It has become almost impossible to gain access to decision-makers these days. As pressures mount, they become less and less willing to spend time with salespeople. Also, with too many sales professionals trying to approach the decision makers, they tend to hide from salespeople and advances in technology have made it easier for them to avoid the people they don’t want to meet.
However, salespeople need to conquer these hurdles in order to present their products or services and ultimately close the sales.
Here are few sales tips to help sales professionals break through the clutter and reach decision makers easily:
Always provide something that will be a benefit for the prospect. Your offering should be different than what most people approach the prospects with. So, don’t be just another salesperson, instead offer value. Learn through internet and industry magazines about your prospects and send them useful insights or updates. For example “Are you aware about the latest projected growth rate of your industry?”
Research their Company
We often get calls from salespeople who know very little or sometimes nothing about what we do and if their offering is even slightly significant for us. This wastes both our and their time. So, the first thing a salesperson should do is not to call the prospects, but do some research about them. Researching about the prospects and their respective companies is not that complicated and time-consuming today as it was a few years before. A glance at the company’s website, LinkedIn profiles of the people you are about to meet and latest discussions about the company on social media platforms and other industry forums will give you all the necessary information required to pitch your solution with the right approach.
While researching about the prospects and their company, a salesperson might also come across some known people (ex-colleagues or people connected with your friends) who are in key positions in that company. Getting introduced by them would make a lot of difference and turn your cold call into a warm one.
Focus more on Benefits than Details
While reaching out to a decision maker, focus on the benefits that will let them get back to you. Focusing on details of your products won’t take you far. Don’t try to push things when finalizing your sales messages. Simply outline the benefits you can offer to the prospect that can arouse interest in them and won’t let them delete the message. If you happen to talk to the prospects on phone, tell them about the benefits of meeting you and not the benefits of the product. For example say “We can help you save 40% of the cost on Sales CRM software” and not that “Our Sales CRM software costs $700 a year. Or say “If we plan to meet for a demo, I can show you how the user interface will save your time” and not that “Our Awesome user interface can save plenty of your time”.
Keep the Message Short and Call Later in the Day
Before sending a message to your prospect, think if you will entertain such a long message, will you be interested in spending your precious time to read such a long mail. If not, then please keep your message short or else the other person will not listen to it. Highlighting the critical details and using bullets and pointers while drafting your sales email can help you grab the attention of the prospect easily.
Decision makers are people with lots of responsibilities to take care of and are mostly busy in meetings throughout the day. So, getting hold of them during early evening hours is the best time to reach them as you have a better chance to get in touch with them.
Look for a Mutual Connection
When researching about the prospects you are about to call, look for information such as if they support the same sports team as you, if they have children studying in the same school or college as yours, did they graduated from the same university as you or one of your best friends. Online research can provide you with lot of relevant details like these which will let you develop a strong connect if you happen to talk to them on phone or send them an email.
Another way is to send them a friend request on LinkedIn and nurture your relationship on the platform before calling them so that you stay top-of-mind with your prospect.
Using referrals while speaking to the prospects helps build trust and familiarity which is crucial to help you through the introductions of your conversation. Referral emails are effective alternative to cold calls. Before reaching the prospect, send an email to someone within the organization who can help you reach the decision maker or the particular department involved in the decision making process.
Make Gatekeepers your Friends
Most of the times, you will have to speak to the gatekeepers (secretaries, executive assistants, etc) before reaching the decision makers. Do not overlook them. If you are able to build a relationship with them, you stand a fairly better chance of getting noticed. Try to treat the gatekeepers with respect and acknowledge their work. This way they would not get defensive and might listen to you.
They might be well aware of the concerns of the decision makers and talking to them would give you a fair idea as to how to approach their boss. However, do not give them much information as you don’t want them to present your pitch to their seniors. Just provide enough information to arouse interest and make sure that the decision makers are stimulated to hear more about you.
Leverage LinkedIn and CRM
Most professionals keep their LinkedIn profiles updated and it can be the best medium to find information about your prospects and get closer to the decision makers. Either go for a free account or upgrade yourself to the premium version which makes it way more easy for you to find relevant prospects. Join relevant LinkedIn groups to build your network. Send personal messages to your potential customers by leveraging the custom invitation functionality. Invite them for an event or a webinar which you think they might be interested in.
Your company’s CRM can also be a wonderful resource to give you key access to customer’s data and information. One can record the prospect’s likes and dislikes, their spending patterns and also their age, gender and location in the CRM. It would help you to build a detailed picture of their need and taste.