I recently completed a series of mystery shops for a client looking to explore the impact of their on-line presence. Though the surge in their popularity is undeniable, we often debate about the value of Internet inquiries. But the truth is we are not selling dog food, or patio furniture or school supplies. We are selling a promise for the last chapter of someone's life. It is possibly one of the only things you cannot purchase on line.
So what can be done? No matter what it takes, stop your sales team from spewing data about your business, in person, on line or on the phone. It's not that it doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter yet.
Unless you sell sunglasses or barbeques, you may think the summer is a sleepy time to do business. I recently had a client call me to help her with some training in a community that had been in a census decline since January. She was in a hurry to get me in front of her sales team because soon “it would be summer and there would be no traffic.” Somehow inquiries would come to a screeching halt and if they didn’t “close” everyone in May, they would surely have no business again until fall.
In my business there is great disagreement about whether anyone can be trained to sell. But in any business where personal lives or great sums of money are at stake, training is essential. If a person has natural talent to connect with others, that is a gift. But the skill to discover what someone really needs or wants can most definitely be taught.
When we sell something, anything, we may often have to depend upon someone else to deliver that product we just sold. Whether its senior living, real estate, office equipment or financial services you may not ultimately be in charge of delivering the product you sold to your customer. The distance between the sale and the delivery to the customer can be enormous.
Many years ago, early in my career I worked for a woman who was possibly the most savvy business person I have ever encountered. She was full of wisdom. Her management style was simple and powerful. Her mantra: Treat your clients like gold and honor your sales team as the life blood of your business. During my training she said the most valuable thing I have ever learned. "If you want to be successful, just show up for your appointments and return your calls."
As a marketing consultant and sales trainer I often meet with clients who tell me that they “just can’t sell enough…” or “Can you teach my people how to close?” It never fails that after a bit of research and investigation we find that many of the customers we try to sell aren’t really viable users of our products. So once again we need to go back to marketing. Who are your perfect clients, where are they and how can you get more of them?
My insights for your success.