This article may seem very simplistic in some ways, however, I find it so amazing that at every networking event which I attend, I ask people to contact me for business and never hear back. It is my goal to help you get your processes and systems in place to stand above the competition. In today’s day and age, with technology and information overload, let’s use it to our advantage.
I think you would all agree with me that our approach to sales should be presented in a way that we would want to be treated when someone approaches us. I have read the Go-Givers Sell More and choose to live by those practices. If we give to others with sincerity, it will leave a lasting impression. Let’s leave a path of enriching lives, not being takers.
Let’s look at 10 ways to utilize technology. It is the goal of seasoned sales professionals to achieve trust. I feel the follow up is imperative; however, keeping on track isn’t always easy.
Most of these suggestions are totally free. It is up to you to be disciplined and follow through. Let’s say, put your money where your mouth is and walk your talk. I will be suggesting that you use a clouded technology such as a Server, Microsoft 365-Sharepoint/OneDrive, Google docs or Drop box for sharing, easy access and back up.
Communication is crucial; we need to deliver solutions to our clients. Are we solving the “Whys” and getting clarity? I have recently achieved my Real Estate Broker’s license. The schedule is very inconsistent, so I am finding myself trying to be more disciplined in my own practices. I’m ecstatic to learn the profession; my dream would be to share my best practices to assist my fellow brokers with productivity training. The one area that resonates with me in training is the processes. I am adamant that if you don’t have processes you are never going to be productive and achieve your goals.
In an interview with a client, no matter what your profession, the questions are all very similar. Let’s listen and ask the ___ question and then the ‘Why’ questions. In Real Estate a question could look like this: “Do you want a garage”? Yes a 3 car garage?
“Why”? Because I have 3 cars!
Or they may say because I have two cars and like to do wood working. Do you think that I could spend months looking for a three car garage and never find it? But how many homes may have a finished basement or a separate shed or area that might work for the tool making?
We need to solve their problems.
Tip #1 Create a list of the proper questions when interviewing the client or qualifying a client or disclosing the need.
Solution: Create it in a WuFoo form, word document or excel spreadsheet. This is my page to see how we have used it for some assessments. http://thetimesup.com/free-assessments/
Tip #2 Now keeping track of what our client’s discovery showed, recording the information for future follow up.
Solution: Enter in a CRM. If you don’t have one, enter the notes in Microsoft One Note or create a client folder. In Gmail you can go into the contacts and enter in the notes area.
Tip #3 Create a Marketing Plan
Create a plan on where you need to be, who you need to see, what networking events you need to be at, what community service you are going to get involved with. It’s about making relationships and the business will follow.
Solutions:Make a Marketing Plan: Free download http://www.simplydigitalmarketing.com/digital-marketing-strategy-blue
Tip #4 Log the plan
Solution: Enter the detailed activity log.
- Break down the details into a more sophisticated software program called mind mapping. There are several versions depending on how you want to incorporate it into your current system. Think Buzan is the leader in the industry www.thinkbuzan.com. It will import them into Google or Outlook and create timelines and tasks.
- Project management software called Project Kickstart www.projectkickstart.com/
- Put it in word with a table or excel.You can put directly into a calendar but it won’t preserve the history.
Tip #5: Spot check if the plan is working: What’s your ROI?
Solution: No matter where you log your plan, make sure you have put in place measures to follow up and determine your return on investment. I put a shortcut on my desktop so I can reference it often.
Tip #6: Time management
Solution: You color code in your calendar, generating appointments. You can also categorize the events to look up later.
Tip #7: Networking Events- What planning do you do for a Networking event?
If you are attending a networking event do your homework on whom you would like to connect with.
Solution: If you go to register at an event, many of the chambers or coordinators use Eventbrite or invitation software. You can see the participants that are registered to be there, online. Look at the list and target who you would like to talk to and get to know better. Ask the coordinator of the event to make an introduction.
Tip #8: Social Media- Know a little about who you are talking to
Solution: Look those up on LinkedIn, (in Outlook you can link social media into the contact page with the Social Connector). Go to people pane and account settings and add the social media you want to and it appears on the bottom of their contact. Currently you can add LinkedIn and Facebook. Also check Twitter and Google, to see if there are any articles on any accomplishments about their business.
Tip #9:Making the Introduction- So if you are going to create an introduction make it a powerful one; remember, people do business with people they like and trust. Don’t ask someone to go to marry you when you haven’t courted them first. How would you like to be treated?
Solution: Free Download Michelle Braun-Super Star Careers. It has some great tips. Michelle teaches you how to increase income with, “Networking 101” course and how to do an Enticing Elevator Speech. She has a free download called 33 Distinctive Conversation Starters. http://www.33conversationstarters.com
- Lead by congratulating them, pick the appropriate questions to ask.
If you choose a career question: “In your career what has given you the greatest fulfillment”? “How do you feel the future will change with what you are doing now”?
- See if there is anyone on your LinkedIn that they may want to meet, not you but them. If you do your homework ahead of time, you will look intelligent and as someone they will respect because you are a giver.
- Don’t be one of those people who walk up to someone with their card in hand.
- If you have something valuable to offer in the form of a newsletter, free download or blog ask if you can send it to them.
Tip #10: The rest of these tips are the follow up.
#1 Cam Card and sync it with your contacts in either Outlook or Google. You can log into the program online by setting up a free account.
#2 Use CRM Software: Customer relationship management (CRM) software lets you mine the customer data you already have to discover untapped business opportunities. These insights can tell you who your best customers are, which sales and marketing techniques are most successful, and where you could improve your customer service. Common benefits of using CRM software include increased sales revenues, shorter sales cycles, higher lead conversion rates, increased customer retention, and decreased sales and marketing costs.
#3 Send Out Cards: Online way to stay in touch with someone is with a customized card. https://www.sendoutcards.com/9815 sends a free card.