Much has been written about how Web 2.0 and social media have changed everything. Rubbish. The fundamentals of business are unchanged. What has altered slightly is the average attention span – and how we process information. People are becoming ever more skilled at detecting waffle and cutting it out. So make sure you are very clear on the point you have to make, and how you will get that point across.
Focus and Clarity – a killer combination
For top sales achievers the customer has always been the one and only focus of attention. This has nothing to do with behaving like a butler, and everything to do with helping their customer to succeed and grow – or to overcome a significant problem that they are currently experiencing. In order for you to be successful you need to be very clear on how you will do this, and how you are different.
No matter how cool your widget is, or how clever your software service model is – unless you are both clear and compelling then you will fail.
The two things which can help you win more business
It is a truth often repeated: More businesses fail from lack of customers than from a failure of product development. If half of new start-ups fail before they even land a customer contract, then understanding what it is that makes you different, and consistently engaging with potential clients in a clear and compelling fashion will double your survival chances.
Interestingly, this does not mean chasing your potential clients down the street with a megaphone, or cosy up to them at every opportunity. Sales is a lot more about listening then talking.
# 1. Focus
Choose your customers very carefully. That’s right – choose carefully. Resist the urge to jump on the first sign of interest. You need to be an engine of difference for your customer. No point having a superb engine matched with the wrong driver – or a map application that delivers the wrong route.
This is an excellent test of your focus – if the idea of choosing customers makes you nervous, then perhaps you need to think about why that is.
# 2. Clarity
Superior customer service? Visionary Dynamic Strategy? Give me a break. When you clear away the buzzword bingo then what is left? How will you help them improve revenues, reduce costs? Do you remember the scene in Walk the line with Johnny Cash and his band at his audition – what would you sing? Until you know the answer to that, I suggest you have more listening to do.
Once you understand very clearly who your core customer is, and once you understand very clearly how you serve them, then you already have a significant advantage over the vast majority of your competition. Everything else will follow.
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