Getting your business in the door is one of the biggest challenges in sales. Let’s take a look at some strategies to help make the job of your business development specialist a little easier.
Seek to Understand
We need to stop thinking about sales in terms of what we need, and instead put ourselves in the shoes of the prospect. This individual is likely very busy and doesn’t have a lot of time to waste—the last thing they want to do is set up a time to talk with a business development specialist about a product or service. For them to consider listening to what you have to say, you need to be able to show them the value of what you’re trying to sell. You need to know that there’s going to be a return on investment, that the product or service is going to truly benefit the prospect. Once you have all of these considerations in order, you’ll be in a much better position to actually get in the door of the prospect and start building a relationship.
You can’t get in the door if you’re unknown. When you feel like you’re ready to reach out to a prospect, you need to have established yourself. The prospect should have a general understanding, at minimum, of what your business does and what it can provide. You should also be established as a thought leader in your industry, and easily searchable online or niche industry databases. Before setting up a meeting with the prospect, there needs to have been a point of establishment, whether that’s through networking, a common connection, etc. Having some sort of established connection will be sure to prove useful and help you land that first meeting.
Go Above and Beyond
Getting in the door is one thing. Staying in the race is another. In order to master both, you need to stand out from the sea of competitors that are likely fighting for the same prospect with very similar products and/or services. You should know better than anybody why your business is better than all the rest. Make that clear in your marketing campaigns, sales efforts, etc. Another thing that will help you go above and beyond competition is to know the reasons for why your business can help make the prospect’s business easier or overall improved.
Another way to stand out among competitors is to have integrity in what you’re doing and what you’re selling. Not all prospects will end up being a great fit for your business. While some businesses won’t mind and might go ahead with the sale, others will be honest about their mismatching needs. Be as open and honest as possible to your prospects. They’ll thank you later for not selling them products they don’t actually need when they’re able to calculate a positive ROI.
If you’ve been in sales for a while, you know that consistency is key. CEOs and other upper-level positions aren’t always available for your calls or emails, and that’s ok. Stay in the game, keep in touch with businesses that aren’t the most responsive, and when they’re ready to do business, you’ll be one of the first people they’ll think of.