Another random sales pitch hit my inbox today. That’s pretty much the norm these days, unfortunately. What bugged me more than the fact that the email wasn’t personalized, it was that the email starts with a lie. “You and I spoke recently” this sales guy says, but here’s the problem…we have never talked, and I’ve never heard of you.
Every business person I know is sick to death of these cold, boring, untargeted, irrelevant emails. Why do salespeople keep sending them? Buyers have said that they don’t work, but salespeople don’t seem to be listening.
If you sell, it is time for you to wake up to one critical point.
How you sell is more important than what you sell!
What this means is that your focus needs to be on how buyers want to buy NOT how you, as the salesperson wants to sell.
Change is tough. I get that. What I don’t understand is why so many salespeople and their managers keep their heads buried in the sand. Frankly, there is a reason why at least 48% of reps will not make their quota. Again.
What about that buying cycle?
Let’s assume that the buying cycle (what the buyer is thinking about) looks like this:
- Understand the internal business issues
- Establish our business objectives
- Set a strategy for addressing the challenges
- Time to explore options
- We need to set vendor criteria
- Let’s examine alternatives
- What’s the implementation plan?
- How will we measure the results?
It is not unusual for salespeople to enter the buy cycle when the customer is examining alternatives.
How do you know?
You know when you’ve had a brief conversation that typically ends with the prospect asking you to submit a proposal. Contrary to common sales wisdom though, someone asking you for a proposal is not a signal that you have a shot at winning the business. At this stage, your competitors probably already have the upper hand. That’s why the ability to qualify or disqualify opportunities at this stage is critical to making sure that you are spending time with the right people.
The ideal point of entry into the buying cycle is when your prospect is grappling with understanding the issues that they face internally. To earn that right, you need to have done the work - in advance - to establish a trusted relationship with your prospect. And that’s where social networking yields big results when done well. It takes a strategy, a process and consistency. It takes work, but the work is worth it.
Now that you’ve established yourself and are engaged at the front end, your goal now is to help your prospect see things that they can’t and become part of establishing the objectives and strategy while helping them to understand options. Doing so allows you to be part of guiding the buying process in your favor.
Keep sending email spam…well, good luck with that.