Guarantee Your Sales ROI:
Drive Your Numbers Up in Any Economic
By Michele Lando
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?!
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
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!
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.
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.
Get to the bottom line.
Fast paced. Problem Solver. Impatient under pressure.
Chat about weekend, do
business in the last 10 minutes of an hour-long meeting.
Fast paced. Sees the big picture. Overly Optimistic.
Excellent listener. Likes
to have time to process. Prefers continuity. Averse to
change. Doesn’t emote.
Analytical. Perfectionist at heart who needs to be well
informed to make best decision. Slow to act.
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:
Results Oriented Buyer
them questions and let them define the answers – don’t tell
how much time they have before you begin talking.
they prefer phone, e-mail or in-person. Don’t be surprised if
it’s not in person.
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
Experience Seeking Buyer
them to lunch to discuss – preferably at an innovative venue.
sure to let them have plenty of talking time to share about
themselves and ask you questions.
for the element of fun in the meeting – as they would define
fun. That may simply mean keeping it light.
them how your product/service will allow them to enjoy…something
– more time, more whatever is relevant to your offer and their
questions relevant to business as opposed to personal.
them information parceled out. Allow for them to have time to
digest, ask questions.
authentic stories of yourself, or others by example, which
sure your offer is presented in a way that doesn’t suggest much
Information Saturation Buyer
prepared with statistics and data and share sources of data.
slowly. Be prepared for a lengthy sales cycle and multiple
rounds of information sharing.
purpose when you touch base, setting the stage for the next
checkpoint and any additional information needed.
thorough, detailed and create a sense of certainty for the
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:
you engage – e-mail/phone.
best prepare and conduct meetings – detailed agenda or more
Potential length of sales cycle – long/short.
communicate – share personal stories or strictly business /
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
Read other articles and learn more
about Michele Lando.
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