“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
Yup, that song, as usual, has been popping up everywhere and anywhere, creating the soundtrack for our last-minute sprints to the mall, year-end cards and letters, and some truly marathon sessions on Amazon. (I’m also on a first-name basis with the UPS man, and am considering inviting him for our holiday dinner.)
But another traditional carol, in particular, has gotten stuck in my head this year, so much so that it’s become hopelessly intertwined with my consulting work. So let me share it with you now….Dr. Cindy’s “12 Days of Sales Tips.”
Ready? Sing along with me.
In the first batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me…was “Create a plan, immediate-LYYY.”
Yup, that’s always your first task, but so many folks forget to do it—maybe if you start singing it with me, you’ll remember! Planning is ALWAYS Step One.
In the second batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Two ears-a-listening.”
Remember the old formula: two ears beats one mouth. In sales, listening can be twice as important as talking. Don’t let your conversations be all YOU….get to the heart of your prospects’ needs and wants by HEARING what they say.
In the third batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me…was “Three reasons why.”
Part of your preparation for a sales conversation is knowing why your prospect or client should meet with you or even do business with you. If you can’t tell them why you are awesome it will be really hard for them to brag on you and send you referrals!
In the fourth batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Four piles of prospects.”
Know your four basic types of customer: Suspects and Prospects, New Customers, Legacy Customers, and Advocate Customers. Taking those prospects and turning them into advocates is our ultimate goal, and dealing with each type strategically and systematically is the way to do it.
In the fifth batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Five golden asks!”
Did you know that the average prospect says no four times before they buy? That fifth ask is golden—don’t stop until you get there!
In the sixth batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Six referrals-a-rocking.”
Referrals are an incredibly valuable tool for growing your business, and they can be surprisingly easy to get—but you have to ASK for them. And, our numbers show if you ask 6 times, you are likely to get at least one! Don’t be shy, put your best customers to work for you!
In the seventh batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Seven thank-you’s thanking.”
Never forget the most important part of any transaction—the thank-you that comes after you’ve put it to bed. Make sure this is a consistent part of your process, and it will lead to more of those great referrals we were just taking about.
In the eighth batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Eight weeks of habit.”
Yup, that’s right, it’s been proven that to truly turn a behavior into a habit, you need 60 days, or a little over eight weeks. Embrace these tips and work them into your routine, and after a couple of months….they may become a way of life!
In the ninth batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Nine phones-a-ringing.”
Sure, email’s fast and easy, but when it comes to communicating with your sales prospects, nothing still beats the good old phone. It may take a few tries (maybe even more than nine), but keep calling—once you connect, you can start building the relationships that create loyal customers….and more business.
In the tenth batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Ten Millennials moving.”
Trying to catch a Millennial? Go mobile—they’re used to doing every bit of business they need on the move, on their phones, in their cars, and basically anywhere EXCEPT a desk. Keep moving right with them, or get left behind!
In the eleventh batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Eleven X’ers texting.”
Your Generation-X audience is tech savvy, and grew up in an era of immediate communication. Responding quickly and accurately to their requests and demands, in their media of choice, is key to gaining their business.
In the twelfth batch of sales tips that Cindy gave to me….was “Twelve ways to measure.”
Okay, so maybe you don’t have 12 things to actually measure, but you should have a few! Make sure you go back to your original plan and see how you are doing. Measure your results and tweak your plan as needed. A sales plan is not set in stone-it is dynamic and reactive…it is your barometer!
All right….you’ve got the lyrics, and I know you know the tune….start making your sales process sing!
And have a fantastic holiday season!
Grow Big or Go Home!