Photo: milla_ | Flickr
The best sales people know the fine line between aggression and confidence. They also know how easy it is to lose a deal that once appeared inevitable.”Opportunities are never lost. They just go to somebody else,” sales coach Connie Kadansky says in a presentation at the recent Small Business Summit 2012 in Manhattan. “The fortune is in the follow-through and most sales people foul up in the follow-through.”
Before you waste any time on potential customers, decide if they’re truly the decision-makers and have the funds to actually become a customer. If they don’t, you’re wasting your time, so move on. But if they do, here are some tips from Kadansky and Shannon Duffy, senior director of marketing at Salesforce.com:
1. Listen to what your customers are saying. A couple of years ago, it was much more difficult to do this. Now you can easily find out through social media and review sites.
2. Differentiate your product more than ever. “The era of the ‘one size fits all’ approach is over,” says Duffy. “People want to know what your products can do for them that another product isn’t able to do.”
3. Remember the power of micro-decision making. It takes seven to eight check-ins to convert leads into actual customers. “It’s a trip, not a pitch,” Kadansky says.
4. Court your potential customers and remind them you still exist. Send them an infographic, a photo, anything visual, so long as it doesn’t include a lot of white or text, which tend to “fall by the wayside.”
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