In 2003, I surveyed my clients and colleagues for their best killer sales ideas and received nearly one hundred responses ranging from ways to prospect better to tips for a stronger life/work balance. Ten years later, many of these tips are still great ideas. Here are seven of them to help you close out the year successfully and start the new year off with a bang.
Prospecting & Getting Referrals
Leverage your firm's own vendors/consultants for introductions to target prospects.
Get creative. After months of no success getting in to see someone, this person sent a pizza for lunch with a note that said, “I want a slice of your business."(She got her meeting.)
Identify your top 10 prospects. Create a specific creative contact campaign for each month of the year. For example, in mid-April this ad sales team hand delivered custom umbrellas with their magazine name on them to key prospects with a note saying "April showers - don't get caught in the rain..." Then in May, they delivered flowers to these same people with a note "...brings May flowers." Clients and prospects loved it. Sales increased 42% in one year doing this and similar creative marketing. The key here is to use high quality items and get them to the right person. (If this is too costly, you can achieve a similar impact with custom greeting cards. In both cases, you stand out, generate some smiles and good will and increase your chances of getting your meeting.)
The Business Development Conversation
Ask questions more than talk about your product or service. People tune out to the latter but become involved and more interested with the former. (Remember, people are more interested in themselves than they are in you.)
With complex proposals, cost justify your solution. Each benefit should either increase revenue, replace existing costs, or avoid future cost. Show how total benefits provide value many times over the cost of the solution. Use numbers supplied by the client to make your case. Working this through with clients will get you better business faster. (This is particularly important in these cost-conscious times.)
At year end, compose a letter to all clients thanking them for their support and their business during the year. Your note acknowledges their contribution and gives you a chance to remind them of the impact you/your product/service has had on their business. (No mass mailing, please. Personalize each one. Saying “Thank you” is never out of style.)
Stay buoyant, happy, and healthy. Hard, but necessary to do. When we work too hard without breaks, we wind up working against ourselves.This last strikes me as a good last Best Idea to help everyone survive and thrive through the holiday season and into 2014.
See you next week.
P.S. Send me your best sales idea and I will send a list of all of them to everyone who contributes. email@example.com
FYI, if you are a woman business owner, join me at this special NAWBO Morning Power Track breakfast on December 12 for a program on “Making What You Say Pay.”Details http://bit.ly/IJ52MA
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Random Recommendation One killer sales idea is to become a master of LinkedIn. If you are struggling with how to generate leads using LinkedIn, my friend @aliceheiman will show you how. http://bit.ly/1bifdUZ
Want to Jumpstart Your Sales or Sharpen Your Presentations? Contact me for a free coaching consultation. 212 876 1875. “I really feel like I am thriving. So far in Q3, I have already surpassed my sales goal and I have your training to thank for it.” Media Rep