While it’s true that most successful salespeople would describe themselves as driven and focused, the ones who enjoy long-term success recognise the danger of burnout and overdoing it. They also never underestimate the support you need from friends and family. Taking time out to give them some of your full time back will pay dividends.
So make sure if you are taking a break, you make it a proper one. Out of office on, voicemail message changed with your return date, and key clients and prospects informed not to expect a response until you’re back. It’s the least you deserve!
More than Words
This week, a client asked about supporting material that successful salespeople should use – what I would term “sales content”. This is an excellent question because I think many salespeople fall into the trap of thinking all you need is your glossy product brochure. I think they’re wrong. In my opinion, there are five things you need to develop to enhance your chances of success. It might surprise you that two of them don’t involve any printed material at all… This was the core of my Saturday Sales email last week, and we looked at five essential items of sales content I think you need to have at your fingertips. If some of these are missing from your arsenal, then perhaps the traditionally quiet August period is the perfect time to get them in place? We went into a lot of detail in the email newsletter, but here’s a summary of what we looked at:
Yes, of course, you do need a sales brochure. It’s vital that you can leave something behind after an initial meeting with a prospect. As well as allowing them to learn more about your product or service, it also acts as a physical reminder of you and your solution.
If you’re in a position where you can influence the content of your brochure, why not add a section about you as well as what you are selling? Not only will this help your brochure stand out as something a little different, but it will also emphasise that you and your expertise are just as important a part of the deal as the product.
Sales Order Form
This is not about having an order form – it’s going to be impossible to sell anything without a place for your prospect to sign on the dotted line! This is about remembering to take an order form to every single meeting – even prospecting or networking events, exhibitions… just carry one at all times!
I learned the hard way when I closed a prospect at an initial meeting but didn’t have an order form with me. The prospect was a referral from an existing customer who had done all the selling for me – this guy was ready to buy! But because I hadn’t been prepared to sell, I had to wait until they got back from holiday.
Make Your Content Personal
So by this, I mean that your sales content should reflect you as a human being. Most people will be used to faceless, third-person corporate-speak in the documentation they read. By tailoring your content to your personality and attitudes, it will reflect your strengths and act as another reminder about why they should buy from you.
Create Video or Written Content Showcasing Your Expertise
These are key because they allow you to show your VALUE to your prospects through the sales process. It’s not just about establishing yourself as someone knowledgeable in the field. It’s also about showcasing how it’s YOU that’s the key differentiator between your product and competitors.
Photo or Video Testimonials
These are the most critical bits of sales content there is. I mean it – do not underestimate the power of a testimonial to help your closing rates. Make it a habit to ask your new and existing clients for a testimonial, and ask if you can take their photo. We all carry smartphones with us that have excellent cameras, so take a snap to give the testimonial more “reality” for your prospects.
Why not go one stage further and ask your client if you can record what they say as well? A video recording of them saying great things about you can be even more powerful. Try and gather at least 4 or 5 of these testimonials, and if possible, make them from a range of clients that showcase the breadth of application of your solution.
Make sure that testimonials you put on web pages, YouTube channels or sales brochures are current! There’s nothing worse than a prospect asking if they can speak to Miss X who said your product was amazing if they switched to a competitor two years ago. Always ask your referees if they are happy to have email addresses or phone numbers passed on. Make sure your prospect is aware that they can contact any of them.
Trust is a massive part of the sales process, and the fact that you are happy to let them speak independently to your satisfied customers sends out a powerful signal.
I am truly honoured that Sonia Gill, the Managing Director of Heads Up has provided me with the video quote below. Having comments like this from Sonia about the work I do is why I do what I do and its also such a powerful factor in winning new clients. What I say about myself means nothing compared to what people like Sonia say about me. Have a look at the video below and see how you can create case studies like this which help you build trust.
All I Can Do Is Write About It
So I hope that’s inspired you to take a look at your own sales content and see if there are any improvements you can make.
What has been your most successful piece of sales content? Do you have difficulty in asking for (or getting) referrals? How do you think you could bring more of you into your content? I’d love to hear from you with your experiences, or with any questions around this or other sales issues.
You can get in touch on email via firstname.lastname@example.org or through any of the social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube – search for ‘jameswhitesales’.
I’m always keen to hear from subscribers about any topics you’d like covered in these emails or on the YouTube channel, so don’t forget to let me have your suggestions too.
I hope you’ve had a great week? If you’ve been on holiday, are on holiday, or about to go – I hope you did, do, or will have a great time! I’m a big believer in making sure you take sufficient time out to relax, recharge and re-energise. That doesn’t necessarily mean jetting off anywhere exotic – although that’s always an excellent option! It can mean just putting away your work phone and laptop for a few days and spending some quality time with a partner, family or friends.