Welcome to our third blog post. It’s a bit ambitious I think to set out to do a solid, valuable blog entry every single week but so far so good (if it’s of value – you should tell us). This is our 3rd entry since PAC was formed, just 3 weeks back.
I have decided that I want to write a book! In my past I tried it thrice. Twice I approached publishers only to be told that either my written communication language was disastrous and beyond salvation to ever reach a level that could entice a reader, or I had a great production with too small a possible target audience. I have now decided to try again. Will I succeed. I have no clue but it’s in my blood to persist. I never give up! A sales person never gives up! That is perhaps, the strongest quality of a successful sales person – persistence. Mind you there is a very distinct balance between persistence and pushiness.
So what is this book of mine supposed to be all about? Not exactly sure but something along the lines of 50 best pieces of sales and business development advice from someone with a +30 years career in global B2B. If you have a good title for a book like that – do share please.
In essence, I want to try to share what I think makes sense and this is certainly also the case with the blog of PAC, what you now read. We want to provide as much as what we can, for free without offering all our services as a free of charge buffet. Remember our critical saying (hint – your profit reflects the success of your customers). We want to be profitable so we want you to succeed! But neither of us win by us giving away everything for free. Another critical observation “from life” is that whatever you get for free you do not appreciate as much as when you pay token change.
So take this a an appetizer and reach out to us if you want to know more and if you think we can assist you in your specific situation.
So, my 10 best pieces of advice when it comes to getting a customer! Here goes….. except…. what does that even mean …. Get a customer? Seriously. You do not get a customer! Ever. You get a fish! Well not unless you man a small table in your local supermarket offering whatever food taste samples and after passing one to a walk buy shopper he/she picks up a box of “best delicious food”. Now here we can talk of getting a customer. Except we can’t, because you offered a taste and apparently that taste met with the utility requirements of your walk buy person! Perhaps – convenience…. It could be picked up right there. Perhaps taste…. well it did satisfy on that account…. perhaps price? Unsure.
But this is not the type of sales I focus on here. My focus in on someone you approach who wants to buy into your services, products and value offering, in a B2B, B2C or B2G context. Never mind. B2X …..something.
How do you find that person?. Imagine you start at a company. You have your assigned cubicle, your desk (unless it’s hybrid and you work from home – that’s a future blog by the way), your PC, handphone, business card stack (yes I am that old school). You have your salesperson tool box at the go. What do you do ?
- You think. What is the utility or value proposition of what you are supposed to sell?You do know your product or services offering. That is a given assumption. If in doubt, check this blog on value proposition.
- When you have your VP, you think again, this time, who can appreciate this VP? What does your ideal customer potentially look like?
- If your potentials are too many, you shortlist and zoom in on 3-5 business type segments that you can potentially address.
- When you have those 3-5, you begin your hard work of figuring out e.g. companies in segment XYZ in your country or region. As example. I was once in charge of selling a capital equipment branded product into the Danish graphic arts industry. I established that there were 1266 potential graphic arts companies to address. That was my gross list.
- You make your gross list and then you need to make it down to your net list. What are the main criteria for purchase? If you talk capital investments, the logical question to ask is, can all the companies in your gross list afford what you try to sell to them? That is just one example. You apply your filters, logic etc. and end up with a net list. In my example I began to filter against – a) where they correctly classified? where they still in business? Did they have gross profit of more than X EUR etc. My net list came down to 219! A meager 17% or the otherwise thought potential.
- Now you begin to prepare cold calling. You must have your pitch ready? What will you say when they pick up the phone? Yes you can send an email instead of calling but most emails from unknown parties are considered spam. Example. I just contacted 12 different business forums offering the services of PAC. Two days in, 3 have responded. That is a hit rate of 25%. Not fantastic. Remember what I said about perseverance. The 9 that did not respond, I will call on next week. By phone!
- Once you are set. Whether by mail or phone, you begin to reach out and your ONLY objective is to get face time! Do not sell on an email. Do not sell via phone. You politely, diplomatically etc. explain the reason for reaching out and you ask for 15-30 min appointment for you to understand the business of whoever you reach out to, to establish if you can be of service. You then link them to a freebee, e.g a website with ambassadors praising you and your company, a pitch brochure, a favourable video clip etc. But NO HARD SELLING. You just ask for an appointment.
- Most will agree but those who do not, you ask why and if you are permitted to call them again in XX time. Do not give up. If you can get their email, follow up after the call and thank them for their time, share a piece of unexpected value (e.g. news, reference details from one of your company ambassadors) and tell them that you will call again as agree.
- Those who did respond, will to these people you follow up with a clear and kind written confirmation, possibly a calendar invitation so that they remember you, and you attend the appointment.
- Now when you attend the appointment … you dress the part. Check our blog on that later on.
It’s not too difficult is it now? But. You will get lots and lots of no’s and just a few yesses. Probably in the ratio of 1:10. This is common. Don’t stress. We all get this.
My free bees here:
Succeeding in Sales: 12 Habits of a Good Salesperson
A good salesperson has more to offer customers than an exciting pitch —they’re enthusiastic individuals with resilience and they take the time to get to know their customers’ needs, show empathy, and deal in a product in confidence. They also know how to handle rejection, and learn from both their most successful deals and ones lost.
Have a fantastic week
Cheers and go sell,
Top site ,.. amazaing post ! Just keep the work on !