Well, we all know that in the business of business, it is all about sales. I don’t mean to overshadow the power of marketing, but the fact remains, it all boils down to sales. In reading Joanne’s book, here are a few questions that sparked my curiosity (and can spark yours, too).
Does technology seal a deal? No. And it will never. Read: Technology is just tool (like a space) where buyers and sellers interact. It can never replace the traditional real-time meeting with a buyer. Humans are wired to make quick impressions when they meet, simply because we all are driven by emotions, which we can never sense on via technology. (Though, of course, to some extent words can do the trick to hook the buyers’ attention, but they can never reveal the real psychology of why they should be buying from one seller versus the other.)
No matter what technology we use to communicate with the each other, the best way to make a connection is to personally meet and acknowledge the relationship we have with our buyers. While a person’s voice on the phone sometimes does a magic in getting the prospect’s attention but you cannot beat the power of face-to-face conversation where you can read between the lines of the conversation and discern where the conversation is going versus where it is supposed to go. In B2B sales, almost every salesperson is scrambling to make his quota by dialing number, giving demos and then anticipating winning the purchase order. Sounds ubiquitous? Yes it is. While cutting costs is critical for organizations – especially when salespeople make their quotas via demos online, but my question is, is this cost costlier than a salesperson that loses his prospect’s business just because he didn’t meet the prospect real-time and establish a personal connection? The goal should to earn the trust – and the money will follow. Not vice-versa.
What is beyond Sales Intelligence?
There is no denying that social selling can help you identify the trigger events in the buyer’s business. In fact tools like InsideView, Discover.Org, Google alerts, LinkedIn, Twitter some of the great starting points to gather sales intelligence on your buyers. However, it is not just enough; the real competitive differentiator is the ‘real relationship intelligence’ that will help you solidify your business deal with your prospect. Referral selling has a huge untapped business potential for salespeople. So dig in it. Want some starting points? Pick up these books immediately – the Endless Sales by Bob Burg and Pick up the Damn Phone by Joanne S. Black.
Where are the top decision makers?
In today’s hyper-connected world, everyone is on social media, but Joanna’s finding states that the top decision makers are not that frequent on social media. (Really? Yes!) To reach to these decision makers it is imperative to make a personal connection with them, understand their priorities and then strategize on how a salesperson will reach out to them. More like a personal approach strategy – a cold calling plan of action is a top priority for salespeople to succeed in eventually winning the contract. Amidst a constant noise of product pushing peddlers talking ‘at’ your prospects, you should stand out being a problem solver communicating intelligently with your prospects.
How can we know more than our buyers?
I have reiterated on my earlier blog posts that reading more in your industry can set you apart from the other salespeople who are vying for the same piece of the buyer’s business. However, to borrow Jill’s observation in her book and via her Fresh Sales Strategies blog, she mentions that it is important to make assumptions (though of course they may not always be accurate, but that’s perfectly fine. At least assumptions can help you set the tone and structure the conversation and help you take the reins of the conversation instantly) Buyer’s love salespeople who are anticipatory – people who think ahead of the curve. So go ahead and crack open your assumptions – rest assured you will definitely pique your buyer’s interest.
So just pick up the damn phone and harness the power of relationship intelligence in every conversation with your prospect!
Thanks, Joanne, for sharing such rational insights in this book. Lest I forget, please do subscribe to her blog on nomorecoldcalling.com.
Image credit: nomorecoldcalling.com