Categories
Sales & Marketing Sales process Sales tips

Smart Networking

On a scale of 1 to 10, how good are you at networking?

Difficult to estimate?  Here are a few questions you could ask yourself:

  1. When people ask, ‘what do you do’, do you state the facts, or do you impress them as to the value you give if they used your product or service?
  2. Do people regard you as an attractive business proposition?
  3. Do you take time to ask them about their business?
  4. How many contacts do you make from a networking group of say 20 to 30?
  5. More specifically, how many contacts do you make with whom you have agreed a follow-up?

In answering these questions, would you still give yourself the same score?

I have noticed during my recent forays into new networking groups, that some people are still hesitant about networking.  This may be due to their lack of experience, or it may be that they are still feeling a little insular after the covid lockdown years. 

Confidence is key; that and a simple method of approach.

When you venture forth into a networking situation, a little preparation can make a big difference.  It could mean the difference between a zero result and 3 or more useful contacts. 

Some of the key preparation questions to ask yourself:

  • What am I offering? – lack of clarity here can scupper your efforts to attract new prospects.
  • What do they need/want? – find out how you can help them
  • What added value can you give? – have you something up your sleeve to sweeten the deal?
  • Can you give them something to read? – taking something away will help to reinforce their memory of you and your business, even if it’s only a business card!

Networking can take a lot of time, and sometimes a large subscription.  It is worthwhile investing in yourself to make sure you become a smart networker and make it a profitable experience.

If you would like some help and guidance in networking, I am holding a double workshop on Thursday 20th June ’24, at Bowman House in Royal Wootton Bassett.

In the morning, we will start with ‘Selling Yourself’ – important skills in making a great first impression and attracting interest.  In the afternoon we will have ‘Smart Networking’ as a great way of using these skills to the best and most profitable effect.

Full details can be found HERE or you can get in touch by Phone or Email.

*Image Credit: © Neil Moore – moore-photographics.com

Categories
General Sales & Marketing

What can Salient do for you?

Here’s how Salient Sales and Training can help…

With extra ideas and strategies in planning, prospecting and contacting, I can make it easier for you to find more customers.

With tried and proven techniques and simple process, I can help you pitch and present with confidence and ease.

With clear and ethical tactics, I can help you to negotiate to set up the best deal for everyone.

With simple and straightforward questions, I can help you to convert and win many more business opportunities.

In short, I can show you how to make significant improvements to your turnover and profits.

….or is planned business growth not on your agenda?!

With Salient courses, sessions and workshops, you do not have to adopt a whole new system of selling.  Simply, you can take, adapt and adopt as many ideas, tips, techniques, and strategies as you like. 

Choose those which relate to you and your business and make them work for you. The more you use, the greater the uplift you can expect.

I don’t charge for chats so feel free to call Andy on 07941 041364, email andy@salientsales.co.uk, or book a meeting through my calendar.

Categories
Sales & Marketing Sales Planning Sales process

Are ‘Sales Visits’ a thing of the past?

In my last blog, I told of the changes to how sales and marketing have been perceived over the last three decades. This showed how ‘Sales & Marketing’ had changed to ‘Marketing’ only. But needs to be ‘Marketing & Sales’. If that makes no sense read the blog again!

Another aspect that has changed significantly pre-covid times is the method of communication between customers and prospects.

In my training I demonstrate how face to face is by far the most effective way to communicate with anyone. Zoom, telephone, personal letter and email are all effective to a point, but face to face allows a higher level of understanding and appreciation of what the other person is saying and meaning.

Slowly, this approach has been evolving and has now changed, due to two significant drivers:

  1. As work pressure mounts, the time available for personal meetings has been squeezed to the point where there is little time available in a working day to include them, particularly now that we have Zoom or Teams available to us.
  2. Then came Covid. For personal health and safety, all face-to-face meetings were discouraged or banned. It was too high a risk to meet people face to face. In order to continue business effectively, video conference calls became the norm.

Covid has now receded to a level sufficient for us to attempt to ‘normality’. However, having experienced how effective video calls can be, and still being wary of meeting people face-to-face, some are declining to meet in-person. Furthering the likelihood Sales Visits will not be seeing a part in our current ‘normalcy’.

I have confirmed this with the more mature sales training delegates on the courses I have given recently. Their experience of 20 to 30 years ago is the same as mine, and they confirmed it has become very difficult to arrange customer visits for these reasons. What do we do?

A new strategy…

In the last 6 months I have begun to recommend a new strategy whereby a ‘Communication Plan’ is agreed between the two parties involved. This can involve an effective mix of methods and timings that are the most convenient for the buyer and allows the salesperson to complete the sales process as thoroughly and successfully as possible. So if you feel in-person Sales Visits are key to your sales process, let the other party know, plan for it!

As an example of the new process:

  1. Connect on LinkedIn
  2. Send a personal email or LinkedIn message to agree to a call
  3. Make a phone call to complete introductions and clarify their need
  4. If there is a sufficient interest, at this point the ‘Communication Plan’ can be introduced and agreed. This can involve a face-to-face first visit, then an agreed mix of phone calls, emails and video calls.
  5. Complete the sales process and win the deal. Frequency of contact needs to be agreed as well.

This is a simplified way to illustrate the idea. Each case will be different according to needs. You may have your own way of working through the sales process but be flexible. If they are not comfortable being asked every time for a personal meeting, mutually pre-agree terms in a Communication Plan.

If you’re interested in Sales or Technical Sales training for yourself or a team, please get touch – 07941 041 364

Alternatively, browse our website for more about the courses and workshops Salient Sales currently offer. You can also find our LinkedIn HERE.

Categories
Sales & Marketing Sales process

Is it ‘Sales & Marketing’ or ‘Marketing and Sales’?

When I moved from science and electronics to start a new career in field sales, times were different. This was the late 1980s when the world was a very different place.  With evolution and development business has changed dramatically; mostly good, some less so.

One thing I have noticed only recently, is the complete about turn regarding sales and marketing. In those days, most sales positions included in the title ‘sales and marketing’.  When my sales role had been explained, I asked ‘what about the marketing?’  I was shown a pile of brochures, a directory and a telephone.  I was told to ‘go and find some new business’. Sales was an accepted discipline, aided a little by this form of ‘marketing’.  That was when I learned how soul-destroying cold-calling could be. And some of the wrong ways of trying to make sales.

Forward to the ‘roaring twenties’

We find a very different picture, in fact, very much the opposite.  Marketing has developed over the years to become a very potent and important discipline. Businesses have realised that by marketing and promoting products and services in an attractive manner, prospective customers come to you. As opposed to you calling them in an attempt to develop an interest.

If your prospects come to you, they are already sold on the idea of you becoming a supplier.  This means that half the sale is already achieved.  HOWEVER, it is still only a half.  You will have to build a relationship and, using sales skills and techniques, convince them to make the full commitment to buy from you.

But bear in mind that the sale will not happen until this final stage of (ethical) persuasion is successful.  You may have the best marketing approach, structure, strategies and initiatives, but unless you have the skills to negotiate and complete the sale, your marketing investment is effectively wasted.  Those who rely on marketing to make the sales are of the ‘if you build it they will come’ ideology.  People buy from people, so business-people will need to know how to sell, as well as promote their goods and services.

A recent posting to promote a networking discussion, called it a ‘Sales & Marketing session’, but described only marketing and brand strategy as the focus.  Do not forget your sales skills!  If you cannot sell effectively, you will no longer have a business to operate, let alone promote.  In every case, skill in marketing AND sales are needed.

Looking to get in touch regarding our training courses or workshops Click HERE to contact us via our form, or give us a call on: 07941 041 364