With the incredible proliferation of brands in both the b2b and b2c markets your sales team needs all of the help it can to get in the door and make their case for their products and services. It’s obvious. We live in a world where a ‘brand’ can be launched in an hour – literally – where there can be hundreds or even thousands of competing brands against you. How can a sales person battle this?

The bottom-line is the old tried and true sales skills are not enough anymore. It takes both hard work and some new tools to compete. Here are three:

1. Know what matters most to your prospective clients and eliminate the rest from your client discussion. It’s great if your sales team is well informed and can spit out your key sales points IF that’s what is of interest to your prospects. But what happens if what you have to say isn’t? All of this can be avoided by researching each prospect with a very close inspection to determine what valuable insights you can offer on your first introductory call. I can hear you saying, “But that would take me a lot of time and I won’t make my quota of calls for the day and week!” Right, you probably won’t make your quota, but what you will make are the most effective sales calls you’ve ever made.

2. Be bold in your marketing. State your most recent success for a client on your website, in your blog, in your social media, and everywhere else you can think of. Caution: talk about your client in generalized terms such as ‘mid-size manufacturing company located in the Northeast” versus using your client’s name. Of course, if your client will grant you the use of their name that’s even better, particularly if they are well known. A key here is to consistently publish client success stories on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis that is appropriate to your business that your prospects will see and be influenced by.

3. Shorten your prospect list. This sounds like another counter-intuitive strategic move doesn’t it? When you need more clients does shortening your prospect list really make sense? Depends on how you look at it. Which sounds better to you?

  • a very long prospect list that you rip through with few results
  • a highly targeted prospect shortened list that includes deep research about each prospect and their identified top challenge that you can solve?

It takes time to establish a business relationship, to be sure, but having a strategic plan for each one will substantially improve your chances of doing business with your prospect. And in today’s tough business climate you need all the help you can get.