May 22, 2012 \ Geoff Birmingham
Seven Nuggets on Selling

Sales and Marketing Executives InternationalEach month, SMEI Boston (Sales and Marketing Executives International) hosts an excellent roundtable discussion that explores all things related to… you guessed it – sales and marketing. The roundtables are mostly an opportunity for folks to come and share ideas, wisdom, and knowledge, and we always walk away from the conversations with at least a couple good ideas gleaned from others for our own sales and marketing activities.

Last week, the focus of the conversation was very straightforward – sharing sales tips with one another. Here a a few nuggets from the conversation that are worth keeping in mind, I thought:

  • 80% of the time, to land a brand-new prospect requires a marketing or sales campaign that “touches” the prospect at least 5-6 times. The touches should, of course, be thought out rather than random.
  • 50% of campaigns do not go beyond one touch, and 80% stop after two or three.
  • Selling to a brand-new prospect is 7 times harder than selling to an existing customer or client.
  • Because selling to existing clients is so much easier, David Hamacher of Get Better Sales and Lisa Dennis of Knowledgence Associates emphasized that sales people should not consider the sales process complete when the contract is signed. Instead, the delivery of services and the customer’s satisfaction should be considered part of the sales funnel.
  • Once your customer has signed the contract, let them know that after they have received your product or service, and they are fully satisfied, that you intend to ask them for referrals to others who might need your help.
  • If you are asked to deliver a proposal, don’t write it up and deliver via email. You now are no longer in control of the sales process. Find a way to present your proposal to your prospect (via WebEx or Skype, for example).
  • In your proposals, always give three different options for services or products you can deliver. The greater variety of choices for a prospect to choose from increases the likelihood they will see something they like.