In talking with a wide number of sales pros in the last week it hit me that our profession keeps us somewhat isolated. It is the nature of the career in many cases - you have a lot to accomplish in a short period of time. You don't move around much - once you find the spot at your company where you can get work done, you are there all day, five days a week.
So you tend to do the same thing over and over - I mean, when can you really spend time determining if there is something better to say or better to do? How else would you follow-up other than the way you do now (or don't)?
You need an opinion outside of your realm. Just beyond your circle of peers there is someone - many someones - who has a single idea that could shift your week and get you extra conversations with potential buyers.
One single idea helped Victor - he always said the same old pitch, the same messaging - to prospects but stopped long enough so that we could look at and hear what it is that he's saying day in and day out.
He was leading conversations talking about his company rather than a focus on the buyer and their company.
His message sounded stale - it needed some refreshing (as did he).
He sounded like a robot when he talked.
His email messages were too long and not customer focused.
The funny thing about Victor is that he is a fairly successful seller and was open to new ideas. The idea of a "refresh" for his communication - what he was saying and how he was saying it - got him 3 new meetings the day he started with his refreshed messaging.
It is not hard to do - you just have to get outside of yourself, and work with someone you trust. This is what we professional sales coaches do, however, you should be able to find a business professional who you can bounce what you say every day off of just to get THEIR idea. Here are the key points:
Find someone whose opinion you trust - not just a "yes man" or "yes woman". You need constructive suggestions.
Call them or email them as if they are a potential buyer of your services.
Ask them if the message you sent compelled them in any way - did it pique your curiosity?
Ask them how you sound - mechanical or human?
Get their best advice.
Then try someone else whose opinion you trust.
See if someone in business - whose opinion you trust - will do this 3 weeks in a row with you. By this time you should get their honest opinion of what it is that you are saying. If someone outside of your industry can understand whatever it is you say to move toward a decision maker, it's fairly safe to assume that non-decision makers in your prospect company will also.
Get outside of your own head, and get outside of the guys or gals you sit next to for new opinions and ideas. It's like asking for a second opinion from a doctor - most people don't hesitate to do that.
If you do, you may find that like Victor, one tweak here and another there - adding power words and removing fluff with a big focus on your buyer can make all the difference in getting closer to valuable conversations with your future buyers.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2013" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.