Stretch Higher for More Sales
Sales professionals are too often advised to go pick the low-hanging fruit when they are searching for more clients and contracts.
While I agree that the best place to get more business is from people you are currently doing business with, I have a different strategy for sales growth.
I’m all about stretching higher and wider.
If you go apple picking in the fall, you will understand the value of what I’m suggesting. Everyone just wants to reach up and pull that beautiful red fruit and fill up their basket.
But each person who picks takes time to select the best of the fruit. If you come along as the tenth person, you are not going to have the same selection as those who went before you. In fact, you are going to get the fruit that the others did not want, and there are likely reasons for that.
But if you take the time and make the effort to climb the ladder, you find beautiful ripe fruit and whole branches offering riches to you with great clusters of apples to harvest.
At the risk of sounding a little Forest Gump-ish, sales are a lot like picking a barrel of apples.
You can fill your barrel from any level, but if you stretch higher and reach wider, you will get the best of the crop.
Go to your thinking place and schedule some time to strategize how to go after that better fruit. How can you reach it? Do you have the right kind of ladder? What will be the view from up there where the other better fruit lives? Are you afraid of heights, or do you dare to climb higher to reach them? Do they have different problems up there that you might be able to solve for them with your product or service?
If you are trying to increase your sales by filling your barrel from the low-hanging branches or the ground, you are going to run out. You need to climb that ladder at least twice a week and go after a whole different crop if you want your sales figures to escalate.
Always remember that from the time you start the conversation until you close the sale can take several weeks or even months. If you start new conversations at least twice a week you will soon build a steady flow of new business, and likely better business.
You have to keep reaching out. If you can reach your potential new customer with a referral from a current customer, that is as good a harvesting condition as you can get.
But don’t be afraid to climb that tree and go after customers you haven’t tried to reach before.
If you are able to secure a meeting with them, remember that you need to conduct your sales conversations without pressure. The atmosphere you are striving for is mutual respect. You are the helpful business neighbor, not the aggressive door-to-door visitor.
You must earn your right to be heard by being a person the potential customer wants to invite into their business. When they accept your invitation to meet, they want to hear an honest and truthful conversation, not a string of exaggerated claims and empty promises.
Ask questions like “would you be open to” instead of “would you be interested in?” Describe yourself as in the “sales profession,” not the “sales game” because this is not a game and nobody is playing. This is for a real investment of their hard-earned money and they want to be confident it is worth it.
Reaching wider is about building a deeper level of trust and strong relationships that will stand the test of time as your business grows.
Remember, whenever you wonder what sales is really all about, the logical answer is that it is always about relationships.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion. 24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
Check out Paula’s best selling books: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and due to be released December 6th “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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