Whether you’re a veteran sales leader or brand new to the profession, chances are good that at one point or another you’ve struggled to break through with a prospect. Or found it difficult to maintain a strategic relationship with a hard-to-connect-to client.
One of the best ways to accelerate your progress, and therefore your sales results, is to focus on creating and communicating value in every interaction.
When you create value, the prospect or client will remember you and want to continue the conversation. This blog post shares three sales strategies you can focus on to create value in every interaction.
One of the best ways to accelerate your progress, and your #sales results, is to focus on creating and communicating value in every interaction. @amyfranko #ModernSellerClick to tweet
1. Match your value proposition to what’s important to them.
Too many times we have interactions with a prospect – it could be a phone conversation, an email, a meeting, or at a conference – and we don’t know enough about what’s valuable to them. Without that knowledge, it’s tough to match the value you create in a way that’s meaningful. But how do you find this out quickly?
For example, let’s say that you’re at a conference or trade show. Your role there is to develop new relationships, or further a relationship with some defined prospects. You might open the conversation in a general way, with a question like “what sessions have been the most interesting to you?”
How they answer will shed light on what’s relevant to them or their challenges. You can use that to guide the conversation and ask a follow-up question.
The resulting conversation can open the door for you to share what you’re seeing in terms of client or industry challenges, and how your work created value in those situations. Be sure to focus on the results and business benefit of your work, not just the tasks that it takes to get there.
To get started with this, brainstorm your best success stories in advance, and have them in your hip pocket for when the time is right. Think of a current client or two. Make a list of the various tasks you do for them. For as many tasks as you can, list out the business value they delivered, or the challenge they helped the client to solve. It’s the business value and problem solving that create interest and provide the foundation for a sale.
2. Have the best intelligence.
If you know you’ll be meeting a prospect or a new decision-maker at a current client, do some research on them ahead of time. Check their social media feeds or read the latest news articles on their company or industry. Look for “trigger events” such as:
- Annual reports and investor briefs
- Board of Director changes
- Leadership changes
- Company issues and initiatives
- Industry issues
If you discover a trigger event, consider its ramifications– and strategize how you can help solve any challenges or address any opportunities that arise from it. When you’re prepared in advance, that helps you to focus on the conversation. You can better know where to insert more about your expertise in a way that’s valuable.
It’s also important to end on a positive note. Try wrapping up your conversation with an offer of assistance.
Ask something like, “Is there anything I can do to help you right now?” You’d be surprised at what you might learn, and it gives you an opportunity to follow up.
3. Demonstrate your value.
The third strategy is to demonstrate your value in a way that leaves a positive and lasting impression. Every interaction is an opportunity to add value. The ways in which you do that can be based on what you learn in your conversations.
- For example, you can send along a relevant article or other resource. This doesn’t always have to be professionally related – it can be something that they’re personally interested in.
- If you promised you would follow up with an item or a call, be sure to follow through. That begins to build trust.
- You can also send a thank you note. It might seem simple, but it will stand out. Few people send hand-written notes any more.
- Think about what introductions might make sense. Would your new connection benefit from knowing someone else in your network? If so, build that bridge for them. This includes introductions to others in your organization’s network. We have so many areas of expertise, we can use that to build value for our connections, and also keep competitors out.
- Finally, set reminders for future contacts. It’s one thing to meet one time and follow-up, but value creation can be more continuous with a follow-up system.
Using these three sales strategies, you’ll be on your way to better create and communicate your value, which will result in more sales, more loyal clients—and increase your own social capital, as well.
For more modern selling strategies, download a free chapter of my book The Modern Seller.