Many people just cringe at the words sales and, or marketing. The reason being is that a lot of businesses have been doing it incorrectly for so long. Hard sell sales tactics are now an 'old school' approach and this has contributed to a bad stigma about the profession. The fact is that without sales and marketing, business wouldn't succeed. It just needs to be done right. If you have a sales team here's some knowledge that you can pass onto them:
Don't Sell: If you have taken on new sales staff, encourage your sales staff to build relationships and not to sell to your customers. You may find that your sales will take a hit initially but the lifetime value of a solid relationship will be far more beneficial. People buy from people. Sure, your product or service has to be good, however if a trust worthy relationship is built this will be the foundation for business success.
Provide Value: If you can provide outstanding value to your customers you will always win. Here is an example. We were in a meeting with a director of a company that provides equipment for sleep appnea sufferers. Prior to our meeting, the client had the mindset that a 100% digital marketing approach was the answer. During our meeting, we asked several questions and noted that the target demographic was people 50+ years of age. After careful consideration, we suggested a television advertising campaign, coupled with a Google Adwords approach. Our reason for suggesting television advertising was due to the fact that his target demographic watches television within his location. The client was surprised that we would offer this suggestion. He knew that we would not make as much profit from him as we are predominantly a digital agency. He appreciated our honestly and the campaign has been a resounding success. Doing the right thing, is always the right thing.
Take Interest: Really show an interest in what your client does. Try and learn something from them. The simple acts of listening and asking questions will gain you respect from your client. If you can politely make a suggestion to them, which will in turn benefit their business, this will build trust.
Master the above 3 points and you will be on the road to success. B2B sales is really just helping other people in business succeed. Lose the old school sales mindset and start to see some real progress, both personally and professionally. Thanks for reading.