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Why do we struggle to get new customers?

Article by Mark Berger

A big part of successful selling is the ability to get new customers. Many of us have been taught to use the tried and trusted ‘Cold Calling’ or ‘Cold Canvassing’ techniques. So we dial their number and launch enthusiastically into our smooth, well planned Sales Pitch, asking for a few minutes of their time to meet and chat about what we have to offer. All too often the answer we receive is – NO. NADA. Nee Dankie. Not now. Too busy. Thanks but no thanks.

In today’s busy world, potential new customers don’t seem to have time to speak with us or do not return our messages. This is extremely frustrating for any sales professional and it seems to be getting worse.

Why is this happening, when we believe that what we are selling is needed by this customer?

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment.

Understand that right now your potential customers are very likely drowning in one or more of the following: excessive emails, ridiculous reports, mammoth meetings, balancing budgets, restructuring or rightsizing, performance appraisals, meeting targets, compliance with legislation, load shedding, staff issues and a whole lot more. Realise as well that while technology has enabled them to be super effective, they are now trying to do twice as much as before.

As a result they are very likely to be feeling frazzled, tired, anxious, stressed and generally overwhelmed.

Here’s the bottom line. Due to all this pressure, customers are forced to constantly re-prioritise their valuable time. Their to-do list is exhausting. So unless our offering is a very high priority for them at the exact moment we call, we get rejected.

Of course we take it personally, wondering what we did wrong.

The more important question is: how we can improve?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Don’t cold call. Do sufficient research and preparation to create a ‘WARM CALL’.
  2. Don’t ask to ‘take’ their time. Rather offer to ‘give’ them something.
  3. Stop trying to ‘sell’ to new customers and start solving their immediate problems, whether they relate directly to your offering or not. Think out of the box.
  4. Give them a really good reason to talk to you. Make them an offer they cannot refuse.
  5. Put yourself in their shoes. Be very honest. Considering the way you currently pitch to them, if you were them would you make time to talk to you?
  6. Let them know you understand their busy reality and offer to simplify it for them.
  7. Make it easy for them to buy from you.
  8. Make it fun for them (and you)!

These concepts may take some time for you to perfect. But once you do, your hard work will pay off and selling will become a whole lot easier.

Mark Berger is a speaker at Build a Business LIVE.
Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).

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