Posted: August 27, 2012
Five great tips for sales success
Make the most of your intuitionBy Ann Van Orsdel
The time has come to take control of the sales process and put yourself in the driver’s seat when it comes to who, what, how and why you will pursue the opportunities before you.
Using the skills and energy that come naturally in your everyday life will help you be your very best at this downright frustrating but equally rewarding career. Here are five tips to make your intuition actionable.
Exude confidence: If you are in sales, it should be because you love it! Being a salesperson doesn’t have to have negative connotations. It can and should be a valued and honest profession that comes from the heart. First and foremost, be confident in what you have to sell, whether it's creative services, technical solutions or the latest clothing line – sell the very best. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room – you just have to know, really know, that your offering is the best in category and for this particular client. If you don’t “feel” it – you can’t “sell” it.
Action: Tell three people why your product/service is superior!
Become the Matchmaker: I read an article last year titled “Selling is not about relationships” by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, primarily because the headline really grabbed me. The article highlights the five profiles of B2B sales reps as being Relationship builders, hard Workers, Lone Wolves, Reactive Problem Solvers and Challengers. It lists “Challengers” as outperforming all others, but I think the very best sales people embody all of these qualities and more.
I suggest that to be your most successful, you need to own the attributes of a Matchmaker. Be proud of the relationships you find, retain and grow but also make a point of considering a holistic approach to the process – don’t discount one over the other. Opportunities come from a variety of sources; be the one connecting them.
Action: Each week make at least one connection that is outside of your direct sales circle! When possible – connect others and see where that matchmaking goes!
Take control: At the center of every business deal are the customer and the salesperson –this is a human experience. What opportunities will you pursue, which will you decline, how will you react when you don’t “win” – all of this matters more than you may realize. People do business with people; to come out on top, you must focus on what you bring to the equation. This goes both ways. As a member of a nationally-recognized committee for the advertising industry, I participate in planning sessions where we develop standards and guidelines for new business. Collectively, we have concluded that we have a lot to offer and deserve the same respect we give our customers.
A long-time colleague of mine has always said, “We are servants, but we don’t serve." This has been my motto for nearly 20 years. By setting guidelines and standards for how we will and will not do business, we retain a position of influence and control over the sales process.
Action: Set your own standards and guidelines for how you will or will not engage with a new client and stay true to them.
Manifest: Life is what you make it, and with intuitive selling, that all starts and stops with feeding positive energy and thought into what you really want. Notice I say, what you really want. Having the desire is only part of the plan; the other component is truly knowing how to build upon your dreams, goals and aspirations to make them reality – your reality. One caveat – be specific. Know exactly what you want, and envision yourself on the path to making this your reality.
Action: Find a specific time each day to meditate, ground yourself and envision the outcome of what you want. Be patient and consistent.
Pay it forward: Put others before yourself. Whatever you do, don’t be the person with your hand out asking for help without reciprocating. If one of your contacts is looking for a new job, be the first to offer a few names of companies who are hiring. If a client has a need that falls just under a comfortable budget for your service, suggest a lower-cost solution. Be that person that others truly trust and value.
Action: Reach out to at least three people you know on LinkedIn and provide unsolicited and honest recommendations. Tweet something positive about your competition.
As vice president of business development at Vladimir Jones, Ann leads all new business efforts for the agency. Prior to VJ, Ann was co-owner and president of digital agency The1stMovement, where she was instrumental in the agency's growth, resulting in multiple rankings within the Inc. 500 fastest-growing companies in America. Additionally, Ann has received industry accolades including finalist nominations for the CSIA Apex Awards and Outstanding Women in Business by the Denver Business Journal. Contact Ann at Avanorsdel@vladimirjones.com or 303-779-3389.