What are you doing in your business to stand out from the competition? Over the years, sales managers have trained their staff to meet with as many prospects as possible with the thought that eventually one will stick. With no specific sales strategy in place, the message was just get out and meet with people.
The problem with this strategy is many of those prospects may not be ideal customers for the organization and meeting with them actually begins to cost the company money. When the sales professional is focused on meeting with the ideal client and providing value, there is a greater chance for the prospect to become a client.
As an insurance sales person, my boss would continuously tell us to quote on everything and eventually something would stick. It was always about how many new prospects we were bringing in the door. As I now wear the hat of a marketing consultant, I strongly believe this method was flawed. My boss didn’t have a strategy in place to build relationships with prospects. His strategy was just dial for dollars, then dial for more dollars.
This strategy put us in the same boat as every other insurance agency out there. Everyone was dialing for dollars and we were selling price. We were teaching the buyers to let us come in and quote on their insurance to see if we could save them money. In many cases, the prospects would take our price back to their current agent to see if they could match the price. Oftentimes they did and we chalked up another exercise in quoting.
Today I would advise my boss to implement an entirely new strategy for attracting new clients. This plan would be based on the value we bring to the organization, not how much money we can save them on insurance. I would start by identifying how we are truly different from our competitors. What services were we offering that our competitors weren’t? More importantly, I would work on a strategy to position our company as the resource to these prospects and help them grow their business. Exploring how we could become ‘game changers’ to these business owners rather than just offering to save them money is essential. Our tactics would focus on education in the form of workshops, articles and webinars. I would also coordinate and facilitate mastermind groups to bring different business owners together to share best practices. This is such a better way to get in front of business owners than just trying to save them money. All of my effort would position me as the expert and the go- to person. From there, I believe every business that asked me to quote would become my client!
How can you take the concepts shared in this narrative and implement them into your business? Depending on your industry, there are several tactics you can put into practice. Find a way to position yourself as a leader and as a resource. If you are dealing in the B2B market, it’s important to remember that most business owners need help growing and managing their business. The more value you provide in this area, the more successful you will be as a business owner.
Finally, don’t forget to reach out and connect with people rather than hiding behind emails and websites. No one likes being sold to, so it’s not easy to get in front of decision makers. Find a way to become the game changer in their business and you’ll see your business soar.