OK, this article is not about free beer. It’s about how the sales promise of free beer makes many of you feel. Sure, maybe the title was a bit misleading, but it was harmless.
It won’t happen again. And anyway, in retrospect, it could also be considered a strategic misfire because the excitement tied to that particular sales promise won’t appeal to everyone reading this. For that, I apologize, and simply wish to say:
Hey, Ladies! Free Tickets to the New Male Strip Club in Town!
Hey, that’s cool. I’ll get some interest in this article now. We’ve been wanting to appeal to more women business professionals, so that will help. Wait, what? Right. We forgot:
Free Private Helicopter Wash, Wax, and Detailing!
OK, NOW we’re good. Who doesn’t want to draw in the real fat cats who make the world run? Flying around, avoiding traffic and parking tickets by doing all of that cool flying around.
Well, that’s about everybody. This article is smokin’ now. Salt-of-the-earth beer guys, professional women and non-acrophobic rich people. Who thought selling how to sell by getting people to read this article could be so easy?
Or, is it…?
In all of this, there is a particularly relevant and well-known quote that comes to mind: You can’t be all things to all people. (Its origin is fuzzy, but apparently falls somewhere between the poet Max Ehrmann and the Bible.) Regardless, you can’t. And you shouldn’t be. All things to all people, that is.
What you should be is smart, creative, and prepared.
The only broad, absolute, all-encompassing statement I am comfortable making about business and the people within it is this: We are all in sales, one way or the other. Whether we’re presenting ourselves, or our company and its goods or services, we do it. The question is, how well do we do it, and how can we improve?
How can we improve sales?
Fortunately, I have a list to get us started.
Not everyone likes beer. Or strippers. Or can afford helicopters. And those who can afford helicopters may have little in common with each other beyond that.
- Think about what you have to sell and who it was designed for, but don’t overgeneralize — individualize.
- Make a list, and then narrow it. Learn about your prospects through the Internet, media, social media. All shall be revealed, so take advantage of the wealth of information out there about who you want to sell to because they need what you want.
- Look at the groups they belong to, and those various sites cause they support and clubs they’re members of. Are Veterans important to them? The homeless? Whales?
Every day, I meet smart, driven, hardworking people who are trying to start or grow an existing business. People such as computer programmer who makes great software, an inventor behind the great product, or CPA wizard who opens an accounting firm. Many are dedicated and amazing at what they do, but that does not mean they understand how to effectively hire salespeople, manage a team of creating a winning sales process.
- Know your limits and when and how to bring in professional salespeople to sell for you or build a sales team for you. We’re sales consultants, and we do that every day.
- We often suggest having a meeting and going over all the ways and tools available to research a client: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, their website and so many more. Give examples and ask how much they know about their prospects and clients.
Follow up intelligently.
- Send a thank-you note or card.
- Add and message through LinkedIn
- Make a call
- Invite them to an event
- Send an email
- Drop off a package
We have numerous, appropriate, creative ways to best position your group for sales success. Just like your clients, each of ours is different and has different requirements. Let’s get to the bottom of those requirements, and who they really are, and build from there.