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06 December 2014

Our Best Sales Strategy Advice for you to execute: 7 steps to grow business

In our experience working with businesses in all different industries at different stages – from small businesses, to mid sized business and even enterprise organizations, we’ve found one particular place where most Businesses and Sales Professionals are lacking: A real, actionable Sales Strategy to grow their business.

Business Development is usually the first thing that gets the boot when you get busy tending to customers, producing work and putting out the inevitable fires that come with more customers and employees and vendors. It’s a type of Priority Dilution that seems to make sense in the moment – taking care of what’s right in front of you – but the trade off is that without continuous strategic development of new customers, your train ride will come to an end much sooner than you think.

So, how do you build that strategy in the chaos of starting or running your business? Don’t worry, we’ve built one for you right here. The first step is always the hardest so if we lay it out for you here, there are no more excuses for not moving forward, right?

Your 7 Step Sales Strategy

Dedicate the time for Strategy & Execution.

Decide how many hours a week will you spend researching, planning, connecting, calling or visiting? Write it in your calendar. Schedule it. Distribute the news to everyone on your team that this is GREEN time – absolutely paramount to the growth of your business and not to be disturbed or compromised. Do NOT cancel these appointments with yourself. Reschedule if you must but never cancel on this one strategic activity, no matter how busy you get.

Start with the easiest gain: your Current Customers.

Are they repeat buyers? Is there a next level of progression to your relationship? Do you have other services or products to offer? How are you communicating with them, showing them appreciation, partnership and collaboration to turn them in to advocates? Are you asking them for referrals? Design your offers, communicate effectively and regularly, show appreciation and ask for their advocacy.

Decide who you want to buy from you.

What characteristics define your best or ideal customers? Paint a picture of where they live, how they communicate, where they search for information about your industry and how knowledgeable they might be about your industry or products. Where does that put you? Start with the top 3 places Online and Offline to meet your potential customers and customize your approach – but first . . .

Understand WHY these customers need what you have to offer.

WHY does your product or solution solve their problem? Specifically why do YOU have the solution? What results can you product or how do they benefit from choosing YOU? Asking ideal or current customers about why they choose you is great way to Unlock the Buyer’s Value Vault – because if you don’t have the key to this vault, if you do not build your messages and insight around what people find valuable, you’ll falter when it comes to building trust and relationships.

Develop a Strategy that Leverages Technology & Resources to consistently –

Engage your target audience and get to know them – what they find valuable, why they would need your product or service, what criteria they use to make buying decisions. Use Social Media, personal connections, industry events . . .

Communicate with your ideal customers on a regular basis {what we call Audience Development} – deliver useful, insightful, transparent and valuable messages via Blogs, Email, Speaking Engagements . . .

Promote the people you want to do business with by validating them and contributing to their business or lives in a personal, meaningful and authentic way. Be a part of their world, collaborating, referring them, commenting on posts, sharing their information . . .

Ask for their Business.

The point most people never get to is asking for someone’s business. This requires TRUST to over come someone’s status quo which is why the previous step is MISSION CRITICAL in the buyer’s decision making process. Building trust helps buyers lower their calculation of risk and heightens reward. When you Engage, Communicate and Promote your ideal customers, you’re demonstrating your expertise and value, building trust and credibility and generating relationship capital that makes it easier for you to Ask for their business and for your customers to say Yes or tell why now is not the right time for them. But you still must Ask. Here are 2 ways to be better at Asking for Business:

Understand buying cues – who’s opening your emails, who’s responding to you, who talks to you openly about their business, who asks you specific questions about HOW you/your product works? Those are all buying signals that you should prepare a proposal or make a recommendation on the best solution to fit their needs. Questions about your processes or HOW you would help are Major Buying Signals as people are expressing that they are interested in what it’s like to work with you. Delivering that insight and then asking to get started is the next step.

When someone expresses interest, invite them to collaborate on a customized solution for them. Perhaps you work on a smaller starting point or package solutions together. Collaborating lowers the risk that their investment in your solution won’t work as they have had generous input to secure the best possible outcome.

For Best Results, Lather. Rinse. And Repeat.

Fine tune this process for one Customer Segment. Continue to devote the time and energy to pursuing these ideal clients and when you’ve created effective systems and processes that return sales, grow these customers to the next level. Then, identify another segment of ideal customers and repeat the process all over again.

We deliver to you this Sales Strategy in a nutshell. The execution is up to you and of course, EXECUTION is the hardest and most critical part of growth. 90% of our clients lack an applicable Sales Strategy in their business but 100% of them are not effectively executing strategy, which is where The Selling Agency comes in. Execution is hard but you just have to start. It takes determination, dedication, focus and time.

Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!

-sks

PS – If you’re not already using LinkedIn as a part of your Sales Strategy, include these 10 Useful Activities that take less than 20 minutes a day!

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How to Increase Productivity

Via Salesforce

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