It’s festival season, and with that comes, sunny days, amazing music, and an extreme fear of missing out if you haven’t bought yourself a $300+ ticket and traveled to the desert.
Oh, and the start of your Q2 sales cycle.
At first glance, these two events don’t seem to have a lot in common; besides the fact they’re both in April. What does going to the Palm Springs desert have anything to do with you closing deals?
As I talked to our sales team (and lived vicariously through the ones that attended Coachella last weekend), I came to the conclusion that there is a lot you can take away from a music festival experience which you can apply to your own sales process. Here are the three parallels I drew that you can apply to up your sales game:
1. Listen to the Vibe
What’s the point of showing up to a concert if you’re not going to listen to the music? When you step into a desert for a three day festival, there are a ton of distractions. There’s food, ferris wheels, t-shirts, crazy statues, and all of that can often distract you from what’s important. You’re at a music festival! It’s time to go listen and take the music in.
The same thing applies when you’re on your sales calls. So often we get so caught up in distractions, chit-chat, and small talk. Get to the point, set up the right questions and then LISTEN. Take in the music that is your customer talking and telling you all that is important to them.
When you take it all in and listen to the vibe, you’ll know what your customer is looking for, and more importantly why. Sure, everyone is looking for a solution to optimize, enhance, and make their company more efficient (blah blah). But for closing deals, you’ll need to explore why the solution hasn’t already been in place. Here’s how you can listen better:
- Know the Lineup: Depending on whose stage you’re at, Skrillex or Ellie Goulding, artists’ energy can be completely different. The same goes for your client. Research their sales structure, and form your call around their position and specific needs. Is it a Sales Manager or SVP? Do you need to be laid-back or more professional?
- Check the pulse: Ask questions in the beginning and feel their pulse for how open they are to talking. Simple phrases like, “How’s your day?” “This weather, oh my…” or “What brought you over to the company?” can give you cues for how interested they are in your company.
- Feel the beat and tone: If you’re in person, notice the vibe of their body language. On a call, make sure you’re pausing and taking breaks to hear how they respond and if what your saying is resonating. Are you talking too fast or using the wrong selling language?
It’s not by chance that concerts always begin with the phrase, “How’s everyboddyyyy doing tonight?”
2. Stand out in a crowd
When there are 100,000’s of thousands of people squeezing under a tent, or 100,000’s of thousands of sales professional calling a decision maker, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. No matter how badass your outfit is, or how awesome your company is, it’s hard to have a loud voice. Unless you’re on center stage, you will be forgotten. Names blur together, companies get confused, and even the best salespeople become numbers. Here are tips on how to stand out:
- Humanize yourself: The best way to stand out in a crowd is to be unique; just like your festival style. Make sure your tone of voice doesn’t sound automated and add a personal signature to your emails using TinySocial.
- Cut to the front of the stage: Try to get an intro through a LinkedIn resource. If the decision-maker gets an email from someone they know, there’s a higher response rate. Simple.
- Sing along to their tune: Doing you diligent research and applying a trigger event to your call or mentioning similar groups on LinkedIn can make a huge difference when standing out. Sing along to the music they are listening to.
3. Keep Hydrated.
The term Social Selling can apply here.
Standing in the desert sun is similar to being exposed to a cold call. If you’re talking for too long/ standing for too long, you’ll run out of steam. Hydrating your call with fresh AND relevant content is the most important thing you can do. Being a mini expert in your space will make your prospect have more trust and understanding when learning about your product. Here’s how to get fuel:
- Gagein: Like Google Alerts but ten times better. This simlarly looks for companies and keywords on the web, but finds the articles that matter. It lets you follow your prospects in real-time so you can call at the right time and have content to open the conversation.
- Subscribe to your companies RSS Feed via Dlvr.it. Never miss a company blog post or new announcement again. This automatically posts to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more.
- Buffer App: Any time you see an amazing article on Techcrunch or LinkedIn, “buffer” it and save it in your social media bank. You will be able to go back and schedule posts to go out when you want.
- Be persistent. Keep your prospects fueled with content and make your way to the front with organized follow-ups (aka drip campaigns). They’ll help you nurture your leads and find the most engaged.
At the end of the day, Sales-chella and Coachella come down to the same thing: spending time with the people that matter.
-It’s about finding the right people to call (or the right stage to go to).
-It’s about listening to the top artist or the top decision maker.
-It’s about winning the deal, and winning in life.