How successful are you at making the sale? Conversion rates for cold calls are typically about 2%, compared to 20% for solid leads and 50% for referrals, according to one marketer. Of course, your industry and how you’re reaching your potential customers play a role, but there are ways to maximize your success.
I’ve spent my career cultivating best practices. I’m sharing key takeaways from more than 35 years of B2B sales experience, working with Fortune 500 companies.
- Channel the Law of Intention and Desire
I always encourage people to start a sales call by setting an intention or a goal for the call that is specific. A goal is an idea you accept, a picture of something you want to have or experience on the physical plane. What do you want to gain from the sales call? Desire is when you become emotionally involved with that idea, you have fused with it, you believe it. The combination of Intention and Desire embodies a principle for fulfillment and success. To emotionalize an idea means you must feel and believe that it is done. You are not attached to how it happens; instead, you trust and accept when things do not go exactly as planned, there is a reason. You understand your relationship to power. It’s not you that causes the result, it’s the energy that flows through you. You allow yourself to the instrument and you LET the source of energy flowing through you cause the transformation.
By having your humility in check, you are able to be fully present in the NOW with the client, where your power is to render service. Your sales presentations become easier and more effective. This practice will transform how you do business , save time, increase the amount of service you render, and generate more happy customers. The effect is your prosperity.
2. Know your audience & Sell to the people who can say “Yes!”
Selling is about creating value for customers. Most B2B sales involve multiple stakeholders. Identify who they are. Before advocating any solution, a true pro seeks to build rapport and connection with the audience. When your clients know, like, and trust you you can form an emotional composite with them. Without an emotional composite, no sale.
How do you establish this bond of trust and credibility? By focusing on the individual customers’ needs with curiosity and wonder. What is it that each stakeholder really wants? Make the customers feel that they are the most important person because in their minds they are!
Give each stakeholder something to sink their teeth into. Activate their imaginations and ask them to describe their true desires. Remind yourself that you’re guiding a team through a transformation. You want to establish buy-in.
Remember compensation is for “service rendered.” The service comes first! Ask yourself, “How can I help?” Why does each buyer type need my product or service? What problem is it helping them solve? Be prepared with those high quality questions that can lead and persuade the client on a path of agreement. Having each stakeholder feel heard and acknowledged will help to create buy-in.
It takes the courage of a pro to lead others on a path of agreement. Pros take their responsibility seriously. Amateurs suffer from approval addiction, meaning they are more concerned about what others think then they are about serving another powerfully. If you suffer from approval addiction you will fail to persuade the people who can say yes because of your desire to be appreciated and liked. You won’t approach people unless you think they’re looking for what you have. And so many people will miss out because you will lay judgment on them!
Approval addiction is what holds people back from creating sales. Approval addiction is letting people off the hook, leaving them in their complacency instead of helping them walk across the bridge of transformation towards a breakthrough. In sales,the objective is not to be liked, the objective is to persuade others on a path of agreement to get what they want and earn a sale. That means you must get in front of the people who can say “yes.”
Yes you might think it is scary to talk to the CEO – or the owner of a company – but getting to the buyer who can say yes is essential. You can always get the attention of someone unwilling to listen, by being truly interested in that person. It is your responsibility to persuade others to do something for their own good. Successful people accomplish things they want to accomplish by forming the habit of doing things they don’t like to do. That way it becomes automatic!
3. Give the customer a reason to buy.
Know what you are selling, the benefits of your product or service. Always keep motive in mind. For someone to buy, you must give that person an adequate motive, which is the “emotional reason” to buy. How will they feel when they have your product or service? Motives are key for persuasion; they allow you to identify and evoke your client’s emotions to take action.
Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone outlined ten basic motives in the book “Success through a Positive Mental Attitude.” Seven of the motives are positive and include (but are not limited to) desire for self-preservation, material gain and recognition. The negative motives are fear, anger, and hate/revenge.
Buyers’ motives tell us the WHY behind what they are looking to accomplish, fix or avoid. You always want to know what the client wants, and why, before you attempt to sell anything. No want, no sale. People buy ideas and benefits, not merchandise. People buy based on their emotions and justify their emotions with logic. When you study the motives, study yourself. What are your motives? Recognize the opportunity that lies within by understanding yourself. The more you understand yourself, the more you will understand your clients. And when you understand your clients, you will be closing more sales.
Rhonda Petit is a Sales and Business Peak Performance Coach and the Founder and CEO of 3×5 Sales. Prior to launching her coaching business, Rhonda worked in sales for 35 years with clients at Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies. Her book, The Spirit of Selling: Using Universal Laws for Sales Success, contains actionable insight into the universal laws that govern successful selling. Visit her website or connect with her on LinkedIn.