Martin Lee, Business Development Executive EMEA for WiseTech Global, explains that anyone who can make conversation can contribute to successful sales.
Milton Keynes, UK, January 19, 2016. Hearing the word “sales” can stir up a variety of emotions among your staff. Some of your team might immediately imagine themselves making cold-calls and feel all the anxiety it can bring, while others might feel excitement at the opportunity to speak with someone new and hear a new worldview or experience.
Some human beings process emotions before reason; The fight or flight response has kept us safe throughout our existence and continues to do so. Fear, it seems, is our default reaction to anything outside our comfort zones. A comfortable traveler will perceive boarding an airplane as a pleasurable escape, while other passengers on the same flight might grip their luggage in terror.
“Sales” is all really just matter of perception, one that can be shifted to help everyone in your business become an active contributor to its growth.
A Matter of Perception
From my angle in the business world, I see sales simply as communication. When you swap those terms, you take the fear out of the process and enable productive conversations with customers. When you are communicating, you are actually selling yourself as someone friendly and reliable, an expert in your field, and the person you’re talking to will easily see your positive qualities.
I’ve had many years working within sales, but I don’t consider myself a salesperson because I enjoy talking with people (not at them) and finding out who they really are both inside and outside of their company. It brings me enormous satisfaction to use that insight to find their real business issues and the real solutions and strategies that lead to their successful way forward. And all it takes is a phone call or two.
If Sales is perceived as customer communication, then it’s something we can all do. Convincing staff that this is true eliminates the fear factor. It’s a proactive and reactive conversation between experienced professionals trying to achieve a common goal.
Automating the Conversation
Encourage your staff to keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities to broaden your service offering to clients. More proactively, encourage them to call contacts in your customer base during their quieter moments and see where it leads. By being able to communicate with all your customers, without some unspoken agenda, you’re building trust and strong foundations for long-term relationships.
The Right Tools to Create a Comfort Zone
Empowering your team goes hand in hand with the need to support them with the right tools so they can have relevant conversations, armed with all the facts you can gather.
A built-in CRM or automated communications manager will keep and control open conversations with your customers and prospects as you look to grow your business. All your staff communications can be related back to every previous contact, in whatever form it took. With everyone being able to see into what’s happening, you can get rid of silos and client ownership issues. And the automated sales workflows also project forward through all the steps of a job so that the capital-S Sales folks can do the capital-S Selling and focus on closing new business. Go ‘communicate’ with someone now, and see where it takes you.
Martin Lee is Business Development Executive EMEA for WiseTech Global
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