I once asked one of my sales reps, “What if I told you your sales could go up if you contacted a few less people per day and used that extra time to do this one thing better?”
His response was, “You want me to contact less buyers?!”
He told me a lot about himself as a salesperson, and perhaps as a person, by not asking me about the “one thing” he needed to do better.
It was always a numbers game to him and, despite my best efforts, he couldn’t get beyond the core basis of his limited sales world view.
What was the one thing, you ask?
It was getting better at thoroughly knowing his audience.
The idea of knowing your audience is not a new thing. But, after more than three decades in the sales industry, I’d conservatively estimate that upwards of 80-85% of current sales professionals have room to grow in this area.
Yes. I said that…80-85%, conservatively.
It may mean spending an extra 30 seconds or an extra 30 minutes. What matters is how well you spend your time when you research, and that’s where there’s ample room for growth in our field. With the tools and strategies changing and becoming more numerous and powerful over time, this will remain a challenge for each of us.
Speaker, author and business communication expert Jill Schiefelbein (@dynamicjill) wrote an article for @entrepreneurmagazine last month and it’s certainly worth reading. It’s titled: “Don’t Overlook the Sales Power of Knowing Your Audience.”
THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Schiefelbein’s post is this:
“Know your audience, do your due diligence research, and communicate what you know so you can create a platform for building a long-term relationship. It seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked.”
WHAT I LIKED
The reason I liked this article, and why I’m recommending it to you, is because it’s based around a single example that ends with a cringe-worthy moment for the seller. You can feel it. I did.
I’d like you to read Schiefelbein’s post, then stop and feel what that seller must’ve felt when he realized it would’ve only taken an extra 30 seconds to avoid damaging that relationship from the start.
Every contact with a buyer should prove, in some [even in a little] way, that you’ve done your research. There should be no question about it, and that proof needs to lead off your message.
I used to ask my reps, “What else can you learn about them before you make that call?” I now encourage you to ask that question of yourself before a call or email to a new buyer.
A couple less calls per day in exchange for the rest of your communications to be stronger and more effective is a quality trade-off in my book.
[Reading Time of Schiefelbein’s Post: 3:00 minutes]
QUESTION ::: What’s your favorite story of how a key piece of research about your audience made the difference in getting a sale?
Let’s talk about it…