From Peyton Manning preparing for the Super Bowl to Cirque du Soleil performers preparing for their Vegas show to Taylor Swift preparing for a concert, professionals follow a disciplined regimen of practice, diet, exercise, goal setting, focus, studying their competition and/or leaders in their industry, preparing their equipment, and surrounding themselves with experts and like-minded professionals.
Professional sales people follow a similar routine and sales process, which is why they consistently hit their sales goals and are known as professionals.
After being in sales since 1994—and fulltime sales since 1997—allow me to present my top Top 10 Ways To Reach Your Inbound Sales Goals.
#1 Have a solid USP: Unique Selling Proposition
Your prospects are busy, distracted, worried.
They've been promised the moon and the stars, paid an arm and a leg, gotten their legs pulled and the wool pulled over their eyes, and when they are seeing clearly they are blinded with "shiny object syndrome" and are off on a snipe chase from which they may never return.
Your USP cuts through the clutter that is the world of your prospects. It makes their heads snap around when they hear it. It resonates. It helps them differentiate what you do as compared to your competitors.
Without a solid USP that differentiates you from the 1,000 competitors coming in and out of your industry, your best prospects are forced to beat you up on price, which is the only way they can tell you apart from all the others.
So be clear about what you do, what you offer, and why you are your prospects' #1 choice to fulfill their needs.
#2 Be Interesting, i.e. DO NOT BE Boring!
Do a search for what is trending on Google and despite the sluggish economy, Clinton email scandal, presidential election, unemployment, etc. people are searching for
- Nude celebrities
- Athletes cut and/or drafted
- Coaches cut and/or hired
- Bands and musicians starting or quitting tours
- Saturday Night Live
- More sports
- Another nude celebrity
Follow that Google Trends link and notice not only what is trending today but what has dominated searches over the last year. I guarantee you athletes, celebrities, TV shows, and music will comprise the majority of the search results.
This tells us people want to be entertained. So entertain them.
- Change up your presentations.
- Play music.
- Sprinkle in some jokes.
- Embed video into your blog posts and social media shares.
- Write interesting headlines. (More on that below.)
- Give away interesting, discussion-worthy tchotchkes at your booth.
- Learn how to be a great conversationalist. (Hint: It starts by asking great questions.)
- And drop the jargon and lingo, i.e., strive to be a human being selling to human beings.
#3 Write Great Headlines
This is closely related to being interesting and developing your USP but there is an important distinction here.
People get dozens—if not hundreds—of emails a day. They get just as many text messages, Facebook Pokes and Status updates, Tweets, Snapchats, Pins and mail.
Your headline cuts through the clutter and the noise and include
- Email headlines
- Blog post headlines
- Twitter posts are essentially all headlines
- YouTube video headlines
- Direct mail pieces, including the labeling and design of your letter (don't assumed the letter will be opened just because it got delivered)
- Even your elevator pitch and opening statement when you get a prospect on the phone are nothing more than verbal headlines
You need to have the guts to send emails, letters, blog posts, etc. with bold headlines that capture the attention of your ideal customers. Once you have their attention you can build their trust. Once you have their trust you can help them order from you, which is why you're working on your inbound sales in the first place.
#4 Install a Lead Magnet With Lead Form
When you have a solid USP, great headlines and the marketplace finds you interesting, people will visit your website and/or call and/or visit your location.
If prospects and visitors to your site have no way to engage with you other than calling you or sending an email from the "Contact Us" part of your site, you are missing a huge opportunity.
There should be web forms for visitors to download free reports, go deeper into your blog / website, schedule an appointment at their own convenience.
After helping businesses grow their inbound sales since 2006, I can tell you everyone said they wanted "more traffic," but what they all really wanted and needed was more qualified prospects they could work with to become happy clients.
Increasing your traffic without an effective way to engage and identify hot prospects is a waste of time, money, and server space.
If you are on a tight budget you can get started with creating your inbound sales process for as little as $9 per month with this.
If you are ready to put your marketing and inbound sales on autopilot but you're not sure which is the best CRM for you, check out this free CRM quiz I created.
If you've already done that and would like to talk about how I can help you accelerate your inbound sales, contact me here.
#5 Document Your Marketing & Sales Processes
Typical salespeople are not known for being detail-oriented, methodical, analytical. Those are adjectives for accountants and engineers.
But the great salespeople are methodical. They have processes and are disciplined in the execution of their processes.
Professional salespeople know their marketing, prospecting, and sales numbers including:
- Networking activities
- Outbound calls
- Qualified appointments
- Repeat orders.
Professional salespeople have presentations that are scripted and rehearsed but when they know the typical objections that prospects will bring up, they create great content ahead of time that addresses the concerns, thereby eliminating objections rather than overcoming them. THAT is how inbound sales are made!
How good are you at knowing and documenting and perfecting your prospecting and selling processes? If you need some help, check out my Process Before Login video and PDF as well as my ABCDE Prospecting video.
#6 Over-Deliver, a.k.a., Create a "WOW" Experience
According to Roy Williams there are three ways to create word-of-mouth marketing.
- Architecturally: think Mount Rushmore or a music store with a piano-style awning or the classic golden arches.
- Kinetically: think Cirque du Soleil or Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. (How much does it cost them to throw some fish around?)
- Service / Portion Size: Ever heard of the "baker's dozen?" How much does it cost that baker to throw in one extra donut? (If you want to be technical, if they sold that one extra donut it's 8.33% in potential profit since 1 divided by 12 is what he's adding to the order, but what's the actual cost of goods sold (COGS) in ingredients—sugar, flour, grease? Five cents maybe?
Would you give FIVE CENTS to every new customer to make them so happy they brag about how generous you are send you even more customers?
Professional sales people under-promise and over-deliver. Rookies promise the moon, the stars, the comets, the constellations, the international space station and all Dish and Sirrius XM satellites...then scramble when they can't deliver just to try and save the sale.
Giving people what they paid for is the minimum you should do to even stay in business. Bakers understand it's worth the 5 cents in sugar and dough to throw in an extra doughnut when you order 12 to pleasantly surprise you and it keeps their patrons coming back for more. If your goal is to move from survival to success to significance you need to figure out how to "delight to the upside." Maybe you provide extra training or expedited shipping at no extra charge. Maybe you include a favorite book or a voucher for dinner at a nice restaurant or an iTunes gift card. Do something to stand out and make an impression in the mind of each and every client.
#7 Partner / Joint Venture / Affiliate
A large portion of my income is derived from my partnership / affiliate relationship with marketing automation tools such as HubSpot, Ontraport, Infusionsoft, Nimble, and a few others. (To see which is the best inbound sales tool and CRM for you, take this free survey.)
Rather than taking the time to create my own code and manage teams to maintain inbound sales and CRM software, I partnered with these companies and learned their programs and now I sell and support and and train hundreds of clients a year on how to get the most out of their sales automation tools.
From that initial work I nearly always get additional work from my software clients in the form of
- additional training or support,
- copywriting help,
- web design,
- custom coding,
- private coaching,
- mastermind attendees,
However, I'm also doing product creation of my own so others can become affiliates of mine and you get rewarded for helping me help your readers and clients.
Because of my solid footing with CRMs like HubSpot, Ontraport, and Infusionsoft I have the residual income I need to give me the time to develop more of my own products and offerings moving forward to leverage both ends of the Joint Venture / Affiliate marketing world.
If you'd like to get paid nicely on what I do offer, become an affiliate of mine here.
#8 Upsell / Cross-sell
Ford has Mercury and Lincoln for a reason. Piggly Wiggly puts the candy bars and National Enquirer at the check out stand for a reason.
There will always be buyers that want the best or will "reward" themselves with a little extra because "they're worth it." So give them that option and the ability to easily pay you more money.
If you have a book, offer a signed copy so they buy from you instead of at a lower price—and lower commission to you—if they buy it from Amazon.
If you're a dentist, offer teeth whitening at a discount for new patients.
If you're a fitness trainer offer a VIP session at half off if they sign up for a month in your group training.
There's no limit to what you can offer as a premium and that premium doesn't even have to be created or serviced by you. Apple sells their own hardware and software but they also sell Epson printers, Logitech keyboard covers and Philips lights.
You need to cross-sell, too, in order to hit your inbound sales income goals this year.
#9 Get Referrals and Testimonials
Look at Amazon and Apple. They have client recommendations everywhere. You can never have too many testimonials.
Look at dozens and dozens of testimonials I have on my "Fans" page. Those didn't get there by accident and they have helped me grow my sales without full time employees, without cold calling, and without paid advertising while working from home.
Joe Girard was in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's greatest salesman for 12 consecutive years. And he was a car salesman! He got testimonials and those helped him get referrals, which lead to more testimonials.
Joe and I had processes for asking for both referrals and testimonials. I ask my clients up front that if I exceed their expectations, would it be okay if I ask for a testimonial and, from time to time, a referral.
They always say yes. That breaks the ice and puts pressure on me to perform and it alleviates the pressure when it comes time to ask for a referral or testimonial.
#10 Ask For The Order
As of late 2017, only 9.1% of the world's commerce is eCommerce.
So the idea of throwing up a web page with a cute cat video and creative Tweet that generates orders while you sleep is a myth. (It's why I wrote "It Takes More Than a Big Smile, a Good Idea & a Twitter Account To Build a Business That Lasts.")
When things are done in a professional manner the sale is the natural conclusion more times than not. However, when you are beginning, get your ask in gear and ask for the order.
While I no longer say this, it is OK to ask "What will it take to get your business?" rather than have the prospect walk away and not know the next step or know what they were really looking for.
When you ask for the order one of three things will happen:
- They'll say "no." (Hearing "no" early is a win. Trust me on that.)
- They'll say "yes." (Cha-ching!)
- They'll say "maybe." (At least you're still in the game and can work on winning the sale by following up with "what will it take to turn that maybe into a yes?"
The profession of sales is a wonderful profession with no limit to what you can earn as long as you treat it as a profession.
If you'd like some help getting started or perfecting your trade check out my Private Consulting.
If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as:
- Make Every Sale
- Hire The Best Keynote Speaker
- Infusionsoft Review
- HubSpot vs Infusionsoft
- Ontraport vs Infusionsoft