From the Blog

Stephen’s Sales Tips

Hero BG
Stephen Archer

x min read

May 2, 2022

Selling to your prospective customers is difficult and the ROI of the sales channel can be downright scary.  The past few years has seen customer accessibility, face-to-face or physical contact, greatly reduced. It’s getting better, but selling is still very hard work, and most sales leaders still look for the ‘silver bullet’. Marketing teams have also had to try to step up to engage customers with their value propositions.  Let’s take a look at three things sales can do to improve productivity.

Never speak to customers about your products

Just because customers expect you to talk about your products does not mean that you should. If you are buying a heating system for your home now you are not interested in the product, you want to know about the efficiency, payback time on the investment etc.  <I don’t understand what is in yellow above-doesn’t make sense to me; consider rephrasing>

It’s the same for scientists. They may not articulate it, but they want to know what impact the product will have on their work. If you talk about the product, you talk about its features: wrong. So you may talk about benefits, but go that extra step beyond benefits; what do they bestow? It’s about value, dependability and yes, ROI. These are the sorts of things that matter to customers. So speak to them about what matters to them and here’s the surprise – often they forget what is important to them so your narrative can really excite them.

Personalise and personify

Salespeople should understand customers, that’s a given. Customers are not all the same and categorising customers often leads to lazy generic messaging. Customers then feel spoken ‘at’ rather than ‘to’. Customers will not lean to you if they feel spoken at. Know the customer before you speak with them so that you can personalise the value message and in the process, you will make them feel like you are already helping them. Remember, even the most introverted scientist is a human being, and their responses will be driven by emotion. You can create that positive emotion. Personification, the method by which you humanise your narrative, will always create a positive response.

Be persistent, but not pesky

Know the value of your offering, know the customer and their needs, understand them as well or better than they do. These things will entitle you to be persistent. Persistence remains important because if you are asking people to switch vendor to you that means a change for and some possible discomfort on their part. Your persistence will likely be focussed on the ease of that change thanks to your efforts and the constant emphasis on the value to them of that change.

The bad news is that unless a product is roughly and measurably more than 10%  better than the existing one,  then the customer is far less likely to change vendor or product or both. The good news is that if you get point 1 right then that 10% will become magnified in the customer’s mind.

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