Did you know that 90 percent of decision makers never answer a cold call? And the average cold email response is less than 1 percent.
That’s because they don’t want someone wasting their time. Too many have experienced irrelevant, less-than-captivating sales pitches in the past and don’t need to hear another one.
So how do you stand out? And if you can get in front of a prospect – new or even an existing customer – how can you get them to convert?
Perhaps you are an experienced salesperson whose tried and true methods aren’t working on some of the new managers coming from up from the millennial generation. Or maybe you’re a newbie just starting out and in need of some tips.
We’ve grabbed some of the best tips to help keep your sales game fresh and unique.
Don’t Ask “Why”
You’re in a discussion with a prospect and you’re in information-gathering mode. Try to ask questions without leading with “why.” Particularly if your prospect is talking to you because he or she needs help with something that’s gone wrong, leading with, “Why did you choose to use that software solution/hardware model [you know, the one that has gone awry]?” is going to make him or her defensive. If you put them on the defense, you’ve lost them. Instead, try “How did you first hear about that software?” or “What features did you want to get out of those machines?” so you can get the same information in a manner that is less finger-pointy.
Don’t Hide Your Quirks
You’re working for a corporation, you feel compelled to look and act the part. Suave, slick, super professional and……boring. If you have a funny bone, or perhaps a passion for underwater hockey – these are characteristics that will make you memorable. You’ll want to treat it with some finesse and control the dosage of weird you let out, but if they speak to 10 different reps offering the same thing in the same manner – who do you think they’ll remember?
Don’t use the Standard Email Template
Now that we’re on the topic of being weird and funny, maybe you can try spicing up your outreach emails. Sales emails are largely ignored, as we mentioned before, less than 1 percent of cold emails get a response. So, what can you do to get their attention? Hubspot lists several examples of stand-out email templates for sales in pretty much every scenario from an introduction, to a rejection.
Here’s one for introducing yourself to a prospect with Dilbert:
Or using Adele for the customer who suddenly stopped responding to you:
There are many more examples out there on the web if you need some inspiration. The point is to get out your comfort zone with the run-of-the-mill templates you’ve used in the past and try something new to get better responses, and more opportunities.
Before Selling, Offer to Chip In
When it comes to your buyers, 70 percent of them are doing so to solve a problem, while just 30 percent are trying to gain something. Talk through your prospect’s pain point and see if there’s anything else you can offer them to help solve their problem before you swoop in with your sales pitch. Maybe it’s a piece of content that offers some advice on the topic that’s not product or service specific.
Don’t be too direct or too early when going in with your pitch. No, you don’t want to waste their time, but you also don’t want to scare them off. As you know, it’s a delicate dance, and you have to know the temperament of the individual with whom you’re engaged. If you’re actively helping them solve their problem, it won’t be perceived as time wasted and will help you build a better rapport.
Don’t Forget, Your Customers have Quirks, Too
There are several psychological quirks that most of your prospects will have, just by being human. Our brains are hard-wired to respond in certain ways, so it’s helpful for you in sales to be aware of them when selling. A couple of common examples:
Loss aversion: Prospects will respond more strongly to losing something they have rather than gaining something they don’t. So place your emphasis accordingly.
Rhyme-as-reason: Statements that rhyme seem more true. Odd, but the stats shine through.
Curse of knowledge: Your prospects may be rattling off information that they assume you understand. On the flip side, you may be doing the same thing when speaking with your prospects. The best mode of conduct is to keep your sales conversations with a more basic vocabulary that’s not rife with industry jargon, at least until you get a better understanding for your prospect. If you’re not comfortable that you have enough knowledge for your prospect, which is common in technology sales, go into the conversation with someone who will have the answers for this individual, such as a sales engineer.
There are many more we could cover, it’s worth a google search if you have the time.
There are many ways to stand out from the crowd when you’re selling. Be authentic, help your customer, and don’t be afraid to be unconventional. It may just help you meet your quotas.
IT Xchange serves VARs with PC and server technology solutions, providing greater margins for sales and savings for their customers.