Ken Thoreson, president, Acumen Management Group LTD
Summer can be a difficult time to lock down that extra business that ensues you exceed your monthly objectives. Pipelines are thinner, vacations occur more often, and people are less focused. This week will be about teamwork. Everyone reading this article should consider their tips and ideas, and share them with each other! Working the sales process effectively, increasing the number of opportunities, and creating creative sales strategies are the fundamentals for a successful summer. But, just in case you need some help, I listed a few ideas to get you started.
Learn to negotiate more effectively. If you believe you are going to have to make some kind of offer, set the stage earlier in the sales process by either mentioning an upcoming promotion that may occur in July, for example, and then offer the promotion/incentive when appropriate.
If the prospective client is pushing for a special price, you should ask them that in return for the discount, they would allow you to use their office for an open house, where you can showcase your products/services. If the prospect is ego driven, you might offer them an opportunity to become a member of your Client Advisory Council. This will appeal to their need to become involved. (If you want more information on creating Client Advisory Councils, email me for additional information.)
Try to use “stratified selling.” I recommend this if your sale is complex or requires multiple points of contact during the sales process. Stratified selling is simply creating a team sale that incorporates everyone from your support team to the president of your firm. Each person develops a relationship with their counterpart with the prospect during the sales process and at the end of the sales process everyone attends the final sales call. This will increase the power of pressure as well as reassure the prospect of your commitment.
Invite the prospect to your office. We have found that by having the opportunity to provide a tour of your office and meet your team, you will create an emotional commitment that will increase your odds of success.
Increase your sales strategy. Assign your sales team into groups where they meet at least once a week to compare notes and sales situations where they can brainstorm on potential sales tactics. As a sales manager, you might also consider attending these sessions as well. If you would like a pre-sales call strategy tool to help your sales team more effectively plan for each call, send me an email.
The summer is just beginning — make it one of your best! Let’s work together to come up with more ideas to help everyone succeed! I look forward to your comments.
Acumen Management Group Ltd. operationalizes sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. His latest book is Leading High Performance Sales Teams. You can reach Ken at Ken@AcumenMgmt.com or via his blog: www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com.