In many ways, the life of a salesperson can often feel like a perpetual swim upstream.
No matter what you do or how much effort you put into your job, it doesn’t feel like you’re making any progress. Sure, you’re treading water—closing enough new customers to stay afloat and buy yourself another month. But the big sales—the ones that can propel you forward and set you on the path to surpassing quota every month—seem unattainable.
To be sure, that’s a frustrating process. And it’s one that many of my customers ask me to help them with every month.
For instance, take this e-mail I received recently:
“My sales numbers are stagnant. I have brought in some new customers, but always at small dollar amounts, and I’m not getting into the big sale range that everyone else is every month.
"I try to focus on the value of our company rather than the price of our services, but all of the bigger companies I call are already working with a vendor they’re happy with. The smaller businesses I talk to really like to focus on price, even when I discuss the value my company could bring to the table. My manager continues to tell me that if I keep talking to people the numbers will come, but I need to find a way to get my numbers up quicker. I don’t like stressing over low sales.”
If that sounds like something you’ve said before (or something you’re muttering now), here are a few recommendations that should help ease sales size stagnation woes:
1. Focus on the business issues that matter to your prospects and customers. If you can uncover the business objectives that matter most to your prospects’ bottom line, you can then craft better ways to communicate the value that your products and services can bring to the table.
Essentially, that will allow you to re-frame the conversation, turning it from a product-based discussion into one that’s focused on how you can address a prospect’s unique needs. Doing that won’t just make it easier to close sales; it’ll make it easier to close big sales.
2. Revisit existing customers and try to uncover additional needs. Using the previous tip as a frame a reference, contacting existing customers to discuss their business priorities for the coming year could reveal new opportunities to sell additional technology and services to achieve them.
Doing that will not only strengthen your relationship with existing customers, it could also allow you to convert “smaller” customers into big ones.
3. Target bigger companies with bigger budgets. Yes, I know — this is much easier said than done. But the reality is that bigger companies work with more vendors and they’re more likely to have broader business objectives. That doesn’t mean you should pitch your company as a one-size-fits-all solution on the first call. Instead, the idea is to get your foot in the door by solving a specific pain point that the big company’s existing IT vendor isn’t capable of curing. From there, you can prove your value and grow your presence.
The overarching theme here, if you haven’t figured it out already, is that to prevent stagnating in the size sales you’re closing, you have to move away from engaging prospects in technology discussions and begin having business discussions.
The argument for that strategy is simple: At the end of the day, linking your recommendations to a prospective customer’s biggest business objectives makes it far easier for you—and the buyer—to justify a much bigger investment.
If you’re looking for other strategies to help you increase the size of your average sale and your profitability, join me for our next free Coffee with Kendra webinar on June 20 when master negotiator and Top Sales Expert Mark Hunter joins me for “Negotiation: Avoid the Trap of Giving Away Profit.”
Click here to enroll for free and learn how to maximize the value the customer gets while minimizing what you offer. We will be recording the session, so enroll and get past those sales size stagnation challenges.
Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert, author of the newly released book, “The Sales Magnet,” and the award winning book, “Selling Against the Goal,” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.