I don’t know about you, but I used to roll my eyes when grandpa would say things like:
Don’t put the cart before the horse. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Yet, it’s funny how true these simple statements are and how they apply to so many difference facets of life. Sales and marketing are no exception; if you want a successful team, training them about sales strategy is essential.
Let’s talk chess for a minute. The game of chess is all about strategy. If you want to win, it requires thinking a few moves ahead. First you decide on your opening, which sets up your middle game. Then comes the most important part: the end game.
But see, there is a big difference between check and checkmate. If you don’t strategize your middle game well, you may be able to put your opponent in “check,” but this doesn’t close the game. Only checkmate wins the game, and checkmate is dependent upon strategy throughout the game.
An effective sales pitch works the same way: it takes strategy throughout the process. A salesperson might get “lucky” and land a close without proper planning on a handful of occasions, but inconsistent behavior won’t yield lasting results.
Does your sales team produce inconsistent results? Are you looking for a sales strategy that works? We have combined a few sales tips and selling skills along with our own Sales Philosophy and advice from Michael Gerber to provide strategies to help close deals like a boss.
1. The Opening
If you want to win the game, there is only one right way to start the game: by prospecting. You don’t see Bath & Body Works employees running around the mall asking small children to visit their store, take samples, or purchase products—such a tactic would be absurd. So why would any salesperson spin their wheels talking to just anyone?
Time isn’t just money, time is time. By prospecting, a salesperson avoids wasting everyone’s time.
Begin by profiling your ideal client/company. Ask your sales team the following questions:
• What is our target industry?
• What is the size of the company?
• What target job titles are we looking for?
• Who is the decision maker?
• In what ways will we be mutually beneficial?
• If selling to business, who are their clients?
• What type of networking does our ideal target do?
• What types of blogs, websites, and magazines does our target read?
• What will motivate a target to meet with us?
2. The Middle Game
Once you and your sales team have determined what your ideal prospect looks like, it’s time to set up the middle game. This is where your company will really shine, because this is your opportunity to present the unique, differentiating aspects of your organization.
Sales Process Strategy
We could certainly go on for days with sales tips and sales strategies to elevate your current process. But rather than re-invent the wheel, we’d like to encourage you to read some of the tips previously offered by our team.
• Phase 1: Introduction
o Once you’ve made initial contact, get to know your client, their company, and their
o Tips: Your 30 Second Commercial is a Dance
• Phase 2: Listen & Learn
o Learn what makes your prospect tick. What do they need? What can you do to help
them personally and professionally? Focus on becoming useful first, it will help you
o Tips: 3 Simple Steps to More Powerful Sales Conversations
• Phase 3: Apply
o You’ve learned, listened, and put the pieces of the puzzle together—now it’s time to
share how you and your company will add value to the life of your client.
o Tips: 5 Sales Training Tips to Make Your Salespeople Smarter Than 5th Graders
3. The Close
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the close! The question remains: is this check or checkmate?
If you’ve prospected properly (i.e. are trying to sell your product/service to the right person), built rapport, solved problems and added value: this is your moment.
• Grant Cardone shares some excellent tips in his Entrepreneur article 12 Commandments for Closing a Sale
• Here at CFS, we put together a powerful free resource about How to Handle Sales Objections and Close More business
Now that you’ve successfully made it through the sales process, we encourage you to keep the momentum going.
In The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber reminds us that even when we’ve figured things out, the work is never complete. “
Are you looking for the best way to identify, track, and replicate your best sales systems and sales practices? Click here to learn more about the CFS Sales PlayBook and how it can help take your sales team to the next level. Click here to schedule a demo.