You don’t need to learn to sell. You need to learn how to generate prospects.The truth is, in 99% of the sales challenges I have been involved with, the problem isn’t in the person’s ability to “sell” its in the fact that they have no one to sell too.
First, selling isn’t different than any other skill set, it must be learned. When we hear someone say someone was a “born” salesperson, it’s really not true. That’s like saying Peyton Manning was a born a quarterback, and discounts the years of very hard work and dedication he (or anyone very good at what they do) has put into their profession.
In my experience the absolute most important part of selling is having a plan of how you are going to generate prospects. Small business owners who state, I don’t know how, or I am bad at sales, are thinking about the actual process of presenting and closing a new customer in many cases, when what they are really talking about their ability to generate leads and prospects. The truth is, in 99% of the cases I have been involved with, the problem isn’t in the person’s ability to “sell” its in the fact that they have no one to sell too.
The simple and fairly quick process of having a plan, and working the plan will solve this.
So here are some simple steps for the business owner who doesn’t know how to generate prospects. It’s not original, and you will find this advice by reading any of the great sales or marketing guru’s.
1.) Identify who is most likely to buy your service.
2.) Build or buy a list of these businesses
3.) Develop a compelling reason for them to contact you, or speak with you.
4.) Write a letter (can be email). In the letter describe a problem you solved for some business like theirs. Drop names of happy clients. Offer something in the PS (It’s worth paying a few hundred dollars to a professional direct mail copywriter) Mail the letters.
5.A) wait for them to call you
5B) Call them and asked if they read your letter. What did they think?
6.) Repeat with new letter.
7.) Repeat with new letter
(I will be writing or asking an expert to write a blog on each step mentioned above with instructions and details on each.) Subscribe to be notified. (I mean it, subscribe NOW)
You may be asking… that’s it? Yup that’s it.
Your success will depend on:The value of your service to the target market. Make it (your service) as good as possible before you start all this. The quality of the list, and where you got it. If it’s opt in, great. If you buy it, you need to send a bunch of letters. The quality of the letter or email you send. The offer you make them and your follow up.
In my experience you will have something like three times the success if you are brave enough to call the list. I’ve seen success rates as high as 50% on this program. Overall we average a 14% response or generated prospect rate on these programs. Think about that.
You send 1000 letters. You get 140 prospects. You sell 35%. You have 49 new customers. The cost?…. depends on how you implement it, but figure a $1.00 per letter with printing and stamps and maybe a copywriter.
As far as the actual “sales” process with these prospects, remember that the word sales means to persuade. If they called you, you’re 80% there. Now relax and ask then the questions you have developed on your sales questionnaire. Oh… that’s on another blog here…
And then, ask them when they would like to start.
Congratulations, you are now better than at least 60% of the salespeople I have met who do no targeting, little or no qualifying and never close.
Don’t know how to sell? Who cares, because now you know how to generate prospects.