The Numbers Game/2

Selling to busy professionals is tough in any industry, but especially for small print businesses. Do you find it difficult to attract the attention of new customers? Unless you differentiate yourself from the competition and inspire new prospects from the first point of contact it will be an uphill slog. Most of your competitors will also have a compelling, customer focussed and cost effective story to tell, so how will you engage the attention of prospects ahead of your competition? Delivering engaging and thought provoking pitches and proposals is routine for attracting new customers, but waffling about your kit list and the so-called advantages of dealing with your company can be predictable and disappointing for your prospect to hear.

It’s not about you!
Understanding and practising the “It’s not about you, it’s about them” philosophy has assisted professional sales people to develop relationships with prospects where others have failed.

What can you do differently? By using the correct processes any salesperson with a quality product can succeed. It may be just a matter of using a more customer focussed philosophy.

  • Inspire and influence. A mixture of passion and expertise is inspirational. Displaying a real interest in your customers growth plans and issues will assist you in building a successful business relationship.
  • Pay attention. Changing suppliers carries a risk for any purchaser. Can you identify that risk and resolve any issues surrounding it?
  • Add value. Your worth to the customer will be determined by their perception of what they get for their money.
  • Volunteer creatively. Enter into discussions about your customers marketing plans. Volunteer ideas to promote their business, even ones that don’t involve you own products and services!
  • Use a reality check. Does what you have to say pass the “So what” test? Otherwise you’ll be wasting their time, as well as your own.
  • Follow the process. Always be attentive to the details. Follow up calls, delivering on time, gratitude. All the thing you know you should never forget.

The stresses of running a business can sometime make us forget the basics. It’s too easy to spend time worrying about sales figures, when more time spent thinking about customers’ concerns would probably lead to greater success. If you can focus more on the customers needs this will differentiate you from your competitors in a way that will be relatively difficult for them to emulate.

Clearly, there is no quick fix for sales success. It takes hard work, persistence and the ability to handle rejection. Success can, however, be made a little easier by remembering that it’s not about you, it’s about them.
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