Fewer Leads - Then Start Selling!

Given that the economy is slowing down, in recession and may be headed for a depression:

·         Are your opportunities to close business diminishing as things slow down? 

·         Are you making tough decisions based on fewer leads?

·         Are you lowering your forecast for future revenues?

Businesses are looking for ways to do more with less!  This of course is true regardless of good times or bad times but, a primary driving force during bad times.

·         If your product/service is innovative then, would it make the customer more competitive, efficient and/or overcome a significant loss?

·         If so would your prospective customer be better off if he/she invested in making use of your capabilities in order to survive and even grow in these tough times?

Up until now have you been riding the wave of popularity and have built your business on following-up to the flood of leads?  Then it is time to start selling rather than order taking!  Ouch!  You may ask but I have been selling, what do you mean?  If you are primarily responding to leads, this means that you are only selling to people who are already are aware of and are considering your capabilities.  In good times and bad industry estimates are that 80% of the available market has not already come to this point in their decision making process.  Also, the 20% who were looking (having already made their decision) were not making the decision for their company but, solving their immediate problem and/or positioning to improve performance on their own.  So having leads dry up merely means that those sticking their necks out to improve their own operations are not taking as many risks on their own initiative.

So what!  Well the what is that the need for obtaining a competitive and operational advantage that your capabilities afford customers is still there!  The problem is that the decision making process to invest in anything is being scrutinized more acutely during bad times. 

Hence, now is the time to start selling!  Start selling!  Yes start selling how your capabilities will provide the prospective customer with a significantly higher likelihood of prevailing in their marketplace. 

It has always been true that innovative capabilities change the game for prospective customers.  Therefore, by definition, the customer’s management has not discovered that they have a problem that is solvable by availing themselves of your capabilities.  When a senior manager gets this connection (vision) and it addresses a major source of difficulty or pain, the manager will consider making it an initiative especially when investing in these capabilities will have immediate and long lasting impact on their revenues and/or bottom line.

Start selling means targeting prospective customers that would benefit from the innovative capabilities, calling on C-Level decision makers to educate them that their business would benefit greatly from the capabilities and working high, wide and deep to ensure that the acceptance and later that the new way of doing business is adopted, will ensure that the promised business advantages/benefits are derived by customer and the C-Level decision maker is aware of this fact.

The shift is to know how your prospective customer spells success and how the use of your capabilities brings about the desired success.  The opportunity to sell is your ability to educate the prospective customer that they have a business/personal problem that your capabilities solve.  You must also determine how best to bring about this improvement for their operations (work with the customer and your team to test feasibility, map out the approach and develop an implementation plan).  Lastly you must oversee the implementation and monitor the achievement of the results yielding the promised benefits and report the success back to the decision maker.

Therefore, in tough times especially, you must target or proactively go after the potential business with a sales approach that calls on C-Level management to recognize their latent needs (make prospective customers more aware of their needs) and your capabilities, considering you as a major player and are predisposed to buy from you (because you helped them be successful… not just tried to sell them a product/service).

Create Your Own Leads - Start Selling C-Level Management with Business/Personal Value!