Many entrepreneurs and business owners know that their business can be successful through sales, but many professionals don't have a plan for getting new business.
They might count on random acts of networking, occasional lunch or dinner meetings, phone contacts, and some follow-up to stay in touch. However, to be successful an actual plan of action needs to be created. A plan that is written-out, reviewed and followed. If your plan isn't working then change it, but do have a plan.
Success in sales requires:
- solid knowledge of the markets you are selling to
- a good understanding of how your products or services contribute to your customers success
- your ability to express the value of what you sell to your customers
- reasonable sales skills - the ability to listen, understand prospect needs, build trust and present solutions
Let's take a look at the fundamentals necessary to create and implement a sound sales strategy and action plan. A well thought out strategy is derived from a thorough understanding of needs and trends in the markets you sell to, and how your competitors are responding to those markets. Your strategy might address competitive advantage based on your knowledge of unmet needs in the market, new products you have developed or simply a cost advantage.
Often your competitive advantage consists of an integration of several of the above capabilities. Once you have done your due diligence on verifying where your business advantages lie, you can begin development of your sales strategy.
Once you have captured all these competitive advantages, begin thinking how they relate to your daily sales activities and how they can be woven into individual sales calls. This will help you integrate these advantages into your daily selling activities.
The next step is to put these thoughts into a paragraph or two which is intended to answer the question - why should a prospect buy from me instead a competitor? The answer to this question becomes the basis for your sales strategy and plan.
Click here for assistance with drafting your Sales Plan