Article by Iza Grek
As much as writers and professionals who spend most of their time behind a desk may shun sales, it is a key function and survival mechanism of every business. ‘Looking for business every day is (to success) what breathing is to life,’ says Mark Keating of Sales Guru, speaking at the Build a Business Live conference at Gallagher Convention Centre on Thursday.
‘Sales is the DNA of business – it is the ongoing power switch.’ Individuals set sales targets and end up sabotaging their own success, he says. Failure is often due to a poor mindset, low self-belief, a negative attitude and limited activity.
Keating says you can check in with your own level of effort by asking yourself, ‘In the last 30 days what percentage of your potential have you used?’
Activity has the biggest impact on sales and should align with where you want to go. ‘Successful people block off time in their diaries to sell. Do it for 30 days,’ Keating says.
Approaching a sale, know that most people or companies already have a service provider. You need to structure your meeting towards the desired outcome. Keating says the entire meeting must focus on the customer. Include questions like, how could the service be better, are you happy with your current supplier, describe your overall experience. Ask the prospect to list the top three things that could be improved.
‘It’s essential to differentiate. Quality is the minimum entry level requirement.’ Keating says price is only 18% of the sales decision, quality 21%, and total solution 22%. The highest influencer of a sale is the competence of the sales person at 39%.
In the introduction of the meeting get to understand the current situation – needs, objectives, outcomes. Ask, what is it costing you? So if I could provide that for (name price) when would you like delivery? Create value and add urgency. Monetize the issue but talk about an investment. Establish who is involved with the decision making process. Then recap, ask is there any reason not to go ahead?
Keating says, ‘Hoping is not a sales strategy. You and your business need to get in front of enough people who can buy. Activity is key.’