How are you feeling about your accomplishments this year? My guess is the level of satisfaction you feel now is having a direct impact on what you are thinking.
What we think about is what we bring about.
Our mindset affects how we feel, which translates to what we do—or don't do. So let’s take a look at some activities that directly affect how many new clients you acquire. Are you willing to put on your sales hat as you continue reading? Because you have to get over the feeling that sales = pushy. Instead, believe that sales = helping people buy the right product. Below are activities you should perform on a consistent basis.
• Ask for referrals - When you finish a sales appointment, whether you get a sale or not, ask for a referral. Before you met, these people didn't know what you offer. Once the meeting is over, they understand more about your offering, your price, etc.
• Network in person - I like to call it “Networking on Purpose.” This means you have to focus on how you can help others, and share clearly in your elevator speech how people can help you.
• Use social networking for leads - Target the companies and the decision-makers you are aiming for on a variety of platforms, from LinkedIn to Yelp.
• Actively Prospect - Yes, it is still a good idea to contact prospects both on the phone (after you’ve researched the company) and in person. Expect to be surprised by what happens when you step out of your comfort zone.
These tips may be uncomfortable for you. How will you change your thinking to allow you to do it, rather than justify why you didn’t?
• Results: See the success you will gain.
• Take it to heart: Affirm that you can, and repeat the affirmation over and again.
Always Seek Knowledge
As a sales trainer/coach, I hear business owners and sales pros express concern about their discussions with potential clients. They are afraid of appearing PUSHY. It's a common negative correlation: salespeople = pushy.
Since I am a sales professional, I say “ouch.” And then I say, “Change the thinking.”
Think of it this way: when you decided to start your business, that was an act of courage—and you had to ask for a lot, didn't you? Maybe you had to get financing for capital, negotiate with a facility’s property manager, and hire the right people to help you provide the services and products you sell. Did you feel “pushy” when you performed these tasks, or did you feel you were functioning as a business owner?
My guess is that you felt like a business owner. So here’s my advice: behave as a professional when you have your sales hat on. Stop feeling like that's pushy. Start accepting that you must be assertive; you have to get the information that enables you to do a good job for your customers and yourself. Understand that selling is simply helping people buy what they want and need.
It's OK to ask. My acronym for “ask” is: Always Seek Knowledge. It's your right and responsibility to grow your business, and you can't achieve that without increasing your customer base.
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