I had a bad sales month last month. After a handful of losses on a Wednesday evening, I cried. What a wimp, I know. After a brief moment of utter disbelief and hurt I wiped the tears away and took a step back to reflect. What did I do wrong, what did I do differently from the previous month? For those who have lost a big deal or are just in a sales slump here is the breakdown that may assist in your sales ventures.
Step One: Stop Crying Ya Baby
Me Circa 1994
It’s only a deal not the end of the world. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. Take each loss with a grain of salt. Start with each step of the sales process – critically think about the conversations you had and the process of each sale. Start over and try new approaches on your next sale.
Step Two: Care about your prospects
Did you take at least 5-10 minutes to research that individual or that company? Do it now. Jump on Linkedin and get after it. Improve your cold emails with a touch of personalization, insight and value.
I absolutely loved John Barrows article “News Flash – your prospect doesn’t care how awesome you are.”
When prospecting, do some research and find something interesting to reference about a client before calling them and use that as an intro. When meeting with clients, ask open ended insightful questions that put them in the position to be an expert. — John Barrows
Beyond the research, how are those emails performing? Are you monitoring analytics around the types of messaging that resonates to each customer?
Best Practice: Use Tout to get more insight around how successful your day to day emails are. Check out the engagement on this puppy…
Benchmark your templates to get above industry standard.
Rough average: 20% open rate & 5% click rate
Step Three: Be Smarter about your Follow-Up
It sounds so simple. So easy and it is. Just follow up. Following up can be the most underrated piece of the sales process. You have more than enough leads you can handle how do you balance follow up and remember all the customer specifics? Be smarter about your follow up, time follow up and make sure you are consistently hitting them up every 3 – 4 days. I’d recommend leveraging auto follow ups with Tout. Best Practice: I got this one from Doug Landis @ the Sales Hackers conference. Track everything. Track the messaging you are using and track the responses you get through email and over the phone. Track and learn what is working and what needs to be refined.
Step Four: Be Human
Above all… Be human. Ask about their day or weekend. Care.
This is what we live by at ToutApp, our mantra. We solve real life problems for salespeople. We teach first and then we sell.
Step Five: Zip it and Listen
Want to get off the phone with a prospect and have them think “Wow, what a great call”? You must LISTEN. I will be the first to admit, I love to talk. Who doesn’t want to talk about themselves. But the more you listen, the more you learn, the more you can critically think about how you are going to solve the customers issues they have articulated on the that call. Take notes. You want your prospects to adore you, trust you and respect you… shut up and listen.
Recently, I was on an important call with our Chief Happiness Officer, TK. He, taught me something so incredibly powerful that the average company may lose sight of. He said, “Let’s forget about Tout, let’s talk about what you need to make your customer/team successful – what can we do to help them?” Or even ask your potential client the simple question, “What’s important for you right now?” You should never sell first. You teach, you listen and you build trust so your potential customer will want to partner with you. You are there to solve a real person’s issue at that moment.
Step Six: Promote Success and Happiness Above All
Sure – you are in sales, you should be selling. But what is selling without creating some type of success and happiness for the buyer? Customer success and happiness is key to your success. If your existing customers are not happy – you are doing it all wrong my friend. Keep in touch, check in, send a birthday card or company t-shirt.
Keep an honest relationship with your customer. Happy customers will bring you a long term partnership and potentially add-on sales. If your customer is successful then you are successful.
Step Seven: Don’t Give Up
Everyone has a bad day, bad week, bad month. Move on… get over it. Don’t give up.
Failure is just your judgement on an experience, because there are no failures, just learning opportunities. — Aaron Ross
The most successful salespeople learn from their mistakes and improve year after year. Learn from your bad days. Always try to be better, be the best of what you do whether you are selling carpet or an email solution.. give it all you got.
Questions, tips or tricks? Feel free to reach out anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org