If you’ve read Part I of our blog [i] , you’ll have discovered the first 6 skill areas Chet Holmes believes can turn any company into a selling machine. In his book The Ultimate Sales Machine, the business growth expert shares his strategies for perfecting your sales ability, reflects on how to make optimum use of your time, and stresses the importance of good sales training through internal meetings.
Holmes points out the difference between working with a long-term strategy as opposed to tactics (based on immediate objectives), and the value of segmenting ideal clients as well as the people you want to have working in your team. All milestones on the road to becoming an unbeatable sales machine.
To reach your destination, however, Holmes lists a further 6 key strategies:
7 Perfect your marketing
You’ll need to deploy the following marketing tools:
a) Advertising: although it requires a hefty budget, it offers the best response levels
b) Direct mail: an excellent way of informing your target market
c) Corporate literature: reports, studies, white papers
d) Public relations: a good way of getting media coverage without the cost of advertising (e.g. press conferences)
e) Personal contacts: using your network to place a phone call to decision-makers
f) Trade fairs and other events: a great place to build awareness of your company
g) Internet: convert web traffic into sales, interact with your target market through social networks or offer webinars
8 Use visual aids – and have the right attitude
Holmes explains how the sense of sight can affect the purchase decision. If you include graphic elements in a presentation or email make sure they are easy to understand. Avoid information overload.
Show your prospect graphs to help them understand your pitch, share an amusing anecdote – something they’ll remember – and display confidence. Any images, statistics and attitude you show must be channelled towards one objective: showing them that you have the solution to their problem.
9 Make a list of your 100 ideal customers
When drawing up the list, you need a very specific customer profile if your business is to grow. Once it’s complete, introduce yourself to your ideal clients with a letter, together with a small gift and your key message. The gift is merely a gesture that shouldn’t cost much – you’re not offering a bribe.
After the first sales impact, use the 7 marketing tools listed above to start the follow-up. Make a calendar of activities using these resources to start attracting customers. Once they know you, call them to suggest a meeting – with the company’s executive report at the ready.
10 Roll out your sales skills
To get good marks in the science of selling you need to:
a) Establish a relationship with your customers
b) Identify their needs to know which factors influence their purchasing decision
c) Start to build value around your product or service to reinforce the need to buy it
d) Create that need by offering essential information that incites your potential customer to take action immediately
e) Counter any objections. Show your client that not taking action will cost more money over time
f) Ask the customer to make a decision – close the sale
g) Follow up, making sure you deliver on everything you promised.
11 Create emotional ties with your customer
If you’ve followed all the advice so far, your list of 100 ideal customers will now start coming to life. Once you’ve started to work with those clients, follow-up is essential – you have to nurture the relationship. Here you have a multitude of options: letters (merely informative or letters of thanks), phone calls or videoconferences, invitations to a company event or lunch. Surprise your customers with something fun and entertaining!
12 Establish objectives
It’s obvious that to have complete command of the sales domain you need to develop various skills. But you don’t have to cover 500 responsibilities at once – 12 are enough. To work in an organised way set your objectives: look for specific solutions that enable you to progress and, little by little, take on bigger projects.
Finally, set aside an hour a week to study one of the skill sets, write them all up and put them somewhere you can easily see them, and make sure you evaluate and optimise results using metrics.