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Guarantee Your Sales ROI:
Drive Your Numbers Up in Any Economic Climate

By Michele Lando

Al is the vice president of a national sales organization. You know the type, pleasant enough, a hard-drivin’, fast movin’, numbers driven, kind of guy. But he is off of projections by 32 percent heading into the third quarter. Several standard reasons are tossed about at the sales meeting when asked why sales are off: “The economy’s down.”  “There’s not a clear differentiator between our offer and the competition’s.”  “Two other companies are cheaper than us.”  Any or all of these may be true – not only in Al’s company, but also in a myriad of others. The problem is you’ve still got to hit your numbers!  And, none of the proclaimed reasons sales are down are in the control of the sales department. So what do you do?! 

You learn how to know what the buyer really needs in order to buy!  There’s an old saying, “Business would be great if it weren’t for the people!”  But guess what? Your buyers are people, each with different core needs. And this has nothing to do with your products or services and everything to do with them – who they are and how they’re wired.

Your sales team is going out there doing their jobs - pounding the pavement, making the calls, setting the appointments, making the presentations and submitting the proposals. But are they getting the results? You need to guarantee that all of the effort they are already extending is going to result in the desired Return on Investment – meeting, and exceeding, your projections!

Here are the basics to drive your numbers up, in any economic climate, exerting no additional effort. The four potential needs of all buyers are: Results, experience, security, and information.

Buyers may possess all four needs but to different degrees and with different priorities. Think of a buyer (or yourself) and identify the strongest need they (you) have just by observing behavior.

Need

Behavior

Results

Get to the bottom line. Fast paced. Problem Solver. Impatient under pressure.

Experience

Chat about weekend, do business in the last 10 minutes of an hour-long meeting. Fast paced. Sees the big picture. Overly Optimistic.    

Security

Excellent listener. Likes to have time to process. Prefers continuity. Averse to change. Doesn’t emote.

Information

Critical Thinker. Analytical. Perfectionist at heart who needs to be well informed to make best decision. Slow to act.

When you take the time to observe, you can quickly determine someone’s preferred way of receiving what you have to offer. There are numerous strategies you can adopt to accommodate each buyer. Here are just a few tips:

The Results Oriented Buyer 

  • Ask them questions and let them define the answers – don’t tell them.

  • Ask how much time they have before you begin talking.

  • Ask if they prefer phone, e-mail or in-person. Don’t be surprised if it’s not in person.

  • Get to the bottom line, how it will help them based on what they have shared with you; then ask if they want to go through the details.

The Experience Seeking Buyer

  • Take them to lunch to discuss – preferably at an innovative venue.

  • Make sure to let them have plenty of talking time to share about themselves and ask you questions.

  • Allow for the element of fun in the meeting – as they would define fun. That may simply mean keeping it light.

  • Show them how your product/service will allow them to enjoy…something – more time, more whatever is relevant to your offer and their lives.

The Security-Minded Buyer

  • Keep questions relevant to business as opposed to personal.

  • Give them information parceled out. Allow for them to have time to digest, ask questions.

  • Share authentic stories of yourself, or others by example, which reflect practicality.

  • Make sure your offer is presented in a way that doesn’t suggest much change

The Information Saturation Buyer

  • Be prepared with statistics and data and share sources of data.

  • Go slowly. Be prepared for a lengthy sales cycle and multiple rounds of information sharing.

  • Be on purpose when you touch base, setting the stage for the next checkpoint and any additional information needed.

  • Be thorough, detailed and create a sense of certainty for the buyer.

Taking the time to really understand who your buyer is, and what they need, will allow you to re-think how you interact with them, from:

  • How you engage – e-mail/phone.

  • How to best prepare and conduct meetings – detailed agenda or more conversational.

  • Potential length of sales cycle – long/short.

  • How to communicate – share personal stories or strictly business / bottom line.

Making sure your sales teams are prepared to work with the buyer on their terms, from their point of view, to get their needs met means guaranteeing a return on your sales ROI.   Just like Al, you can learn this critical knowledge and combine it with an on-going action plan to see referrals flow, sales revenue rise and projections hit their target!

Read other articles and learn more about Michele Lando.

[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis. Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and requirements.]

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