You need more sales for your B2B business.
Facts on selling
1. People buy not companies
No company will ever buy. The decision makers in the companies are the ones that buy.
2. Sales and need fit together
If there is no need then you can’t sell. You shouldn’t fool the buyer as he won’t buy the next time.
Selling isn’t manipulative. You cannot influence someone to buy without a need.
3. You can learn to sell
There are people who are gifted with a selling ability.
However the best sales people admit they have learned to sell.
It is a skill.
4. Sell the product, solution or service – not yourself
Don’t try to sell yourself, as in the end the potential customer needs to buy the product or solution. You are not to be sold.
You need to identify their needs or problems and present a feasible and affordable solution.
5. Trust is required
In order to sell a product, solution, or a service there has to be trust.
- Trust that marketing has build for you
- Trust that has been acquired on previous occasions
- Trust that has been given by references
- Trust that you have build with the potential customer, which is the best and most difficult to achieve.
6. You need to sell a product or solution – nothing sells itself
Maybe in some unique cases if you have a monopoly or a very unique product, then the products might sell itself.
However in 99.9% of all business, you will have to sell the product or solution by showing how it solves the problem and the benefits provided.
7. Avoid rejection by qualifying your leads
Sales people have fear of rejection during the sales process.
You need to believe in the fact that you stand good chances of selling to the prospect.
If not then you or the marketing department have qualified the lead wrongly.
8. The combination of price, quality, service and reputation
Decisions are not solely made on price, but quality, service and reputation count also.
Else companies would just try to sell at lower prices in order to get any deal.
9. Quality of contacts
It is not the increased efforts for getting more contacts, but the effort of getting the best contacts that will increase your sales.
Selling is not a numbers game, but a search for quality of your contacts and addressing them with the appropriate message.
10. The conversation
Having a lot of contacts, telephone calls, email exchanges and meetings with potential customers is not the best approach.
It is better to have a real conversation, being able to question and to listen to your potential customer using the previously gathered information.
The goal is to understand his problems, propose an adequate solution.
You will be building trust at the same time if you have paid enough attention and had prepared yourself.
11. Objections are the best clues
You better know about the objections a soon as possible in order to evaluate them in order to make the decision: stop or continue.
Obtaining the objection has two advantages:
- If the objections are too high or too deep rooted then stop.
You can avoid spending too much time and effort on a lead that never will become a customer.
- If the objections can be removed, they can be turned around into benefits for you.
So instead of avoiding and running away from objections, listen to their objections, try to handle and resolve them.
12. Be confident
If you aren’t confident about yourself, you will not sell. It’s that simple.
If you don’t believe in your products or solutions, how can the potential customer believe in them?
He will not trust you.
In the end he has to take the plunge and stick out his neck, then sign the purchase order.
Thus he needs to have faith in you and the product or solution.
13. Don’t be utterly confident
If you are too confident, the buyer or decision maker might not like you.
He can expect you are hiding something for him.
Then you will fail.
14. Know the decision maker
You should know who is the decision maker and the influencer.
Avoid those who have knowledge but no decision power or influencing power as they will never buy.
Read: Selling to the VITO of Anthony Parinello. Although this book and concept dates from 1995, it is still applicable to many companies.
15. Acquiring a customer costs more than retaining
Although lead generation and acquiring customers seems more thrilling and promising, getting customers to repurchase is much more profitable.
Retaining by nurturing your existing customers is a must.
16. Urgency or priority
You need to know the urgency or priority of the decision required for the purchase.
Focus on those companies with a high urgency for a solution.
17. Know offering of the competitors
You need to know the competitors working on the same company.
If you know the benefits of the products or solutions of your competitors fighting for the same deal, try to estimate their chances of winning.
If they can offer a better price/(solution + benefits) for the customer, then move on to the next potential customer as chances are high your solution will not be selected as theirs is a better fit.
18. The entire company is in Sales
All personnel is in Sales – not just the sales team and the salesmen.
Many employees and managers consider themselves not to be in Sales.
However all people involved and being paid by the company are in Sales.
All actions, conversations and writings of the employees are somehow related to selling: be it during work or during spare-time.
19. Never lie or cheat
You can adjust the truth to the situation of the potential customer, but you cannot lie about the ability, the functions, features or benefits of you proposed solution or product.
Once you or your company has acquired a bad name, it will travel faster than your marketing can ever catch up with and will cost years to repair.
20. Know the budget early in the process
If you keep putting in efforts for selling your product or solution and you don’t know the budget, it can be a complete waste of time if the budget is much lower than the cost of your proposed solution.
Make sure you know the budget during the initial conversations.
21. Propose a limited number of options
If you want to confuse your potential customer then give him many options. He will then probably choose for your competitor.
Instead give him the best 2 or 3 suited solutions for his problem or need, clearly stating the differences. He will be thankful that you have understood the problem.
22. Reach out early in the buying process
The earlier you can be part of the buying process the better. The best is even to be the first as all other solutions will be compared with yours.
The earliest sign of a purchase interest is probably on your website. Although the potential buyer will not present or address to you, you need to know who is visiting your website by their company name.
Don’t push – don’t rush – be patient.
Don’t limit the buyer to certain time frame.
Don’t put a due date in place even you offer a bargain.
It will only make you look cheap and looking for a quick deal.
Patience is what you need in B2B Sales as in most cases it is a complex sales.
24. Sales is the driver of your company
No sales, no invoices, no revenue.
Thus selling is probably the most important action for the entire enterprise.
Thus if you need help, all should help you.
Even the CEO or Board of Directors should, if they can reach out to the decision makers and influence them.
All possible sales in B2B (and even in retail for higher priced consumer goods)