07/11/2013 - 04:56

Make your sales play pay

07/11/2013 - 04:56


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Tailoring your sales pitch to specific customer needs can help you win business.

Make your sales play pay

I receive a lot of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve their sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life, and (most important) your sales thought process right now.

Q) What is your opinion of tracking daily sales dollars versus activities that will result in revenue? Does it really matter if Monday's sales dollars are lower as long as the month pans out in regard to your goals?

A) What you need to do is track the sales cycle and know where you are with respect to that sales cycle and what your expected revenues are. Because if your expected revenues are underneath your daily dollars, but your daily dollars are over your goal, you think you're doing well, when in fact, you could be achieving 20, 30 40, 50 per cent more sales by making certain you're looking at your target dollars, not just your actual dollars.

Received dollars are easy to record, but if you're a salesperson and your boss needs to know what activity you're doing every day – whether you've made five follow-ups and whether you did three cold calls – you're doing it all backwards and you've got the wrong boss.

Q) I have a regional billboard company with two years' experience. For the smaller, greener, and less connected salespeople of the world, how do you keep a strategy in mind at all times to help land big clients?

A) You're not going to land those big contracts without years worth of trying, banging your head against the wall, seeing their ad agency, and doing all

kinds of other stuff – unless you can get in the door by way of a personal introduction. And if you can get in the door with some kind of impact, you're going to win.

But here's the secret: don't just be selling them a billboard. Give them a design that helps them get a response. And maybe you could even arrange with your company to give it away for 30 days to measure that response and go from there. The biggest mistake anybody in advertising makes is to walk into a sales call with some kind of a media kit that shows how big a quarter page ad is, or how big a billboard is, or how many 30-second commercials there are. Go in with something already finished so people can look at it, like it, invite other people in to see it, and ultimately buy it.

Q) I sell broadcast television advertising in a small market. I have mountains of information that shows TV as a great way to advertise, but how do I work that into my sales presentation without being overly analytical and pedantic? I need to give my prospective clients reasons to buy, but I don't want to overwhelm them with data.

A) Nobody wants data. What you need are video testimonials from customers who have already advertised on your station, got great results, and are willing to recommend that another prospective customer use your TV station. If that's not working

for you, or you can't get them because you don't have any relationships, then do a 30-second spot where you are the voice. And do a spot about whomever you're trying to get - the car agency, the car wash company, the cemetery lot salesperson. You make the commercial. It's 30 seconds. It's only 90 words. Figure it out.

Your method of being pedantic is too pedantic. Making a commercial in advance and getting a testimonial – those are the only two ways to sell.


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