When it comes to promoting you business, you have a clear choice: Do you be different and stand out or just blend in to the background with all of the other companies?
Being different does not come easy or naturally to most people. It is much easier and less effort to “go with the flow” and blend in. We want to “fit in” and be the same as other people, which is a natural aspect of everyone’s personality. But as a sales person or when you are promoting your business, you need to focus in on what is different about you and your company.
When it comes to sale, there are 3 main things that you can use to “be different” from all of the other companies out there. Your products, your company and you. The first 2 items usually take care of themselves, with your sales staff promoting the right products to the right people and backing it up with company information. However, the personal aspect is very important too – developing your own personal brand. After all, most sales are won through the relationship, not just because of a great product.
Here are 7 different tips and methods that you can use to help be different from all the other sales Joe’s out there. Employ these tactics and you will help boost your personal profile too.
- Make sure you look the part as first impressions count. Taking care over your appearance is a pretty obvious thing for a sales person, but making sure that you do it every time is very important. I have met salesmen in regular clothes who do a great job of selling, but the guy in the smart, professional suit always wins the contract from me.
- Use email to your advantage and make sure you include a good signature at the end of your emails to customers. Make sure you include your name, contact details and a short sentence or phrase that describes who you are or your experience. Remember – every email is a opportunity to sell yourself and your company – don’t miss out on additional sales. Use PS and PPS to add one-line promotions of your latest products where appropriate.
- If you have done telephone sales, getting the other person to return your calls can be a tough nut to crack and can be very frustrating. This is an excellent opportunity to “think outside of the box” and “be different”. Try sending them a product they will use in their office, such as a desk calendar, with your contact details on. Putting your details in front of people will help them to remember who you are.
- I am sure that you have a business card, but is it optimised for best use? One of the new sales trends is to use double sided cards, printed with an inspirational quote on the flip side. This is not a place to spout your favourite quote or saying, use the space to tell your potential customers the reasons why others like doing business with you already. Alternatively, print a bright and bold customer testimonial on there – social proof goes a long way in sales.
- If you are sending promotional pages or leaflets out, you need to think about how they will be received by the potential customer and how you can keep their eyeballs on the page. Use bright paper or large coloured fonts to help draw the eye and make your flyer stand out in a pile of similar literature from your competitors.
- It is important to remember that every single one of your contacts counts – so don’t let them go to waste. Develop a system whereby, if they are a potential customer, they are contacted via email soon after your initial meeting (within 24 hours) and then follow up messages are sent at around 72 hours and then within 10 days. These messages can also include promotional articles or material too.
- If you are working on a large proposal or sales pitch, try to get the whole company in front of the client – it will be harder for them to say no to a whole company, rather than just 1 sales guy. You can do this by preparing an org-chart of your company, with details of the people they are most likely to make contact with if they become a customer. People like the head of manufacturing, the sales managers or procurement heads. Use photographs of them and include their contact details too. This is a great way to demonstrate that you are a team.
Don’t just stick to the same old tried and tested sales methods when you are looking for new customers. Often, the best sales people are not the ones who bring in the most contracts or cash – the most creative and flexible ones are the ones that shine through and capture the best customers.
By Tao Schencks