Being "on" every day when you have a front-line role in selling is a tough thing. Gaining access, having intelligent conversations, and working toward closing business EVERY day is also tough. Unlike some other jobs where you may not face customers, let alone make contact with people you hope will become customers, there is no time to be down or "off". Whether you're selling technology, services, or are a distributor of products, coming up with one new way to put a spin on some sales thing you've done for a long time can be just what you need to close that one stalled deal. You know the deal - there might be many stalled or developing sales opportunities, but that ONE that you can't move forward - that's the one I mean.
Ever have a brainstorming session? Come up with a new idea or two, without judging whether you think it will work or not. That is the premise for this list. Some ideas won't work for you or even make sense. One or two WILL.
Based on the session by the same name at B2B Camp Boston this past week, here is a list of 50 ideas to help jump-start sales. What ideas are not here but should be? We are awarding prizes for anyone who comes up with at least 10 more ideas.
1) Listen harder – really hear what the prospect is telling you
2) Work to craft a story around your business or product or services
3) “tell, don’t sell” (see #2)
4) Get good at prospect research
5) Learn to manage every minute in your work day
6) Honor your prospecting time commitments (block out time, and don't cancel on yourself)
7) Assess your type style and understand your strengths and work to outsource your areas you’re not so strong in
8) Have a neat, organized work space with everything you need near you
9) Pace yourself all day – healthy snacks, and take stretch breaks outside of your desk area – go outside if possible
10) Do a Monday revenues & activity goals list – review on Friday
11) Find someone you can talk through deals with – inside or outside of your company
12) Work weekly on building your brand and gaining social prominence
13) Let others, not you - tell of your good works – get endorsements
14) Block time into research / e-mail / calling
15) Consider having a “Power Wednesday” where you focus on outbound calling + emailing
16) Also consider having a “Research Saturday” where you get a lot of research done at once – ready for Monday AM.
17) Learn what gives you more power – standing up when talking, or bracing a foot on the ground; use power voice
18) Find time wasters and get rid of them.
19) Remove tolerations while you are at it. Example: double entering some sales data that could be done once. Fix it.
20) Have a sales process and a sales methodology. Process = steps and methodology is the framework.
21) Do things as they happen rather than piling things up to transcribe or add to CRM. Keep moving forward.
22) Keep a “parking lot” list with questions for various people so that you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to ask questions. Work smart.
23) When talking with a prospect, always agree to a next action; then put it in your CRM or calendar.
24) Crank up your activity 10% or more.
25) Follow up more.
26) Create a list of strategic partners who could refer you several if not dozens of prospects your way. Track those on this list.
27) Send 5 handwritten cards each week. Keep them with you to jot a quick note and get to the mail same day.
28) Work well with others in your company so that you can get others involved as you get more prospects and customers
29) Understand inbound marketing and find ways to implement it.
30) Hire experts in inbound marketing or CRM or in coaching
31) Bookmark www.sales.alltop.com and skim for pertinent topics there.
32) Learn about tone and modulation.
33) Set up watch lists for clients and your top prospective clients
34) See what your industry counterparts (competition) are doing weekly
35) Know the business conversation of those in each of your product’s niches
36) Practice conveying your ideas to others – just like an athlete practices
37) In fact, record video and audio of yourself – it isn’t always pretty but it is very helpful to gain self-awareness
38) Keep track of what prospects say and do that indicate to you they will be a buyer.
39) Plan “Quadrant 2” time in your schedule (Google Steven Covey Quadrants of Time)
40) How can you add “power words” to what you are saying or writing to prospects? Critical to review.
41) Learn how to really focus
42) Stop trying to multitask
43) If you are involved in some, or all, of the social messaging, create an editorial calendar or get updates from marketing so you know what is coming up
44) Create time each week to brainstorm about stalled sales opportunities
45) Create time each month to discuss upsell opportunities with existing clients.
46) Learn presentation techniques – individual and group, including how to speak extemporaneously
47) Understand the tenets of improv and be open to saying “yes, and”
48) Keep an open mind – creative ideas often close deals.
49) Be proactive, not reactive. Don’t wait for people to get back to you – stay in front of your next actions and opportunities.
50) Become a student of communication and a student of professional selling. Keep an open mind, and read & listen to as much as you can.
Lori Richardson speaks, writes, and trains on sales strategies for B2B mid-market technology front-line sales teams. Why not sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter, “Sales Ideas In A Minute” or the award-winning blog rss feed?