Message is something often overlooked by salespeople especially those just winging it. They are too focused on finding leads but once they get to speak with someone on the phone, the freeze out. Sometimes too, we’re sending the message to the wrong people reason why our deals are not progressing.
Today’s guest is Barbara Giamanco, CEO and Founder of Social Centered Selling. She previously worked for Microsoft and since then, she has done consultative training and coaching in sales organizations and helping them understand how to integrate the use of social media and social networking channels into the selling process. Barbara is author of the book, The Handshake:Sales Meets Social Media.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Barbara:
Lessons from Barbara’s coolest sales experience when she was the customer at a car dealership:
- Align the sale to the what the customer needs or wants.
- Invest in training to teach your team how to be consultative sellers.
- Don’t make things personal if they don’t buy from you.
How to bring the Experience Factor in Sales Through Your Messaging:
- The first interaction could either make or break you.
Your very first interaction with a buyer is either going to get you a go or earn your place in the delete pile. There are not too many opportunities to make a good first impression if you blow it the first time around.
It’s also about your brand too. You’re communicating either a positive or not positive message.
- The right place and time
Don’t just get our pitch out there that you forget there’s a time and place for everything. Don’t try to get a close right after a hello.
- Email cadence
Why waste time asking somebody if they got you message. You have about three seconds to get someone’s attention and asking the client if they got your last email is not going to get you a better sales result.
- Tailor your message.
Slow it down a bit. Do some basic homework, Figure out the most important things for your customer and tailor the whole message about why your product or service is good for them.
- Sell to the right buyer.
Don’t spend your energy going after people who are not the right buyer profile for you. Don’t go emailing and calling the wrong people.
- Some things the buyer is going to expect from you:
- Knowledge of your industry
- Knowledge of current and future trends in the business
- Understanding the competitive landscape
- Understanding the pain they are feeling (Demonstrate how you work with other customers who had similar problems you helped solve.)
- Personalize your message.
Get out of the lazy selling. Buyers are not looking for people to sell them stuff but for people who can help them solve their business problems. Gather basic intelligence. Then put 2-3 sentences in the body of the email that you can use as a template for anybody you’re going after in that particular space but be sure to personalize it.
- Validate, not interrogate.
Do initial research and try to learn about the major challenges an industry is facing and ask your prospect if they’re seeing or feeling some of that. This is going to get people involved thinking you did the homework because you tried to find out a little something about them.
- Bring fresh insights and ditch your pitch.
Talk about how awesome your product is and how great your company is, the buyer doesn’t care. Make sure you’re able to bring value to the table. For example, find a couple of interesting articles about things that may impact their business and how they may want to start preparing and planning for that.
- Ditch the cheesy subject lines.
Put together a subject line that gets their attention, something related to a challenge they’re facing for example.
- Resist the urge of talking about how great your product is.
Present something that’s going to be of value to them such as a white paper. It may not guarantee you a response but that’s definitely going to at least perk up a buyer’s interest a little bit.
- Don’t just show up and throw up.
Think about what it feels like to be in the buyer’s shoes. Always think about what the buyer needs and how you can align to that and support that and solve their problems.
- Understand the industry you’re targeting then do your best to map out your sales strategies.
Barbara’s Major Takeaway:
Slow down. Focus your message on what the buyer cares about, not what you want to sell. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Focus on them because that’s how your product or service gets sold.
Visit her blog at www.barbaragiamanco.com
Listen to Barbara’s podcast, The Razors Edge
The Handshake:Sales Meets Social Media by Barbara Giamanco
Selling to Zebras by Jeff Koser
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