No not literally, figuratively. It is April Fool’s Day after all.
We speak and write a lot these days about sales “engagement”. However, we should be devoting more time and emphasis to the ‘S’ word – “sales”, in order to consummate the relationships with prospective customers.
“We become what we think about most of the time.”
I’m playing with words here to touch upon the major point of this article. Studies have shown that most of us have tens of thousands of thoughts each day. However, the vast majority are exactly the same as we had yesterday, or the days before. In effect, our actions tend to follow our thoughts (and our words).
If you subscribe to this notion, and your focus is primarily on engagement and building a strong following vs. closing sales, you may end up with a lot of “friends” and “followers” and few new sales to show for your efforts. To be clear, I’m not advocating that you become the next Blake (Alex Baldwin’s character in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross) and be consumed with closing more sales and disregard the importance of building great relationships.
What I am saying is that you should prepare the prospect to do business with you throughout the various stages of the sales engagement process. So, in effect, the sales closing becomes a positive ‘next step’ in moving the relationship forward. Much like a courtship.
What is the sales engagement process?
The term ‘sales engagement’ has been around for decades as an integral part of the pre-sales process. However, it has become watered down in recent years due to its overuse in social media circles. In the social world it represents how customers interact with the brand community. In selling, however, sales engagement reflects how companies track sales activity at each point in the buying journey – from lead generation through to closing and customer acceptance.
A common misconception is that “people don’t like to be sold to”. That’s baloney! Tell that to a great salesperson, or to someone attracted to bright shiny objects. We buy stuff every day and in turn, value expert advice when faced with difficult purchase decisions. What we don’t like is to be harassed by salespeople who don’t know how to sell.
“We miss 100% of the sales we don’t ask for.” – Zig Ziglar
More sales and profits are the magic elixirs for any business, and the #1 reason businesses fail is lack of sales. Given these facts, you’re doing yourself and your business a disservice if you aren’t prepared to ask someone to buy from you at least once a day, every day! Long-term success in any business ultimately boils down to two essential ingredients – establishing great relationships and closing more sales.
So, what is your end game? Is it to acquire added prospects, friends and followers through the sales engagement process, or to acquire more customers and close more sales in order to build a profitable, sustainable business? You determine the outcome through your thoughts and actions. Hint: think closing more sales.
Good luck and good selling!!!
COPYRIGHT © 2015 John Carroll