I recently saw a quote that said, “When the customer wins, you win. How are you helping them win?” This really struck a chord as I couldn’t agree more. I find the best salespeople embrace this philosophy and understand that it all boils down to the buyer’s journey. It starts with communication and today’s posting is here to break it down for you.
Riddle me this, how much time do you spend in any given week engaged in conversation? Whether you’re conversing in-person, emailing, texting, webinars or chatting on the phone, the truth of the matter is that you spend an incredible amount of your time communicating with others.
Now, one more question, have you been well-trained on how to have a truly meaningful conversation? For many, the answer will be no. There’s a gap in the dynamic world of sales in understanding how to optimize conversations, but the best salespeople do — whether they’re trained in it, devise a method of their own or it comes naturally.
If you look at the best salespeople, you’ll find that they have effective and impactful conversations. Going into a conversation, top performers are prepared and have an agenda with a clear plan of attack. They know that the conversation needs to have a purpose, and they know that it should ultimately benefit their customer — they are the true masters of connecting the dots. Salespeople also appreciate the art of using questions in conversation while actively listening versus going through the motions. They know how to word their inquiries in a way that makes the other person stop and think so they can respond in a meaningful way to truly uncover profound insights.
If you want to rise to the top and stay there, you must make the most out of every interaction, not leaving anything to chance. Luckily, with a splendid conversation, you won’t have to. If you want to know more about how you can make the most out of your conversations — whether you’re a Founder or a top-performing salesperson, keep reading…
Conversations Can Take On Many Forms
Today, there are more communication methods than ever before. For example, on any given day, you might connect via slack, hangouts, phone, email, text message, social media platform, face-to-face meetings and the list goes on. Although the multitude of ways to communicate might be overwhelming to some, the best salespeople understand and embrace that each one has different strengths and weaknesses that can support your goals.
For example, when tasked with selling a complex technical product, a salesperson might start with a thoughtful written message that provides important insights and value for the buyer that can help their business without asking for anything in return (less seller more buyer reinforcing that you’re paying attention with a genuine interest in their business). It’s an effective way to get started as you navigate the best way to proceed from there. Simply writing a pitch email and sending it to anyone and everyone just isn’t effective in today’s dynamic marketplace. Do you like getting spammy emails? Probably not…
Regardless of the conversation’s platform, the top people in sales understand that meaningful messages have a purpose that’s beneficial to the receiver. They also know that the feedback they get once they’ve sent their message to pivot accordingly is critical to success.
The last thing you want to do is sit around and wait for an email or a phone call response from your mass email campaign hoping that something will “stick.” So many people do this and if they don’t receive feedback after a predetermined amount of time, they’ll reach out again to try to ensure that their message made its way to the person with the same exact wording as originally sent. Most times after that, they give up and move on playing that numbers game. Remember, Einstein’s’ definition of insanity, that particularly rings true here.
As you think about thoughtful and impactful messaging, put yourself in the receiver’s shoes and follow the “Golden Rule.” Ask yourself, is this something that you’d want to see and would it compel you to take action or be intrigued? An effective trick, send the message to yourself to see if your eyes glaze over with an immediate desire to hit the “trash” button. If that’s the case, time to make some changes.
If the best salespeople consistently have profound conversations, you might wonder how you can follow suit. Interestingly enough, the answer is one you’ve likely heard time and time again — be yourself. Of course, this is easier said than done as it requires a certain level of vulnerability. People buy from people they like AND trust. If you believe in what you’re doing and why, being yourself to build that relationship is a no brainer.
Your value proposition is about what you’re selling, but it should also convey your values and personality. For example, if you’re funny, infuse your sense of humor into the sales process. If you are naturally enthusiastic, let your genuine nature come through in your speech.
As a sales practitioner and recruiter, I’ve seen countless people at all levels struggle to talk about their uniqueness and individuality — even though they have killer personalities they should be proud to reveal.
In order to have a genuine conversation, you need to have a natural confidence and an “energy” that is not off-putting (hello self-awareness). This is where EQ is front and center. Peeling back these layers, you’ll be able to admit, tolerate and learn from failure — all of which are characteristics of genuine people. With a healthy confidence, you’ll also have improved emotional intelligence, which will ultimately help you in every aspect of your professional and personal life.
Once you’ve sincerely charmed the potential buyer with your winning personality and genuine nature, help them understand how your product or service solves their problems. First, address their problem directly. Second, ask them important questions so they can define their problem in a way that’s specific to them. Finally, illustrate that you and your product or service offer a solution that caters to their unique needs and if it doesn’t be honest with all parties involved.
The Right Conversation Yields Booming Results
If you work in sales, you likely understand the importance of lead nurturing. According to Demand Gen Report, “companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales leads at 33 percent lower cost.” What you might not have considered, however, is that engaging through conversation is one of the easiest and most effective ways to nurture leads.
With the right approach, you can learn relevant information about your buyer to infuse into your sales process. The average prospect is tired of traditional sales techniques and customized communications based off their general customer profile, so they appreciate an authentic approach.
If you want to create a real 1:1 connection that supports your sales numbers and your company’s bottom line, move away from automation and engage directly with your customers.
With the right conversations, you build a solid foundation to foster a relationship with customers in a genuine way that ultimately makes them more likely to move down the sales funnel. They’ll win because they’ll have multiple ways to converse with you and access content that will help solve their problems, and you’ll win because they’ll have the information they need make a solid decision.
In my opinion, the best salespeople understand that there are a multitude of ways to communicate. They embrace and leverage each one exceptionally well to keep every interaction authentic, relevant and engaging to deliver effective results that make a difference.
Reading through all of this, what did I neglect? If you think that there is another key to effective sales conversations, please weigh in.
What’s your definition of a meaningful sales conversation and what method has served you the best? Do you agree that better conversations support conversion?
As always thanks for reading and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Note, this was originally featured on the Avenue Talent Partners blog