It’s a new year, and the time to chart your best course for sales success is now. With the lion’s share of B2B consumers now turning to research vendors, creating a strong online presence and developing a professional brand is more crucial than ever before.Â Social selling allows sales professionals to become resources for buyers moving through the decision making process. The savviest sales people are using social media networksÂ to position themselves as experts, seize more opportunities and close more deals.
Real Time Hot Steps to Accelerate Your Sales in 2015
In this article, you’ll learn:
1. How to develop your personal brand:
A brand is anythingâ€”a symbol, design, name, sound, reputation, emotion, employees, tone, and much moreâ€”that separates one thing from another. In the case of McDonaldâ€™s, the golden arches became part of the brand. Those arches separate their product from all other fast food restaurants and theyâ€™re a recognizable symbol even with kids.
Branding on a business-level is common, but today branding is becoming just as important on a personal level. After all, you might work for a business that works with other businesses, but itâ€™s people working with people and thatâ€™s what makes business relationships valuable. If youâ€™re looking for a better job, you want your potential boss at your ideal company to associate your personal brand with something that she needs on her team.
If youâ€™re looking to grow the sales for a company, you want potential clients to associate your personal brand with a feeling of trust and long-term success and satisfaction.Â This guide will take your through all the steps you need to take to create a your unique personal brand. In todayâ€™s job market and entrepreneurial landscape, there is no room for being another face in the crowd. You have to separate yourself from the competition. You have to be more appealing to your target audience and you can achieve it by creating a recognizable personal brand.
2. How to build your professional network:
Building a professional network of clients and contacts for your business involves how you relate to people. Developing a professional network includes awareness of people who interact with your business, having a positive attitude about people, communicating effectively with people, and doing the things that build strong relationships.
In the business world, effective networkers
Are aware: Opportunities are all around you, and yet if youâ€™re not aware of them, they may as well not exist. Awareness moves opportunities into possibilities.
Because of all the strengths, skills, information, contacts, and expertise that you have to offer others, and that others have to offer you, your network can create a multitude of opportunities for yourself and others.
Have a helpful attitude: Being an effective networker isnâ€™t just about what you do; itâ€™s also about your attitude toward what youâ€™re doing. Your attitude influences everything in your life â€” the goals you set, the risks youâ€™re willing to take, the way you approach people, your willingness to approach people, the way you respond to people, and much more.
Your attitude not only affects what you do; it also affects the way people respond to you. Your attitude can create a barrier and turn people off, or it can communicate with people that you want people to interact with you.
Hone their communication skills: Networking happens through conversation. After mastering the art of small talk, you will feel more comfortable meeting new people and developing rapport. By developing rapport with people, you will be able to turn small talk into opportunities to make requests and be a networking resource.
Develop relationship-building habits: A network exists as a series of relationships and connections between people. People must relate with and respect one another in order for a valuable networking exchange to happen. Building relationships is your first priority when networking.
Considerate, respectful, caring behavior builds strong relationships. These behaviors, practiced on a consistent and regular basis, become the relationship-building habits that guarantee a long-lasting, fulfilling network.
3. How to leverage your network to find the right sales prospects:
Today, you are pushed to do more with less and so are your customers. WithÂ business leaders becoming harder to reach and increasingly impatient, howÂ can you ensure youâ€™re leveraging the right strategy to close more deals?
A sales repÊ¼s ability to achieve better sales performance is contingent on proper implementation of the sales
funnel and how sales intelligence is applied to the sales process. This whitepaper will deal with accessing and
utilizing sales intelligence to accelerate deals and increase win rates. The secret to sales success is being at the right place at the right time. SellingÂ is much easier when a prospectÊ¼s status quo has been disrupted; for example,
maybe the company has received funding, or needs to comply with newÂ regulations. Sales triggers like these jolt decision-makers out of their statusÂ quo and help them realize that they need a new solution. If you can capture
these trigger events at the right time then congratulations, youÊ¼ve just added aÂ highly qualified prospect to your pipeline! You need the right sales intelligence tool that permits you to leverage triggerÂ events and combine them with other search parameters to easily find andÂ reach prospects with an urgent need for your offering. Starting off with high qualityÂ prospects speeds you through the beginning of your sales process. Decision-makers are growing increasingly impatient; the one-size-fit-all approach no longer works. In order toÂ craft the best and most relevant sales pitch possible, you must have a deep understanding of your prospectsÊ¼Â business needs first. Your sales pitch is what they first hear about your business and explains why yourÂ business is the best fit for them. Getting a 360-degree view of each prospect helps you customize and tailorÂ your sales pitch to each of their specific needs. Adding qualified companies to your sales pipeline isnÊ¼t the end of the story. Once youÊ¼ve built up your list,Â the next step is connecting with the right decision-makers. For example, if you are selling IT securityÂ solutions, how do you target the right contacts? Where do you engage them?
4. How to engage with them effectively and build strong relationships:
Human beings are naturally social creatures â€“ we crave friendship and positive interactions, just as we do food and water. So it makes sense that the better our relationships are at work, the happier and more productive we’re going to be.Â Good working relationships give us several other benefits: our work is more enjoyable when we have good relationships with those around us. Also, people are more likely to go along with changes that we want to implement, and we’re more innovative and creative.
What’s more, good relationships give us freedom: instead of spending time and energy overcoming the problems associated with negative relationships, we can, instead, focus on opportunities.
Good relationships are also often necessary if we hope to develop our careers. After all, if your boss doesn’t trust you, it’s unlikely that he or she will consider you when a new position opens up. Overall, we all want to work with people we’re on good terms with.Â We also need good working relationships with others in our professional circle. Customers, suppliers, and key stakeholders are all essential to our success. So, it’s important to build and maintain good relations with these people.
There are several characteristics that make up good, healthy working relationships :
Trust â€“ This is the foundation of every good relationship. When you trust your team and colleagues, you form a powerful bond that helps you work and communicate more effectively. If you trust the people you work with, you can be open and honest in your thoughts and actions, and you don’t have to waste time and energy “watching your back.”
Mutual Respect â€“ When you respect the people that you work with, you value their input and ideas, and they value yours. Working together, you can develop solutions based on your collective insight, wisdom and creativity.
Mindfulness â€“ This means taking responsibility for your words and actions. Those who are mindful are careful and attend to what they say, and they don’t let their own negative emotions impact the people around them.
Welcoming Diversity â€“ People with good relationships not only accept diverse people and opinions, but they welcome them. For instance, when your friends and colleagues offer different opinions from yours, you take the time to consider what they have to say, and factor their insights into your decision-making.
Open Communication â€“ We communicate all day, whether we’re sending emails and IMs, or meeting face-to-face. The better and more effectively you communicate with those around you, the richer your relationships will be. All good relationships depend on open, honest communication.
5. Choose the Ways to measure and boost your social selling results:
The sales profession moves faster than ever today. In the blink of an eye, new competitors emerge, products similar to yours are released, and before you know it, it’s a race to the bottom.Â No matter what industry you’re in, what worked well a few years ago isn’t good enough today. This is no time for trial and error or order taking; this is a time to sell. Here are some basic steps you can take to improve your sales performance, reduce your cost of selling, and ensure your survival.
Clarify your mission.
Begin by understanding your business niche. What do you do best? Who needs what you do? How do you best approach these prospects? How much are they willing to pay? If these questions are not answered easily, campaign at the top for clarity and vision.
Break the mission into specific goals.
Write down the activity goals (calls per day, proposals per month, referrals per call, etc.) that you can control. Set results goals (sales per month, amount per sale, profit per sale, etc.) to measure your progress, and track them closely. Increase your activity and measure the results. Goals focus your attention and energize your action.
Sell to customer needs.
Always assume your prospects will buy only what they need. How can you convince them of that need? Emphasize the features of your product or service that reduce costs and solve problems for the customer. Sometimes you can reposition your wares. For example, you sold wool uniforms for their look and feel; now stress wool’s durability and lasting value. Be creative in your sales and marketing.
Create and maintain favorable attention.
Effective marketing, referrals, strong sales skills, and strategic questions are the keys to creating favorable attention. Diligent follow-through and above-and-beyond customer service are the keys to maintaining it.
Sell on purpose.
Know both what to do and why you’re doing it at every step along the way. Who are you targeting and why? What are you going to tell them and why? What are you going to ask them and why? What is your proposal going to look like and why? When are you going to ask for the order? If you don’t feel sure of yourself at every step of the selling process, get some training or guidance.
Ask, listen, and act.
Better than any others, these three words summarize success in sales. Your questions must be creative, planned, relevant, and direct. Your listening skills must be highly developed. You must respond and take action that proves that you listened to the customer and want the sale.
Take the responsibility but not the credit.
Realize that you are the team leader. The company looks to you for direction and supports your effort. To build a strong support team willing to go the extra mile when you need it, give your team the credit for everything that goes right, and take the blame when it goes wrong.
Work on the basics.
Even the best of the best have room for improvement. Make a decision to improve your weaknesses, and set goals to force yourself to do the things you don’t like to do. Be more creative in your prospecting, fact finding, and presentation skills. Imagine the perfect salesperson and compare yourself to the ideal.
Develop your attitude.
Your attitude is controllable. Conquer your fears. Change the beliefs that limit your success. Your thought habits control your commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, resilience, happiness, and confidence. Be aware of them, decide which ones are unproductive, and then make a commitment to change. With time and effort, you can become the person you want to be.
Maximize your time.
Focus on your goals. Test every activity for its importance and urgency. Create an ideal schedule, and test your actual time use against it daily. Remember, just one hour a day used more productively adds up to more than six extra weeks of productive time a year.
6. Accept to live without Google Search visitors:
Donâ€™t forget about Yahoo and Bing
Yahoo and Bing may not have the market share of Google but a top position in either Bing or Yahoo can bring in a good number of visitors. I have web sites that rank on the first positions for popular keywords on both Google and Bing and although the traffic I get from Bing is Â¼ of what I get from Google it is still a good source of free traffic.
What you can do? The first action you need to take is register with Bing Webmaster tools and submit your website. The process is similar to Google webmaster tools; if you are not sure what to do you can read this tutorial. Second, you need to be active in Facebook and Twitter. Bing and Yahoo take into account (in their ranking algorithm) the number of Facebook likes and Tweets so the more likes and tweets your pages have, the greater are the chances of ranking higher in Bing and Yahoo.
Create a mobile version of your web site
More and more users are searching the web using their mobile phones. The numbers of mobile searches are increasing dramatically and you just canâ€™t ignore them. Recent studies show that 28% of mobile searches are converting within an hour so it is very important to provide for a mobile optimized version as well.
What you can do? Mobilise your web site! Creating a mobile version is not very difficult. You can either use a plugin (if you are on WordPress) or a dedicated service. Howtogomo (a website by Google) has all the information you need (including information on how to go mobile).
Guest post on high traffic web sites
Many people believe that guest posting is about getting links but this shouldnâ€™t be the case. The main reason of why you should guest post to another website is the traffic benefits and not getting a link pointing to your website. A guest post on a trusted website may rank high as well and this will create a steady flow of free traffic to your site.
What you can do? Forget everything you know about guest posting for links and instead make a list of high traffic web sites in your niche. Find out who the editors of these web sites are and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Try to connect with them in every valid way you can and when the time is right pitch them with your guest post idea. I know itâ€™s not easy but you should also know that the easy way of guest posting will get you into trouble.
Engage with Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, YouTube, LinkedIn)
Social media platforms are getting popular day by day and if you donâ€™t have a clear strategy of what you want to achieve, you many end up losing your time without having a real benefit. In my opinion the best social media platforms in terms of traffic are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, YouTube and LinkedIn.
What you can do? If you donâ€™t have a presence in ALL the above channels, make sure that you start using them. You many need to spend some time figuring out how each platform works but they are proven ways to get free visitors to your website. Read these 2 posts for more information: How to promote your blog posts and how to SEO you social media profiles.
I describe a few more sources of traffic in my post, how to increase web site traffic, but the bottom line in all methods is the same. You need to find out where your potential users hangout online and give them a few good reasons to visit your web site. Try to think outside the box and beyond Facebook and Twitter and I am sure you can find even more free ways to get more visitors to your web site.