How to Boost Your Sales by Getting Personal
Being featured on the front-page of the iTunes store is exciting and can make or break a company. Merchandizing employees working for the store carefully select promotional spots for content. It’s a great example of how, even in the digital economy, the personal element is so important. As we expand the digital services we deploy and sell, human interaction, availability, and knowledge become exponentially crucial—a fact that’s even more important for sales. In our digital publishing solutions business, I often tell our sales team they’re not really selling technology — they’re selling the people behind it.
Here are five ways to ensure your sales process is always personal:
1. Be Responsive
The worst kind of email to send is no email at all. Though a 2012 study from the University of California at Irvine found that looking at less email can result in less stress, email overload is actually a problem you want to have in sales—especially in a growing business. Articles bemoaning our cluttered digital life surely can’t be written by hungry sales people. I tell our team to respond to every email thoroughly. If they don’t have the time to answer, they get back to the client with a quick note setting expectations of when they’ll reply and what they can address.
2. Be the ‘Pain’ Keeper
The most difficult problems and the most challenging client issues should always end up on the leader’s desk. When it comes to challenging situations or clients, the chain of command should make the leader the team’s servant. Outsourcing problems to your team slows their productivity and ability to close deals. The leader’s job is to keep the runway clear so the team can take off.
3. Be Demanding
Make sure the trains run on time in your organization and that your team is as responsive and attentive to your clients as you are. The standard of responsiveness and attention you set is the standard your team will take as theirs. Be at your best—and demand your team follows suit.
4. Be Clear
Saying ‘no’ instead of being vague is one of the most important lessons for keeping your organization focused and personal. Nothing bogs down workflow and productivity like a lingering client issue. Few of us are evasive with our friends; that behavior should apply doubly to business. It shows your client you respect their time when you’re straightforward and direct.
5. Be the Product
Technology products—even if they have cute logos—are still often ethereal tools. Abstract goods and services require that the team behind the product represent and embody its promise. You’re selling your future clients the possibility of working with more people like you—people who understand their problems and needs and have built solutions for them.
Matthew is the VP of Business Development at Vook where he extends Vook's cloud-based ePublishing platform to content holders everywhere, including such companies as the New York Times, Fast Company and McClatchy. At Vook, Matthew has produced the award-winning JFK:50 Days enhanced eBook with NBC and Perseus, Unleashing the Super IdeaVirus with Seth Godin, Winning the Zero Moment of Truth with Google, as well as a variety of eBook projects for Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Harvard Business Review and others.
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