Hollywood studios have script readers to sift through the hundreds of stories they receive every year. The typical script has 120 pages, but usually only the first 10 get read. If the script doesn’t grab the reader’s attention in the first 10 pages, it’s tossed aside and the reader is on to the next one. It may be the next great film, but it’s those first few minutes that count. In the B2B world, it’s the same scenario. Those first few minutes of a sales call either grabs the buyer, or they’ll hang up right away. Improving the beginning of your call can help close at the end of it. These 6 tips can reduce the time spent hearing “no” (if you can even get to that point at all), and increase your sales effectively.
- Research your prospect before initiating contact. SiriusDecisions conducted a survey that found 82% of decision makers think sales reps are unprepared. There are several good reasons to research first. First, make sure the company can use your product or service. Second, researching helps you find the right person to connect with. And third, researching gives you information to relate to the buyer, such as the company’s recent product launch or a cause they recently supported. You can research the company on their social media pages, blogs on their website, or even customer reviews.
- Share your passion and believe in what you’re selling. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it really makes a difference in interactions. Have you ever been on the receiving end of a phone call where the other person just read from a script? It can be a frustrating experience trying to have a conversation with someone who isn’t even listening. And if you don’t have a passion for your product or service, why should your buyer care about what you’re selling?
- Teach instead of sell. Consultative selling practices are beneficial both for you and the companies you interact with. Take the time to personalize your sales interactions to your buyer’s company based on how it will solve a problem. And since the Harvard Business Review found that 60% of buyers actually complete their own research on what solution they need before they even touch base with a seller, listening to the buyer is more Important than ever.
- Think like your buyer. Look at your cost, effectiveness, even your competition. If you can identify any reasons why the buyer would pick another company over you, then you know you won’t make the sale. If you can’t find any reason, or can find reasons why your company is the strongest, you can easily sell your product or service. Thinking like your buyer gives you the opportunity to make your company stand out, and a vantage point on what areas to stress during your interactions.
- Ask for referrals from existing clients and professional contacts. We all know warm leads are better than cold calls. The Harvard Business Review found that 90% of C-level executives never respond to cold calls. Working within your network to find leads will yield a better chance of connecting with a company that will take the time to talk to you. DSWA says that 55% of referrals end in sales.
- Most importantly, focus on building relationships rather than making the sale. It now takes an average of 8 interactions to make a sale compared to less than 4 interactions just 10 years ago, according to TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group. And from following up on the company’s satisfaction with the purchase to future sales, chances are these interactions won’t be the last time you speak to your buyer. Make sure you build trust and respect between your company and theirs.
In the busy B2B world, it may seem like the more calls you make, the more sales you’ll close. But taking the time to research, demonstrating ways your product or service will help your buyer’s company, and maintaining a respectful relationship will be the best way to increase your B2B sales. If your company is working towards building B2B sales, give us a call to discuss how we can make your company stand out among the competition. We’d be glad to look over your sales goals and discuss the best methods for reaching them for your best year yet.