We all get excited about making sales and getting deals over the line. But what about after the yes? What about making sure they remain a customer and you keep doing business with them?
Do the numbers:
Play the odds. The benefits of having an account management framework in place are huge. It should be a crucial part of your sales strategy. Yet it’s often an afterthought or largely neglected unless a customer starts yelling or threatens to leave. Good luck retaining a customer who’s got to this point!
Building lasting relationships with customers helps sustain your business and makes it hard for your competitors. Companies that do this well get themselves into a trusted advisor position. Not only is this good for sales, it’s an enjoyable way to conduct business, often leading to enduring friendships.
Developing an account management framework is not hard to do. Essentially it’s putting a bit of structure around how you organise and track key interactions with your customers. Typical activities include arranging for your exec team to meet periodically with your key customers’ exec to discuss performance, product or service development and industry trends, ensuring there is regular contact with the customer and the sales team reviewing the status of each customer on a monthly basis.
Another dimension of account management is to surprise and delight the customer –send them an article on something they’re interested in (work or non-work related), invite them to a seminar or send them a thank you note or a good book. The only real cost of taking this approach is a bit of effort. The benefits will far outweigh the cost.
Play the odds. Look after you customers.
Watch our video below and learn more about how to look after your customers "after the yes".
Hi, Nick here again from Sell More Tech. I want to talk about the power of storytelling.
Stories are real and people get them
There's lots of research now that supports that people remember things and get inspired by stories that they can make a link to. I'm sure you can think of some stories that you've heard that do that for you.
I just think back to my first hi tech sale, to a C suite person, who just didn't believe in the product. So I said to her, "Just watch, let us prove it." And I've used this story many times over. She simply did not believe. So she watched the product at work so to speak and came back and said, "Hey, I get it now, you've proven it to us." And I've used the power of that real story with equivalent roles, selling again. Absolutely works a trick because they can totally relate to it themselves.
Potential customers love the power of the story where you're telling them that the solution that you have makes a really big difference. And as it’s directly relevant to them, it really reinforces that.
Take the story to the next level - let the customer tell it to your prospect
And it’s even more effective if you then say to them that they can have a chat to that customer. Now that's an incredibly powerful way to sell. It's a story that gets people interested, it gets them engaged and they're now prepared to go and do a bit of hard work to make it happen. Talk to that person and the opportunity for you to engage meaningfully and make a sale go quickly and well.
I would encourage you in your travels to keep a note of really good stories that potential customers can relate to, because it will help you with your sales. And on that note, we've written a “five insights” document covering this and other sales tips. So go onto sellmoretech.biz and sign up and enjoy.
Nick Burns from Sell More Tech here again. Today I'm going to talk about buyer behaviour, and a couple of facets of that. Often when people sell, particularly technical products, they focus on all the technical stuff - The cool algorithms or functions that it does. That's quite natural to a technical person to focus on those things.
The problem with doing that is, the audience doesn't look at that stuff first. That actually comes second. What comes first is the emotional side. You would have all heard that we've got two sides to our brain. Left brain, which is logical, and right brain, which is emotional.
If you try to sell with the logical side first by showing all these features and cool technical stuff, you're not actually guaranteed you're going to hook the end user. Unless they're a real technical person themselves who likes that sort of stuff. What you need to do is, you need to tap into the emotions of the buyer, which is the right brain.
Taking that a step further, have you ever thought about whether pain is more important to someone, or gain? In other words, avoiding something that hurts, or running towards something that's a pleasure. Again, a lot of people think you need to sell the pleasure side - What's good about this product or service and what you will benefit from it.
The reality is though that we're twice as motivated to avoid pain.
Therefore, questions like, "Tell me about your challenges", and, "What's keeping you awake at night?", just to use those two, are great questions to talk about. If you can probe in those areas, you're going to find emotional hooks around pain that you can then describe how your features, so using the left brain, will solve that pain.
By doing it that way, tapping into the emotions and particularly areas of pain, you're more likely to speed up and get the sale because you will get the buyer emotionally attached, and confident that you can solve their problem. Then you hammer the sale home with all the logical stuff that they're going to like, which I'll talk about in a future recording.
Most people I meet who have founded a tech company are wonderfully passionate about what they do. They have a real fire in their belly for what they are creating.
It is incredibly powerful. In fact, that passion and belief translates into 50% of the sale! That’s because selling is primarily an emotional process.
So how come so many struggle with closing the deal?
Sadly, technical people can often take the wrong path in how they communicate their expertise and their product or service.
One common shortcoming is that they spend too much time talking about what they know and, as a result, fail to connect with their potential buyer or audience.
Sadly, it can lead to a bizarre mismatch in perceptions, with the seller thinking they’ve knocked it out of the park with an awesome technical presentation, without realising the audience has switched off.
I am a technical founder who by default ended up selling as if my life depended on it. Through experience, I became a successful sales person who sold multi-million dollar deals.
One of the insights I’d like to share with you is that when someone says ‘that’s interesting’, it doesn’t mean they are actually ‘interested’.
It is a mistake to respond to that comment by providing more and more information on the product or service. Doing so risks leading you further away from making a sale.
It is far better to take the time to clarify what your audience likes about your solution.
Simply put, regularly pause and ask for feedback. Then discuss that feedback with the people in fornt of you.
Most of the time you will find you need to pivot or change direction on your presentation and that can be scary at first. Be confident - you know your stuff - so you can always backtrack to where you were once you’ve answered questions and continue from there.