewhat ‘traditional’ because even in this modern age of ours we can look back in order to move forward. In a business environment where millennial types are scrambling for the new app, the latest piece of technical wizardry and a cloud-based conquest to take back to their CEO; there is real merit in remembering what worked in the past. After all, humans are still humans.

Close the Gap:

Here’s some irony to start off with. Even though technology has made the world smaller, there is strong evidence that we have grown further apart from each other in a sentimental context. The same can be said of the company-consumer relationship. You can utilise technology to strengthen relations between you and your market, simply by being present within your community. There are groups on social media you can spearhead, events in real life you can host and lists of leads you can reach out to directly without attempting a sale. Be a companion first and a company second.

Do What You Said You Would Do:

It seems simple but life can be so maniacal that we forget to do the basics properly. Delivering on your promises, on time and the way you said you would; actually goes a long way. Over promising and under delivering is the pet peeve for most people and frankly, it has become the norm; go against the grain by saying what you’ll do and doing what you said. When so much scrutiny goes into figuring out competitive advantage, you might find you’ll win more business by simply sticking by your side of the bargain and complete the task as agreed.

Speak With Clarity:

Is there anything more feather-ruffling than having to wrestle with somebody’s riddles when all you want is a clear understanding? Lacking fluff and unnecessary stuff is one part of clarity; the second part is going an extra step. This is about letting your audience know what’s going on in the office and really being transparent. You can build unprecedented amounts of trust this way. Trust is the number one element of an easy sale, if you can pre-mix that into your marketing strategy by just letting outsiders peek inside, it will cause a sharp rise in conversions. This is another example of why your sales team and marketing team must be totally in sync.

Artificial Intelligence – Friend or Foe for Sales People?

Sales and marketing experts across the world are now taking advantage of artificial intelligence more than ever. Machine learning technology can use data from phone calls and meetings to provide your superstars with stratified information which they can analyse to close the deal faster. Sound complicated? Jargon aside, this is simply using technology to help […]

Sales and marketing experts across the world are now taking advantage of artificial intelligence more than ever. Machine learning technology can use data from phone calls and meetings to provide your superstars with stratified information which they can analyse to close the deal faster.

Sound complicated? Jargon aside, this is simply using technology to help you understand your customer better. Believe it or not, a computer’s main job is to compute and it can analyse a gargantuan amount of information and raw data; far more than the mere human mind. Things have advanced drastically in the last decade because artificial intelligence is now capable of mimicking human functions such as learning and problem-solving, empowering humans to buy and sell with more efficiency.

You can actively increase your inbound sales by deploying AI. The software will bring you information about customer behaviour, allowing you to adapt your approach in a personalised way which will increase conversions. You can also use chatbots to make things quicker for your customers who need assistance in finding a particular product or answering a bugging question without having to trawl through a dated FAQ’s page.

From an outbound perspective, artificial intelligence can inform sales people which leads are likely to close by ranking them using predictive analytics and data mining. The technology can scour the web and social media to evaluate the likelihood of your leads being interested in buying; helping the sales person become more efficient in closing deals. Analysing sales data one by one is the traditional way of doing things and it is simply not scalable. Bringing business development into the future means seeing AI as a friend and not a foe; it will help your average sales person perform like a top tier whizz kid deal closer, it will educate your team on what works and what doesn’t work with a particular lead, client or field.

Your sales force already knows there is a tonne of information available to them but it is overwhelming to try to harness that single-handedly. Using AI is like using highly-trained bloodhounds to sniff out narcotics – it saves time, it’s friendly and it brings back results. Don’t let go of leads because you don’t know how to process the information, make technology a part of the process hand-in-hand with the human behind the desk in order to give customers what they want, faster.

What’s the 5 second rule in sales?

This is not about dropping food on the floor but dropping the ball on the phone. In a recent interview, the infamous Wolf of Wall Street who has apparently smoothed over his sharp teeth to become a good, ethical sales coach, stated that sales people have 4-5 seconds to capture attention. “You have about four […]

This is not about dropping food on the floor but dropping the ball on the phone. In a recent interview, the infamous Wolf of Wall Street who has apparently smoothed over his sharp teeth to become a good, ethical sales coach, stated that sales people have 4-5 seconds to capture attention.

“You have about four or five seconds to get across three things: that you are sharp as a tack and enthusiastic and an expert in your field???, he told Reuters.

It’s true that you only get one shot at a first impression but how long is that window of opportunity open for? How many impactful words can you muster up in a miniscule amount of time? As world class sales experts ourselves, we believe that the diction is merely one part of the equation.

Tonality

If it’s the first time you’re contacting this person then you’ll begin by addressing them. Try using their first name and posing the query as a statement instead of a question which would smell of uncertainty. Confidence, directness and staying steadfast to your intentions are crucial components to capturing a client’s attention in 5 seconds.

 Credibility Statement

Your opening sentence must include authority which is stamped with the ink of integrity. This could be the name of your organisation, your position or the work you are doing within the industry, or an accolade which sets the company above its competitors in an impressive way.

Question

The credibility statement should grant you their attention and interest which you can leverage for more time. At this stage you may want to set a timeframe (“this will only take a few moments???) and frame the discussion like a conversation rather than a pitch; followed by an open question empowering them to talk about their work and themselves. The alternative would be to ignore the  timeframe and go directly into a question about their position or their job which gives you dominance in the call. The risk with the latter is your lead gets spooked because it smells slightly more of a sales pitch than the former would.

2 Ways To Make LinkedIn More Lucrative

LinkedIn isn’t just an excuse to procrastinate under the guise of professionalism; it holds in its belly the kinds of business development treasures you may be missing out on. The fact is most people don’t get past the newsfeed and even more people simply wait for a connection to come their way before interacting with […]

LinkedIn isn’t just an excuse to procrastinate under the guise of professionalism; it holds in its belly the kinds of business development treasures you may be missing out on. The fact is most people don’t get past the newsfeed and even more people simply wait for a connection to come their way before interacting with an ill-considered message.

Here are two ways you can make LinkedIn more lucrative:

  1. More Organisation, Less Chaos

On the surface, like all social media platforms, LinkedIn can appear to be a hodgepodge, melting pot of activity. Where do you begin? What do you look for and who do you speak to? For most sales people you will have a software system in your office which organises all of the company’s leads and contacts. LinkedIn should be considered in the same breath only with this platform you get access to far more information like behaviour, personality and mutual connections.

You should download all of your connections into an Excel spreadsheet so you can organise, categorise and strategise based on their locations, positions and industries.

Here’s how:

  • Go to LinkedIn and click ‘My Network’ at the top of the page
  • Click ‘See All’ on the left, under ‘Your Connections’
  • Click ‘Manage synced and imported contacts’ on the right
  • Click ‘Export Contacts’ at the bottom right of the page

 

  1. Publish Articles

You should write articles about your industry in order to project yourself as a leader of that field. If written properly and in an engaging way, you’ll attract relevant connections and increase your credibility as a sales person. Publish articles are a great of demonstrating what you know and teaching others, sharing your knowledge will position you as a person of influence within your space. This is all on the basis that you have the articles written eloquently and regularly.

How To Use Data To Sell Smarter

You might be sick to your teeth hearing about data and analytics. If you’ve got any more space in your cranium to cater for data talk then we’d like to occupy it for a few moments. The top sales trainers around the world are beginning to scrutinize and systemise the way firms use data to […]

You might be sick to your teeth hearing about data and analytics. If you’ve got any more space in your cranium to cater for data talk then we’d like to occupy it for a few moments. The top sales trainers around the world are beginning to scrutinize and systemise the way firms use data to improve conversions in the field. It became fashionable to speak of sales as a wholly emotion-based boulevard which was lined by rows of empathy and relationship-building; but that’s not the entire story of business development in 2017. Technology has empowered us to have more information than ever before about our customers and also our sales staff; why not harness it properly?

Here are three things you can do to boost sales using data:

  1. Play to your Strengths

Begin by deconstructing the sales cycle from the commencement to the close. Take a look at the structure of meetings, phone calls and e-mails; have a think about how the information and minutes are recorded from these activities. If you haven’t already, consider having a centralised dashboard for each sales employee and manager.

Now having done this, you can draw comparisons, notice weak spots, strengths and understand how each member of the team plays his or her role. By mapping out the business development blueprint like this, you are able to understand which part of the process somebody is good at and which part somebody finds difficult. Collating and evaluating data can therefore help you to put people into positions where they will excel and drive the sales force forward at a faster rate.

  1. Paint an Almost Perfect Picture

You can use data to truly understand who your ideal client is. Every little counts in the world of sales because every piece of the puzzle may be a vital ingredient to closing the deal. It goes without saying that relationships must be built, rapport must be drummed up and empathy must be entertained but emotive business development is best supported by data intelligence.

Think about what traits your best customers share, what are their needs, how do they engage with your company?

You ought to go deeper into the data analysis but collating information such as age, marital status, post code, income level etc.

  1. Map Out Your Customer’s Journey

So now you understand your sales person’s journey, you know your client’s favourite colour and we arrive at the third application of data analysis. You can retrieve information about how your customer finds you, their journey thereafter and what they do post-sale. The benefit of having this clearly set out is your employees gain confidence in determining how to approach a client at different stages of the sales cycle.

Gathering intelligence about the route your clients opt for, and educating this to the sales team, will certainly have a positive impact on sales conversions.

3 Unusual Tactics for Closing Deals

When you’re preaching to the unconverted and the ‘we’ve already heard it’s’; you might find that an unconventional technique or two could pleasantly surprise your lead. One of the biggest anxieties a sales person faces is knowing that the people they are contacting see them as just like every other who has ever spoken with […]

When you’re preaching to the unconverted and the ‘we’ve already heard it’s’; you might find that an unconventional technique or two could pleasantly surprise your lead. One of the biggest anxieties a sales person faces is knowing that the people they are contacting see them as just like every other who has ever spoken with them. The issue with that perception is most sales people leave a negative impression giving the decent sales person an uphill struggle before he or she has even spoken.

In some ways, there are parallels between sales and dating. The key to overcoming the monotony and homogenised stigma is by being subtly different in unprecedented ways. That’s how you woo a woman and that’s how you close a potential client.

Here are 3 ways to put that into practice:
Honesty

By being open and perhaps too honest, you can afford yourself some integrity in the eyes of your lead. This is the tactic of conceding something about your service or product, demonstrating human vulnerability as opposed to painting the picture of perfection, flawlessness and hammering this down their ear hole. You are not the smarmy, slick-haired sales person trying to pull a fast one, so show a little realism and be critical about certain parts of what you are offering, then conclude with an overall positive statement – you will win the trust of your client far quicker.

 

Leave Them Alone

Whether it’s courting or client acquisition, showing desperation is a total turn off. You may want their attention, you may genuinely be gagging for a gasp of an opportunity to speak to them and finalise a deal but in this situation, you must play the game and not show everything under your sheathing. Follow-ups are of course important but have a think about their frequency and consider switching the way in which you reach out, certainly do not send another e-mail if they’ve not responded to the previous one.
It’s Not Me, It’s You

This is especially effective if you have multiple packages and services for clients to choose from. A high impact, reverse psychology method of disarming the lead’s defence is by explaining why they might not be a fit for what you are offering. Consequently, you will have one of two outcomes; your prospect might start compromising and describing why they are in fact suitable for your service (in this case, they are doing your job for you) or, they’ll agree thus leaving you the space to pitch another package which is perfectly apt for them.