With the advent of native advertising, SEO and other internet-based marketing methods, entrepreneurs these days can sometimes become a little too focused on the latest and greatest sales tactics. But what about the classics?
To see what methods have stood the test of time, we asked 12 young founders from YEC which of their more traditional sales tactics has stood the test of time, and why.
Nobody likes feeling like a generic lead targeted by an email template. By writing handwritten letters to validated prospects, we’ve received higher response rates in customer acquisition. As I appreciate handwritten letters myself, I feel that while anyone can write an email, it takes real sincerity to think and write a letter. Ninety percent of the time I’ve received letters back or follow-ups in an email.
Assuming the Sale
Always assume the sale in business. Consider your meeting a conduit for your close. This keeps you focused on moving the interaction in the right direction and dissolves conscious reservations, as doubt is a silent killer in sales. Assuming the sale demands confidence in your product, in your company’s background, and in yourself. Once you have that, your natural body language will emanate it.
– Patrick Colangelo, Spayce, Inc.
It is amazing how effective following up with a prospect can be. Whether you are following up via phone, email, text, or social media, it is important to follow-up with prospects because if you are out of sight, you are out of mind. This tactic has stood the test of time and will always be crucial to sales success.
Everyone wants to spend their day interacting with friends. Before you try to sell anything, start by building a genuine friendship.
– Ben Lyon, Kopo Kopo, Inc.
Using Word-of-Mouth Tactics
The sales process shouldn’t end when the ink dries on the contract, but unfortunately this is where many companies drop the ball. Customer satisfaction is one of the best ways to sell, manifesting in the form of re-upped contracts and new customer referrals. Deliver a delightful experience by committing to fanatical customer support with incredible response times and you’ll move the needle.
Don’t conform to traditional sales methods. Although my brothers and I have a successful company with a product in top national retailers, we walk in the same way every time: casual clothing, big smiles, loud laughs, and high fives. People are just people and everyone can see if you’re being fake. Being a breath of fresh air has closed more deals than any tip or tactic ever will.
Being Seen as a Scarcity
When something is perceived as rare, regardless of the item’s purpose, people seem to need to have it. The notion of an item, investment, or opportunity being available for only a limited time triggers an unconscious reaction in us to want to grab it and run. That last slice of chocolate cake always seems to taste a little sweeter when you know that the person sitting next to you really wants a bite.
Offering Social Proof
Getting your product into the hands of an individual that has a large presence in the public eye (like a celebrity or pro athlete) takes down everyone’s guard and automatically validates your product. Selling is so much easier when you can point the potential customer to a celebrity or pro athlete and basically say, “Look, this person uses our product and likes it, so obviously you will too!”
Understanding Who They Are and Their Business
The purpose of sales is to create value. If your customer already knew about your product and the value it creates, they would have no need to talk to you as a salesman. Thus, your job as a salesman is to explicitly create value. The best way to create value is to understand that person and his/her business as deeply as possible. Then you can cater every word to their unique needs and circumstance.
– Kyle Samani, Pristine
Networking Face to Face
People tend to work with people they already know and like, so expanding your network of personal and professional connections and building rapport in your community is invaluable.
Offering Initial Gestures Of Goodwill
Offering up value first makes selling anything later easier. If the recipient of goodwill benefited from your generosity, that person will realize that paying for your product or services can help them by orders of magnitude more. This way, you never really have to sell anything. Instead, you simply deliver consistent value. That’s all.
Asking for Referrals
A high percentage of ZinePak’s projects come from referrals. Sometimes, these referrals aren’t from existing customers, but from people we’ve pitched who haven’t hired us. If you pitch someone who says “no” but seems to like you, don’t be afraid to say, “I would appreciate you keeping me in mind if you know anyone who could benefit from our services.” This sentence can be a huge biz dev tool.
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