“They” say you should have a system for selling. “They” meaning experts, I guess. But here’s what I’ve learned through my selling career. You have to find your own system that works for YOU. Something canned or scripted out the same way every time… is a bunch of baloney. (yes, baloney, not bologna)
I don’t usually do huge, elaborate proposals. I talk to people and get them to trust me. That’s my thing. That’s what I’ve figured out works for me. My personality, transparency, and “regular guyness” shines through. After a few encounters, and sometimes after the first face to face meeting. People trust me. That’s the #1 hurdle. Earning trust.
The other day, after just one meeting with a new prospect, I called and discussed some things over the phone with her. I wasn’t proposing anything, I just ran through some rough options and explained why they could be good for her. She said, “Let’s go with whatever you think is best. I trust ya.” That doesn’t happen because I flooded her with research, industry articles, graphs, or fluff. I learned as much as I could about her business, then I put myself into her customers’ shoes, and went from there.
But I’m only able to gain trust with people through simple conversation because I know my craft. I know what it takes to make advertising work… and how to go about it. There’s never a “push”… just good questions… and better listening.
Hey… some salespeople need to have a presentation all mapped out and rehearsed over and over. That’s great! That’s probably what works best for most people. But not for me. I’ve learned that from my sales experience through the past 15 years. I found what works for ME. And you need to do the same.
Maybe if you’re new at “this sales thing”… you have to try a few different approaches. Of course you do. You’re going to need to work your ass off for starters. You’re going to have to put extra time in for the first couple of years, especially. But you’ll learn a lot of things through that. You’ll learn what feels comfortable for you… and what works. That’s my point. Whatever works for YOU. There are managers out there who think you should do it just like they do. I don’t agree. At all.
Sales is a about trust. If you know your stuff, know how to deliver results, and can help people feel comfortable, you’re most of the way there.
Could I initially get a bigger order from new clients? Possibly. But once my clients understand the value of what they’re getting from me (great radio advertising that causes consumers to give them a shot), then they eventually spend more with me down the road. Causing that trust to deepen even more because I didn’t push them too hard right off the bat. Again, some people would disagree, but I have some pretty loyal radio clients who love what I do for them, and have been with me for over a decade.
I do what’s right. And I never sell something that’s not needed. I care for my clients and for their bottom line. When they realize that… then, the sales process is easy.
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY… Have a groovy day!
Radio sales guy / ad writer / “marketing strategist” at Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls.