It’s impressive when you can have a business that has lasted for decades. You’ve stood the test of time, weathered every storm that’s come your way, and you’ve likely developed loyal customers along your journey. But it can also be a challenge to keep up with all the market trends that come your way, especially in the past ten years when everything seems to be changing so quickly.
If your sales seem stuck in a rut, it may be that you need to bring them into the modern era. Here are a few tips to do so:
With so much technology available now, it can be easy to get lost in all the AI, automation, and digital sales tactics. But most of your loyal customers were formed because you made a connection with them. You understood something they needed and you were able to provide it.
Many marketing professionals have written about the effectiveness of empathy in their businesses. It makes their sales professionals more insightful and better able to connect with customers. Don’t forget that the art of sales is ultimately a human interaction, not just a digital transaction.
Consumers are inundated with businesses trying to sell them something today. They’re burned out. It’s become especially difficult during the age of social media when just an innocuous tweet can have a barrage of bots and businesses trying to sell them something.
So don’t shove your sales pitch in your potential customer’s face first thing. Build a rapport. Connect with them on social media or chat and ask questions about what they’re looking for when they come into the store. Once you understand them better, then you can give your sales pitch much more effectively.
Your sales pitch will need to change over time. Maybe your product or service was cutting edge at the time you opened your business: no one else had done it, so you had no real competition. Today, however, many other businesses offer similar products and services. So what do you offer that’s different? Is it your expertise? Your understanding of your customer base? Your competitive pricing?
Consider your value to your customer and make sure that this value is clear in your sales pitch. Make this the center of your sales around which all other points revolve.
Sales have always been about storytelling: the main character is the customer, who is faced with a problem. They go on to face that problem, and your product or service gives them the tools they need to do it. Then the story ends happily with the problem solved and the customer coming back to your business.
The problem is it’s the same story that’s been told over and over. It’s effective, sure, but not if you don’t breathe some life into it. That’s why your story should infuse real emotions. Don’t shy away from the reality of the customer’s journey. Take time to understand your customer is emotions and the emotions they could be feeling with your product or service. Telling your story with emotions can make it feel fresh and relevant rather than old and traditional.
Personalize your pitch based on your customer rather than giving the same old generic pitch. That means your sales professionals will need to observe, ask questions, and gather data on your customers before making a sales pitch. The payoff, however, is effective. When the pitch is specific to your customer’s wants and needs, it will be more effective. It will also make them feel more special and more likely to come back.
Today, there are countless digital sales tools that likely didn’t exist when your business first began. You can use these to your benefit. Although it may take a period of adjustment to learn the new software and import everything, in the end, it will save you so much time. You can take the grunt work of setting reminders, sending emails, and tracking out of the equation. Your software can do it for you.
This frees your sales team up to focus on what matters: making those connections with potential customers and closing the deal. Automation does not have to replace humanity when it comes to sales. Instead, automation can take the boring parts out of sales so your professionals can shine at doing what they do best.
The sales world keeps changing, but even with all the technology we have today, the most effective way to sell your product is to treat your customers like human beings and to utilize that human element.