Or, to put it another way, are you proactive about creating deals or do you just sit back on your ___ and wait for the phone to ring? Are you a salesperson or are you an order taker? Sales pro’s are always, one way or another, out prospecting for new opportunities. Yes, I said prospecting.
I had actually set up a draft of this post several months ago (title only) and then had promptly forgotten all about it. Then a couple of weeks ago, one of our NetWorks! Boise Valley members, Justin Tarpley with CableOne Business, pipes up in the meeting and thanks everybody for the general shared leads that people had been providing and indicated that he had actually called on a number of these and had been able to successfully secure their business. I was floored. “Justin, let me get this right. You are actually calling on leads that were not specific referrals for you and you are making sales!!!???” Well, what a novel idea 🙂
Referrals and introductions are great. We all love them. They provide us with a competitive advantage and a distinctly higher chance of closing the sale. However, they generally also have a couple of other things in common …
- The prospective customer has already identified a need
- They have shared that need with the person who sends you that referral or introduction
- Most likely, they have also shared that lead with others who may also be referring your competitors if they have not already spoke to your competitors directly
So, you have an advantage but, you also find yourself in a competitive situation. For that matter, is your advantage any greater than that your competitor also enjoys? Maybe. Maybe not.
Did they call your company after looking in the yellow pages. Count the alphabetically listings before yours and identify your competition. Google search? Hopefully you have the best SEO. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter recommendations? Are you even active in social networking?
On the other hand, if I create a deal out of nothing by carefully prospecting, asking excellent questions, and then presenting the benefits of my product or service … I have an opportunity to create that need and secure that sale. The common inventory term, FIFO, also applies to sales. If I am “First In and First Out”, there is no competition. And you, my friend, are a true sales pro!
- 20+ resources for prospecting, organising & researching link opportunities (skyrocketseo.co.uk)
- Keep Tabs on the Competition with Social Media Monitoring (radian6.com)
- Social Media for B2B Sales – 11 Tips for Building Better Client Relationships! (windmillnetworking.com)
- Social Media for B2B Sales – The 16 Rules of Engagement (windmillnetworking.com)