Sales is a highly competitive field. Whether you’re a newbie with limited sales experience, or you’ve been in the game for a while, there is little time for a learning curve, and there is always someone trying to knock the top salesperson off the throne. The good news about sales is that it can be financially rewarding, the barriers to entry are low; and things like, age, gender, and experience level don’t have to be significant obstacles unless you make them one. So, here is a list of 5 ways to navigate around the competition and compete with the big fish.
Connect Directly Time is money is an understatement, especially in sales. Cut through the chase and try your best to deal with the decision makers from the start. Yes, it can be easier said than done, but with the right game plan in order, it’s not impossible. Study the company and learn the order of authority. There’s no sense in spending time crafting emails and reciting your impressive pitch to the wrong people. The whole point of connecting is to make business and close deals.
What’s Your Proposition? There are dozens of people trying to get the same account that you are. Find your value proposition and work it. A compelling value proposition will separate you from the masses, and it’s essential to have one that is authentic. It’s easy to bait prospects, but can you deliver? A potential client wants to know what you can offer that is better than the next person. Be sure to meet them at their need.
Networking Matters Networking is part of the package when it comes to a sales career, and at times it can feel like an unwanted chore. For those underwhelmed by networking, one way to take some of the pain out of it is to be strategic. Attend events that provide the most substantial return. If that means investing your resources into a conference, seminar, or tradeshow where you know a potential client will be; hit it up. The playing field is much more leveled at these events because there is an expectation of making business. When you are trying to get in front of a potential new client, find out what outside interests the person is involved in; coin collecting, philanthropy work, etc., you may get even further in your effort to meet and talk with the person because you’re attending an event unrelated to the business you are pursuing them for.
Leverage Referrals Often the solution to a challenge is right in our face. Tap into your networking referrals. Social networks make networking much more comfortable; it’s a click away. Take advantage of the online groups that are available. Actively pursue engaging and connecting within your current network. After all, networking has a domino effect, and if your contact doesn’t need your service or product, they probably know someone who does. It’s easier to do business with someone you know or someone with whom you have a mutual relationship. Referrals provide leverage, make nurturing your referrals part of your arsenal.
Perseverance Is Crucial You’ve been pursuing that big account for a while, but it doesn’t look like closing the deal is on the near horizon. Don’t stop, the moment the thought of giving up enters your mind, that’s when you should give another push. It’s part of the process as long as you are not overly aggressive. Make sure to space the time and methods used to communicate with your potential new account. Learn how to take your foot off the accelerator without putting on the brakes. Depending on the size of the company, there is probably more than one person involved in the final green light. The virtue of patience will come in handy as you near the end of the sales cycle.