April 9, 2014
When it comes to preparing the most comprehensive business development strategy, it may be tempting to take the easy road and play it safe. While your research and background work will have helped you take the first steps toward success, being in front of the client is no time to rest on your laurels and take a laid-back approach. Closing skills need to be supported by clever, multifaceted tactics informed by not only the homework that you’ve done on the prospect, but also your past performance.
The closer you get to the Closing Zone, the tougher the competition gets. That’s why you must be bold–don’t be afraid to go for it! Not sure what we mean? Here are a few ideas on breaking the sales presentation mold and taking a more daring strategic approach:
Dump the resume: When you make it to the Closing Zone, you should refrain from talking too much about your company and its accomplishments unless it is extremely relevant to the client’s needs.
Give something away: When you’re in front of a prospect, provide them with some free advice.
Specificity is essential, as this will give the prospect some idea of what your overall strategy is and what it’s like to work with you.
Be a formidable competitor: Just because a particular competitor has cornered the business for a number of years, doesn’t mean you should assume the work is not up for grabs. Make sure the sales prospect knows you’re willing to compete for work by talking strategy. Even if you don’t win the business, you’ll gain yardage by showing your interest and willingness to provide value to the company.
Ask for business: While this may seem to be an unusual concept, asking for new business on a fairly regular basis is a solid client retention tactic that can help you win more business.
Avoid getting stuck in particular types of tasks by demonstrating your capabilities beyond the scope of your current engagement through a clearly laid out business plan
Maximize rejection: Not winning the business is a disappointment, but no loss is a complete waste.
Maximize rejection by keeping in touch with the prospect: send updates, keep them informed, and invite them to events and panels. Keep your firm in the CLOSING ZONE by creating more possibilities for closing the deal!
While some of these sales tactics may seem out of your comfort zone, think of it this way: taking a bold approach is all about taking calculated risks. Using any or all of these tactics will get you closer to closing the deal and winning new business. Perfecting and diversifying your sales techniques will make you more attractive to a variety of prospects and open more doors than were previously available.