Excuse the cringy pun .. It’s just that I realised the other day that when I teach sales, I use a lot of analogies that relate to both Love & War when describing sales techniques and processes.
You may be thinking .. what on earth has sales got to do with Love or War? Well… without Love or War, sales will not take place. And because if this, businesses won’t get many new clients and worse they may even loose the ones they have!
Let me explain.
❤️ Love ❤️
Falling in love or loving someone deeply is reliant on many things … finding the right person, building a genuine bond and trust plays a bit part too!
✅ Initial Attraction
If you think back to when you initially met your current (or recent) partner, there must have been something that immediately attracted you to them. Mostly it’s a physical thing personal to you such as, looks, aroma or demeanour… something that is subconscious that we can’t quite put our finger on but creates an instant attraction.
Sometimes it can take a bit longer, they “grow on you”, they do things that make you smile, laugh or even amaze with skills or behaviours.
In any case, without the initial attraction, you would not have interacted with them with the invested time that you did.
In sales, we call this “building rapport”. Before you start selling at (🤣), sorry, to someone you need to build rapport… otherwise, why should they invest their time in listening to you?
If you want to know more about building rapport in sales read our blog that explains how and click here 👍.
✅ Don’t rush in!
Would you ask someone to marry you on your first date?
Of course not… so why is ok to start a relationship with a prospect by thinking you need to ask for business in your first encounter? Sales is a process, and this means there are steps you need to follow before you go in and ask for the business.
So, when do you know you are ready to propose???
When you know they like your solutions, you have put your solutions to them and they can see the value and the advantages of using your products & services. They seem happy to go ahead.
You will know when they like you and trust you, this will go a long way when they are reading and possibly comparing your proposals with others.
And remember… make sure you have dealt with any obvious objections that may stop them from going ahead, like price, delivery, or service levels.
✅ Build a strong relationship
According to a longitudinal study conducted by Stanford University, over 70% of relationships end within their first year. Anyone who has spent much time on the dating scene probably isn’t too surprised by this statistic, but what really stands out from the study is how quickly those breakup rates decline as the years go on.
For unmarried couples, the annual risk of a breakup drops to around 20 percent after five years in the relationship. For married couples, the rate sits at a mere three percent.
As the lead sociologist on the study explained, “The longer a couple stays together … the more time and effort they have jointly invested into the relationship, and the more bound together they are.”
In many ways, these relationships are reflected in the business world. Gaining new clients for your business is one thing. But retaining them can prove just as challenging. If you’re not careful, all the money and effort you put into gaining your new customer client could go to waste if you don’t learn to properly manage your new relationship.
Forging great business relationships requires good systems, vigilant investments, and a way to keep track of everything. With sound relationship management with all stakeholders in yours and your clients’ businesses, you can establish successful partnerships that last for many years, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Just like a successful romantic relationship, these business partnerships require genuine effort from both you and your client. With these fundamentals it’s easy to build trust & loyalty!
🪖 War 🪖
When I think of war as an analogy, I think of WW2 generals around a large war map on a table with soldiers/country flags occupying territories. They are planning their best options for the troops to be successful with limited casualties.
Just like in a war situation, having a sales strategy is so important. It’s essential that businesses create strong company visions, goals and yearly growth targets. But, do they have a strategy or tactics to achieve these that outline in detail how the sales function in their company is going to achieve this? Or is it just a gut feeling based on historical information?
✅ Make the best plan of attack
Plan your attack well in advance and this means building a continuous healthy pipeline which ensures you are spending your time proactively with only quality opportunities.
- To do this you need to have a lead generation strategy that focuses on the right audience. Know who your target clients are. What they look like, how they are feeling (what value can you bring), where they hang out such as LinkedIn, Events, Networks etc.
- Manage your Pipeline effectively so that you have a good view on what you need to do to convert more opportunities into sales. Clean it out regularly so you can see the wood for the trees and not have false expectations of your future sales.
- Understand the level of quality opportunities you need to find to achieve your sales target and amend the level of sales & marketing activities you do accordingly. The higher your sales conversion rate the less this becomes a chore!
Planning means be on top of data and create detailed forecasts & KPIs for everyone associated with bringing in sales into your business. This will ensure you can manage any deviations well before they impact on your turnover and profit projections.
✅ Use your strengths
One of the tactics of success in war is concentrating on the strong points. Where can we make quick wins? What arsenal do we have that will make a difference?
- Know the value of your products to your target market. For instance, what is the implication of not using your product? Your products or services are available because people want or need them in their business. Having a strong understanding of why they buy yours specifically is important. Doing a proper analysis of your product is imperative to connect well with prospects. It’s pretty much the first thing I cover in my training. Focus on why people buy from you!
- Build on existing client relationships. Gaining new business or referrals from existing clients is an area often missed. Your clients already understand your value, perhaps they may need another of your products in their business? Perhaps they know a similar company that would benefit from working with you?
- Listen to any feedback you get, be it good or bad and act on it. Customers & prospects are the best people to help you improve your product offering. Ask for feedback whenever you can.
✅ Know your enemies
Back to the war map… you wouldn’t attack a stronghold, so why target prospects who are not looking to change… However, listening out for comparisons or issues with our competitors is a good tactic. Where are your enemies weak?
- If you don’t know the answer to this question, then do competitor analysis. It’s quite simple to do and very insightful.
- Ask good & difficult questions when you are prospecting. It’s amazing what you find out!
- And a possible tactic that may relate to your business… Check out if your competitors have a geographical disadvantage, and then spend time prospecting in these areas.
If you want to talk further about tactics & sales strategy with me for your business, just get in touch ✅