Shweiki Media Printing Company is excited to announce that they’ve once again teamed up with Ryan Dohrn—founder of Brain Swell Media, Publisher of Sales Training World, and creator of the 360 Ad Sales Training system taught to over 4,000 sales people around the globe —to present a webinar on the five ways to D.R.I.V.E. sales numbers sky high.
As a sales coach and trainer, I am seeing more and more salespeople that are driving around in circles with no plan in mind. The lack of planning can cost sales professionals deal after deal. Any plan is better than no plan at all. Let’s use the acronym D.R.I.V.E. to focus in on a potential plan for sales success.
Differentiate: The “D” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for Differentiate. It is important to differentiate your product quickly from all others in the sector if you hope to close a deal fast. Price will always become the deciding factor if two products seem similar. As a salesperson, you need to work very hard to show the unique differences between your product and your nearest competition. This is especially important if your product is more expensive than the competition. You need to do this while prospecting, hosting sales calls, closing deals and when retaining your client. It is extremely important to create a clear and stark difference between you and your competition by finding things that are unique about your product, service or company.
Run: The “R” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for Run. In today’s competitive sales environment, you need to run, not walk. Clients are not willing to give you much time. Many sales training companies will tell you that you need to walk before you can run, but not me. You need to run or you will lose to those that do. Besides family, what do most clients value above all else? Time. Most of your prospective clients value their time above nearly all else in their life. The issue is that most prospective clients see you as a time stealing sales person. Sales people promise to be brief but then show up with a 30 minute Power Point presentation. Cut to the chase, promise not to waste their time and then do not.
I am often criticized for this philosophy because so many sales professionals rely on relationship building to secure deals. Do not get me wrong, I am all about building relationships. However, there is just not enough time in most sales environments to create the relationships required to close a deal quickly. Consultative selling is not dead. You just need to speed up the process by going to your next meeting prepared to present great ideas. Be prepared to run with great ideas that can be tweaked on the fly and understand that you do not need to have a deep relationship to sell them something.
Invest: The “I” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for Invest. Invest in your next meeting with serious and solid preparation and do not wing it. The days of walking into a meeting to gather information with nothing else from a client are gone. Begin research with LinkedIn, the internet or other industry resources. Come prepared with ideas, options, and pricing variables. My successful clients will build a proposal in front of the client on their iPad or a piece of paper and get the ball rolling. You can also create pricing packages in advance based on common buying scenarios from past customers. Sales professionals should stop thinking their product is too complex for this approach and should be prepared and invest in meetings. Preparation is the key to sales success. Invest in the time it takes to come to sales call prepared and stop winging it.
Value: The “V” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for Value. Value is everything in sales. If you bring no value to the prospective client you bring nothing to the client. There are three main things that most business people want from your product or service. They want to save time, save money, and make money. Once you identify the value you offer, focus on the sales call itself. You need to quickly prove what value you bring to the table. Customers do not buy when they do not understand so you need to sell the total value you have to offer them in your visuals, sales chatter and sales narrative. Always talk about the value you bring. Think more like a teacher than a sales rep by breaking your thoughts into simple points, removing the fluff, keeping it simple, and proving to them the value your ideas bring to their business. Proving value also weaves nicely with ROI. All to often sales people focus on features and not their value proposition.
End Game: The “E” in D.R.I.V.E. stands for End Game. It is important to establish a follow-up protocol so that your end game is crystal clear. This is the most important part of the D.R.I.V.E. sales process. At the point in the sales meeting when the client says the need to “think about it” or “take the idea to the boss for approval” you need to establish a follow-up protocol. Understand that very often you will need to follow-up with a customer and you cannot leave the follow-up protocol to the customer. First, validate that the customer loves your idea, product or proposal. Next, use your phone to set up follow-up meetings and get the customer on your calendar. Promise to not be a “typical” sales rep that will call them 1,000 times if they set the next meeting. If you promise to call at the given time you agree upon, DO NOT miss the call.
As a rule of thumb, try three times to establish a follow-up meeting before you give up. If the customer will not establish a follow-up meeting, sales professionals should ask themselves if they actually have a buy-in on their idea, product or proposal. It is critical that sales professionals understand their follow-up process must adhere to what I like to call the “Magic 48 Hour Sales WindowTM.” Sales professionals have approximately 48 hours to re-engage the client or risk losing them. Prospects tend to lose focus in 48 hours or less, so book the follow-up within that time.
I am here to help with sales coaching and sales training for media and tech companies. I have trained over 3,000 salespeople in seven countries. I actively sell each and every day products and services beyond myself. My challenge to you: What will you do different this week to improve your sales? Remember, if sales were easy, everyone would be doing it.