Position yourself to pounce on an opportunity as soon as it arises.
People who have risen to the top of the sales profession have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. It’s a matter of positioning and preparedness. They know there is a finite amount of time to any deal before their chance of closing it diminishes significantly. It’s therefore imperative that you respond promptly to messages, questions, and requests from customers and prospects. Make a habit of being the first responder.
Salesforce.com published a statistic last year that said the average response time for a salesperson to follow up on a customer inquiry is forty-four hours, and that the first salesperson to get back to a customer will win the deal 50% of the time. Numbers don’t lie. Urgency is Power.
NEW TOOL: So how do you find the waves happening in your industry and connect with those that are making movements happen? One of the best ways is to use your LinkedIn network and create a private online group. You do not need special permission to create such a group and you can invite anyone you wish. Your created group can be derived from a variety of industries. The group controls who to invite and who to allow for membership. From there, you can create topics of discussion and share videos blogs, articles, podcasts, or any other information you deem relevant. You can literally connect with anyone throughout the world.
Match or exceed your customer’s sense of urgency.
Say a client sends you an email first thing in the morning, then follows that up immediately with a voicemail, requesting that you send specs and pricing for a product ASAP. You wait until the end of the day to respond, however, and when you do, the customer informs you they had to turn to another vendor for the product they’re seeking because you didn’t respond as quickly as they’d hoped. You didn’t just lose this sale; you lost a measure of trust, because that customer turned to you first, to no avail.
It can work the other way, too. A customer of yours is dragging their feet in purchasing safety equipment that new regulations will soon require them to have. With the deadline to bring that equipment on-line looming, you remind your customer that if they don’t make the purchase soon, they’ll face stiff regulatory fines. The customer then decides it’s time to make the purchase. In this case, your sense of urgency exceeded your customer’s. Not only were you attempting to move the deal along for your own interests, you also were looking out for your customer’s best interests. Your clock awareness created a win-win.
NEW TOOL: If you are of the new tool generation, you probably you are of the new tool generation, you probably struggle to check your voicemail. Enter Google Voice to help you solve this problem. With this free tool, you can manage your voicemails more effectively by saving them online and save time by receiving your voicemail transcribed into an email and/or text message. Take it one step further and you can also set up custom voicemail greetings for different callers. Imagine for a second that you could create a specialized voicemail for your favorite customer. Your customer would talk about that voicemail with everyone they know!
Always have information at your fingertips, ready to package and send to clients/prospects.
To consistently be the first responder, it’s vital to have resources at your quick disposal. A customer needs pricing ASAP but you’re out in the field? Be sure you have the ability to access and send the info they’re seeking remotely. When I know I am going to be out of the office for more than three hours, I will always bring my laptop so I can send whatever is needed from anywhere I happen to be (see next tip). Waiting to get back to the office for three to four hours can be costly.
NEW TOOL: I love Dropbox to share large files, but when I want to share a simple PDF marketing piece from my phone, Dropbox is not the best tool because you cannot save a document to the home screen on your phone. So the next best thing I have found is iBooks, which has become one of my most-used items in my new tools arsenal. For example, when a potential client requests a one-sheet, a blog article,
a company video, a cost spreadsheet, or even a sample proposal, I can send it over while they are literally standing right in front of me. This one seemingly simple act is met with amazement and is one of the biggest credibility boosters you can imagine.
Be sure your devices have the digital folders and files you’re apt to need in order to respond to requests quickly – including and especially your sales presentations
To meet a customer’s needs from anywhere, anytime means not only having ready access to your devices—smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.,—but having the right information on them. The great thing about the “new tools” of today is that you don’t even have to have everything downloaded onto your actual device. You can access those needed folders and files via the cloud, from any of your online devices. Remember, you’re not just a salesperson, you’re a resource broker!
Keep your devices loaded with general presentations and marketing materials so you’ll have them ready for quick viewing if the need arises—you never know when it may!