Idea-based sales? If your sales are growing, you may be using it without calling it that.
Idea-based sales essentially means you’re not just selling without a strategy. You aren’t just opening up the phonebook and dialing without knowing anything about who you are calling or why you chose to call them.
In other words, you’re not just looking for the sale – you’re looking to build a relationship and a partnership over time.
We all have the ability to sell. But, we do that naturally, without a plan. That isn’t going to be as successful when trying to find new business. In order for us to be able to illustrate to a potential client, where we bring them value, we can’t wing it.
These easy steps of idea-based sales should help you in getting that next big deal:
- Set Goals
What are you trying to achieve? Make them as specific as possible: “I am calling so-and-so because I want to show her how my product can help her run her business more efficiently and set up an appointment by March 31 so I can get some face time with her” NOT “I am calling so-and-so because I want to see if she has any interest in what I have to sell and I will go from there.” You are on a mission – know what that is and go after it!
- Create a Persona
What does your ideal client look like? Know where the best place to spend your time and focus is. Remember, we are not just in this to make a sale, any sale. We are in this to get the most out of the least amount of effort. Work smarter, not harder. That will allow you more time to make another call.
- Select Tactics
How am I going to go after so-and-so? Based on the research I have done on her, I know she likes to be communicated with in this way and it looks like her company goals are this. So, I am going to make sure I focus on these things.
- Make a Plan of Attack
Attack might be a strong word BUT you get it! Create a strategy, take your tactics and lay them all out in a calendar. “I am going to call on 3/20, then I am going to send her a custom direct mail piece on 3/30 and then I am going to follow up with an email on 4/10 … ”
How am I going to measure if I was successful? Is it just about the sale or is more than that? I believe it is more than that. Going back to my earlier reference of working smarter, not harder, this will help you to analyze the tactics that work best and the ones that don’t work at all. Constantly be looking at your goals and measuring them consistently. Catch yourself going off track before it’s too late.
Listen to your prospect, understand what their goals are before you decide for them. Never assume. Create ideas together that will help you both achieve your goals.
Finally, work with your marketing department to achieve your goals! You should be working towards the same goals, they can help you to finesse your words, create attention and ensure that the messaging is correct.
Your plan should be a sales AND marketing plan. Actually, your plan should be an idea-based sales and marketing plan.
About The Author
Jenn Cline is another idea-based evangelist who connected with ABC after doing business with the agency as a client.
After 20 years in communications and sales, she decided to shed the stuffy layers of corporate structure to do business on her own terms. An expert marketing strategist, Jenn needed more space for creative planning and carefully measured execution.
As a marketing executive, she familiarized herself with ABC’s culture and talent. As a consultant, she sought the agency as a creative partner.
Jenn’s idea-based sales service adds a unique layer to traditional marketing. Her strategies give great consideration to conversion of a campaign. Not only does she develop plans for execution on the sales side, Jenn also works with clients to develop measurement tools that keep campaigns sustainable long term.