Every few weeks someone new comes along claiming to have found the secret to magically unlock unlimited sales. You’ve probably seen the ads all over social media...
The Cold Calling Technique That Will Quadruple Your Revenue!
Try This One Sales Trick And Watch the Millions Roll In!
The Haircut Guaranteed to Make You a Closer!
The bad news is, there is no hidden secret or magic formula to sales and anyone claiming to have found one is usually charging you for their knowledge. We suppose this is a bit of a secret money-making formula in itself, only not one designed to really be of any benefit to you.
The good news? There are principles you can apply and techniques you can develop that will help customers fall in love with your product. This will make sales a whole lot easier. They’re not magic, just good tips developed over years of successful selling. Here's 8 guiding principles that you and your sales team should live by...
1. Tell a story
Humans have used storytelling for thousands of years to convey information, teach lessons, evoke empathy and create loyalty. Some of the most successful modern companies have a strong foundational or developmental narrative. Steve Jobs was a genius at creating narrative and myth for Apple, and the fact that Tesla spends no money at all on marketing also attests to the power of having a great story.
Even if you don’t have an interesting creation story, consider developing narrative ideas for marketing or sales pitches. Your sales team will find it easier to remember a narrative and it will also help them to think on their feet.
Check out a success story on our sales blog to gather some practical inspiration.
2. Flattery will get you everywhere
Humans respond incredibly well to being treated as important or unique. Flattery hits us right in the pleasure zone. People also tend to respect the fact that you’ve taken the trouble to find out more about them than their name. Research as much as you can about your prospect before getting in touch.
But remember: Don’t fake it. If someone is a sports fanatic and you know enough about the topic it can be a great way to break the ice. If you don’t know what you’re talking about you may do more damage than good and leave yourself looking silly. Having a mutual acquaintance is also a great way to get a conversation started.
Always avoid potentially controversial topics though. No politics or religion. Ever.
Use Pipedrive’s Smart Contact Data feature to gather information on your prospect easily.
3. It’s not about you
Your prospects have targets to meet, bosses or shareholders to please and a host of other problems to deal with. They really don’t care about how great you are, how cool your product is or how special the deal you’re going to offer them is. Approach the sale from their perspective. What problem can you solve for them? How is your product or service going to make them more successful?
Make sure you research their industry and company thoroughly.
Also, use Pipedrive's guide to leveraging cognitive biases in sales so you can make your prospects want what your selling
4. Know your client’s history
Nothing scuppers a deal quite like treating a prospect as brand new when your colleagues have been in touch with them multiple times in the past. People hate it when you waste their time and going over old ground is the ultimate waste of time. It also makes you look disorganized and amateurish.
A well managed and maintained sales CRM is your secret weapon here, as your company’s history with a prospect will always be well-documented and readily available. Starting a conversation with a quick recap of this history shows effort and professionalism and also helps frame the resultant conversation nicely.
Use the Pipedrive Contact Timeline to see the history of your communication with a lead.
5. Learn to listen
Having a great narrative and a well-rehearsed script are all good and well, but if you’re unable to deviate from these you will land in trouble. Give your prospects time to express their opinions and needs, and make sure that you really listen. This is also where having a well-developed company narrative is a real help. Stories are easier to remember than lists or Powerpoint presentations. They also have a strong internal logic that makes it easier to extrapolate ideas.
Check out our super useful cold calling guide for more ideas
6. Time is money. Be punctual
If you’ve arranged a call for 1:00, make sure you’re ready and prepared by 12:55 at the latest. Disrespecting your prospect’s time is a deal killer, and showing up late to a call or meeting is guaranteed to get things off to a terrible start or worse, scupper the deal entirely.
Use Pipedrive’s Activity Calendar to make sure you’re always in the right place at the right time.
7. Honesty is the best policy
It’s great to be confident and self-assured, but not to the point of spewing BS. If a prospect asks you a question that you simply have no answer to, admit it, find the answer later, and get back to them. You’ll gain more respect by actually answering them truthfully rather than fumbling through a fudged answer or lying outright. Sending a follow-up email has the added bonus of reinforcing your message, reminding them of important points and generally keeping the lead warm
Our 15 Sales Follow-Up Templates Proven to Get a Response contains some great advice on making the most of that email.
8. Like charity, love starts at home
Enthusiasm is infectious. If your sales team loves your product and company themselves, they’re much more successful at conveying this to leads. Motivation, knowledge, and passion can all be inspired by great leadership. So make sure you and your team love your product. After all. If you don’t, how can you expect clients to do so?
Check out this article dedicated to improving your sales motivation with 18 tactics you can use right now.