It started with a tweet…
Most people try to sell to anyone with a pulse. Big mistake. Selling to no-targets costs a lot & is usually non-repetitive. Focus!
This made me think of something all companies, big or small, older or younger face every day. The combination of finding the right customers and creating replicable selling scenarios makes all the difference.
Before Starting To Sell, Do Your Homework
To be able to sell any product or service (not only IT), first you need to answer some basic questions:
- Who are my customers? At first glance, this one seems easy. But it’s a matter of precision – you must identify them really well. They are not just a target group, they are not statistics. They are human beings, even if they purchase on behalf of their company, NGO or a governmental institution. You must know everything about them.
- Where can I find them? That’s where you can meet them. It can be online on your website, on community pages and social networks or offline, at trade shows or industry events. If you know them really well, it’s usually not a problem to answer this question.
- What do they need? Actually, stop thinking need-oriented. People buy driven by need, but selling based on need becomes harder and harder as people move up on Maslow’s pyramid. It’s about what these guys want. Your service might be very useful, but that’s not enough – it must fulfill a desire. If the desire is not there, you can still make the sale, but you must create it during the sales process.
The world is huge, for every service there are many customers. And even more important, there are customers even for services that are not so great, but this requires someone to work harder on their homework.
Let’s assume you did your homework and were able to find good customers for your services. Good for you! Now, calculate the cost for the entire selling process. Next, compare this cost with the potential revenue they will maybe/hopefully bring in the next year. Are you still smiling?!
After finding the first five customers, you will have to repeat the process with the next leads. If you are not able to lower the costs and increase the success rate during the acquisition of the next batch, that’s a sign of trouble. Maybe, it’s time to go back to your desk and check your homework, as this is usually an issue of customer identification rather than some flaw of execution.
Better Late Than Never
In all these years serving communication in the cloud, we’ve seen a lot of scenarios. Our partners target various business types and niches, serving all kind of verticals and horizontals, and offering a wide range of communication services. There are no universal success stories – it works only with the right targeting. However, things have a funny way to unfold. The idea to help our partners focus on sales that matter was only one tweet away. You gotta love social networks 🙂
So, we’re kicking off a new series of articles on how to target various markets and improve your sales process along the way. We hope that you will find them useful. Enjoy!
P.S.: In this viral #StarStock photo, Vince Vaughn frowns only at those who don’t do it right 😉