The internet has helped to make inbound lead generation a much easier task, but in other ways, it’s also complicated the process of closing deals. For example, you don’t have as much time with an opportunity as you had in the past, because your competitors are always waiting around the corner to scoop up any potential clients who get impatient or who fall through your fingers.
However, no matter how the art of making a deal changes, forming a good relationship with your prospects will never go out of style. Want to know the three things that will help any salesperson close more leads – and one major caveat? Keep reading.
1. Establishing a Strong Professional Dynamic
You don’t have to be best friends with your prospects, but you should try to positively impact the underlying dynamic of your relationship. Your potential clients should look at you not as a salesperson per se, but rather a partner in this venture, someone who is helping them solve a problem.
Just as Batman has his butler Alfred to help take care of him and manage the problems that he solves, you should try to assume an “Alfred-like” role for your prospects, advising and consulting them on the best way to solve their problems.
2. Commanding Authority
Do your prospects trust you as the person to help solve their problems? To some extent, this sense of trust has already been established (or has failed to be established) before they interact with you. When people interact with your website and your marketing materials, are they attractive, well-formed, easy to understand and up-to-date?
You can affect this sense of authority (positively or negatively) during your interactions with your prospects. Provide prompt, yet complete and accurate, responses to your prospects’ messages and questions. Make sure that you’ve done your homework and that you understand them and their business.
The importance of establishing that part of the relationship really early in the process can’t be overstated.
3. Being Honest
As a corollary to the previous two points, it’s important that you’re able to have the difficult conversations upfront with your prospects. If you’re just telling them what they want to hear and trying to get to the deal, you’re not really helping them, and you’re making it less likely that they’ll be satisfied with their purchase and refer other customers to you.
Instead, approach the closing process from the perspective of a consultant. You’re helping your customers solve a problem, and over the course of that, you may have to say some tough things and tell it like it is. That ability to speak honestly and frankly, yet always with respect, is underrated, yet very much appreciated and very valuable in closing an opportunity.
If you’re a sales manager, finding salespeople who can fulfill the above traits is often a matter of getting the right people in the door in the first place. You either need to coach and manage them so that they get to where you need them to be or find the people who are already performing at that level.
Unfortunately, most sales managers spend a lot of time on sales training and development, but spend very little time on learning how to be a good sales manager — and absolutely no time on learning how to recruit properly and bring in the right salespeople.
If you’re really looking to build a sales team that does what you need them to and sells at a high level, focus on how you bring people on board. Get a hiring process in place, learn how to interview properly, and learn what to look for and the questions to ask.
While this takes more time and effort, you’ll ultimately find yourself in a much better position.
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