Now that spring has truly sprung – I thought it was about time to start thinking about a little al fresco eating – so here’s why picnics and selling ( selling anything at all) have got so much in common
1. Serve something tasty & let them help themselves
It may surprise you to learn that your prospects might not want to be SOLD AT.
However, that doesn’t mean to say they don’t want to BUY!
Stop forcing what you are selling down their throats, and instead help them to choose something that will brighten their day.
The difference might be extremely subtle.
Think of a selection of your favourite food and drink, beautifully presented and accompanied with a few expert recommendations in fabulous surroundings – you can pick whatever you like.
Now imagine being held down and aggressively force fed the same meal.
Not very pleasant?
The question is – which of those scenarios describes the way you sell to people?
2. You’ve got to choose a space big enough to play in….
The size of your area or prospect list must be adequate to feed your pipeline and hit your targets, but it isn’t about darkening every door in the land, hoping that someone – somewhere – will buy.
When I was working with Minolta, I met one chap who only had the left hand side of Regent Street in London and his colleague had the right.
But I also know a business development manager whose market is so niche that he is the only sales person in his company looking after half of Europe.
And I’ve met legions of sales people who jump in their cars and drive for hours just because it makes them feel busy.
So, a word of warning – Don’t cross oceans before you’ve crossed the road!
3. …but an area small enough to keep an eye on the kids
When you’ve developed that pipeline (and even managed to turn some of those prospects into paying customers) you’ve got to have the ability to monitor what’s going on – otherwise you won’t know which opportunities you’re missing – or notice when they go wondering off into someone else’s field!
If you haven’t got one yet, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system – like all things these days there are low cost alternatives available on the internet.
ZOHO (Link here) for example have a free version available for businesses with smaller teams (Go to the main page and click on Business APPs and then CRM) – and if you’re just looking to keep an eye on your existing clients and possible opportunities as you build your pipeline – it’ll do the job fine.
4. You’ve got to expect a bit of rain
So it’s not all going to plan – stop being so hard on yourself.
Unless you go and work for Pixar, you might just have to accept that one or two people won’t like what you do every now and then!
Let me ask you this – Do you know your numbers?
How many (real) potential customers – on average – say NO compared to YES?
Let’s say it’s 10 to 1 – well, that must mean that even if your last 100 prospects said NO, the next 10 will more than likely say YES!
Every NO is leading you towards the next YES – work out your numbers and understand the forecast!
5. It’s your picnic, put your heart and soul into it.
Imagine you have just been given the best Christmas present ever, on the most amazing Christmas morning of your entire childhood.
Everyone that comes round gets a full presentation of its utter brilliance – you are just so excited about – well – everything!
It’s precisely the same when you are out there selling.
Don’t just settle for the boring company script that someone else made up – customers hate having it rattled off to them.
Be natural and sincere – be YOU!
Wonderful, original, excitable, passionate YOU!
Just like that Christmas morning kid.
This is your picnic – so fill it with the things that you’d appreciate if someone else had made it and invited you along.
Make it with passion and delight.
So, if the success of this picnic rests with you – tell me – How much do you really want to be here?
How much do you care about its delivery and contents?
And How much enthusiasm will you put into making it special for everyone involved?
Here’s to Your Success – Bon Appetite
My new book – Selling with EASE: The Four Step Sales Cycle Found in Every Successful Business Transaction is now available from Kindle and as a Paperback.
If you’d like a preview, you can download the first 30 pages as a PDF document – completely free – by clicking right here
Chris Murray is founder and Managing Director of Varda Kreuz Training, a UK based company created to deliver sales training that really works – not in theory and not just sometimes, but sales training that really works. You can find out more about Varda Kreuz Training HERE or give us a call right now on 0844 293 9777 (UK)
His other books include The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club – which has been an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller and heralded as the Da Vinci Code for salespeople.