Business Development

5 Business Development Techniques to Help You Achieve Success

Being successful at sales isn’t a hit-and- miss endeavor; rather, sales is an activity that takes careful planning, diligence, and persistence. If you’re finding that you aren’t hitting your sales numbers or are unable to meet business development goals, it might be that you don’t have an effective sales strategy.

What does having a strategy mean? Does it mean making calls? Yes, but it may be that you are making calls, but haphazardly. Does it mean reaching out to prospective clients? Sure, but you may not be following up with leads, or tracking data on which clients are more likely to close, and when. If you execute your sales and outreach initiatives in this way, your efforts may become diluted, and you lose not only momentum but customer recognition of your brand or product, not to mention all of the time and efforts that you spent bringing in the customer and educating him or her in the first place.

Developing your brand, educating customers, and creating a profitable sales channel is not an easy task. However, once you’ve given yourself a starting push, it is your sales strategy that will keep your momentum going as your business grows and you end up expending energy elsewhere, for example, in team development, or on product improvement. The strategy you have should be robust, responsive to client needs, and it should take care of itself once it has been set up.

Wondering what the best way to have a successful sales strategy is? Read on to find out!

1. KYC. Know Your Customer.

This just isn’t a fancy term for business people. In fact, it is mandated legislation for many financial institutions. You need to know who you are selling to. Define your customer segments. As the saying goes, the quickest path to failure is trying to please everyone at the same time. For businesses, the corollary is trying to serve everyone at the same time. You need one narrowly defined area on which to focus, and you can take it from there and expand to other areas, niches, or even countries once you are successful.

Know your customers

2. Pick your channels.

Will you call customers on the phone, engage them on your social media page, and send out fliers or an email newsletter, or all of the above? This report says that almost 75% of all buyers use social media and some form of comparison chart before making purchases. Further, almost three-fifths of all buyers are spending more and more time online researching products, reading reviews, and learning about different options before they reach for their wallets. So what do you need to do? Reach out to people in your network, tap into your contact lists, develop your business circle, and identify which platforms most of your customers are active on. You then have to build your own presence on those specific platforms. Doing this will put you in the right place at the right time to not only sell to high-conversion customers directly but for them to stumble across you themselves.

Know your customers

3. Under-promise and over-deliver.

Always deliver what you said you were going to deliver, do so on time, and ‘wow’ your customer. Then follow up and make sure you build on the relationship so that that client, knowingly or unknowingly, becomes an enthusiastic spokesperson for your brand. Remember that no sale ends with the sale itself, rather it should extend beyond that to become a lasting relationship between you and the customer you just closed. Your mantra should be that customers are for life, not just one-off trades.

Over Delivery Expectations

4. Be analytical.

This is an often overlooked aspect of sales strategies. Keep track of what works and what doesn’t, and improve, pivot, tweak, and experiment with things until you have a winning strategy. In fact, this report states that companies who keep detailed records and track data generated by everything from their website and social media engagement figures to ROI are 12 times more likely to generate profits year-over- year. Marketing teams too often go for whatever is new, but for how long can you do things by trial and error? Such an approach is not only expensive and time consuming, but is an unprofessional way of doing things if looked at from the data science perspective of marketing. What you should be doing is asking yourself how things went, what worked, what didn’t, did you achieve your targets, why or why not, and figure out how you can improve each step of the process incrementally. After repeating this several times over weeks and months, you’ll have a system that has been tried and tested in the market and is actually built on factual data and first-hand market research.

Analyse

5. Think big.

Most small businesses and startup entrepreneurs start small with one web page, one product or service, and one goal in mind. But if you do a good job of executing on the four things outlined above, you will hopefully find yourself in the enviable position of having too much work to do but not enough time or resources. What can you do in such a situation?

Here are a few ideas.

  • Open another location. However, only do so after maintaining consistent profits and steady growth from your original business, site, or location.
  • Franchise your idea. For sales folks, this might mean giving commission-based works to new market entrants, or having freelancers or other outsourcing companies do some of the heavy lifting for you while you main proprietary control, as well as a share of profits.
  • Licensing and alliances. These can be effective, low-cost options once you have an established brand. Look into companies providing products or services similar to yours, and align yourself with those who have similar values as you. Trying to keep all the money to yourself is actually a losing strategy; the market is big enough for everyone, so if you can give a little to get a lot, it will be worth it at the end of the day, and the sales numbers will speak for themselves.
Thank Big

In summary: 

When it comes to sales, your bottom line is defined by how well you hit the sales process on the head. It isn’t rocket science and just takes a bit of persistence and market smarts, but with a little work, intense focus on (and application of) these five points, and tweaking of your process in repeated iterations, your sales will in good shape before you know it, and all you’ll have to do is to continue drumming away.

The Psychology of Sales: Closing Deals and Influencing People

Sales are the driving force behind any business, and they are the single most important metric of success for many companies. If you are selling enough, you are doing well, and if you are not selling enough, you are not doing well (even though there are plenty of other metrics which can be used to measure business performance). The scope of sales doesn’t stop with this traditional definition.

Just think about it: everyone is a salesperson in one way or another. Whether we are trying to convince our kids to eat their vegetables, a co-worker to choose a specific restaurant to go to for lunch, (or the police about why we should be let off with a warning, just this once!) we are always trying to seal a deal or make a pitch for something in some way.

The mind is a powerful tool; it makes decisions using specific factors. If we study these factors and learn how the mind processes them, we can ‘alter’ the mind in various ways. If you ever have to wear your salesperson’s hat, whether for a job interview, to pitch a project to the board of directors, or for anything else, what tool would be more valuable than the ability to influence the decisions of your audience in the direction you want?

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the ways we can predictably convince people to act, respond, or make decisions in a specific way.

Create Contrast:

 Things don’t matter themselves as much as they do when placed against similar alternatives. As an example, if you see a line of microwave ovens priced at $150 sitting next to an overpriced $300 microwave that essentially does the same thing as the cheaper models, the cheaper ones will look like an amazing deal.

Pro-tip: Even if the comparison is not based in fact, the mind is wired to compare numbers it sees and decide on that. Come up with any simple comparison related to the work you have at hand, one that is reasonable and one that is outrageous, and your audience will more likely than not go for the reasonable one.

Create urgency around the decision:

Instead of telling someone that they can download a free e-book at any point in time, they are more likely to respond if there is a deadline for responding (meaning they may miss their chance to do so). Alternatively, saying that only the first 50 responders will receive the e-book in their email will have the same effect, even though they actually use or utility of the e-book may be the same to the responder regardless of how it is pitched to them. Limited supply triggers our sense of scarcity, so we jump on the chance to buy or register for something instead of missing out.

Pro-tip: Create a sense that the customer is getting a good deal. Saying that something is available at a reduced price (or that an intern is willing to work commitment-free for 6 months with no strings attached as a trial to prove themselves) will also encourage the decision maker to go for the offer being made.

Give something first:

Studies have shown that when people receive something first they feel obligated to reciprocate and return the favor. This can be as simple as going out of your way for someone before asking them to do something, or spending a lot of time and effort on something you know is important or helpful to them before bringing up whatever it is that you have to discuss with them. It creates a warm friendly relationship with people you may be trying to influence.

Pro-tip: Salespeople have perfected the art of creating a sense of obligation, and you have probably experienced them going an extra mile for you while showing you a car or device or furniture. People generally feel want to return the favor when you go the extra mile and demonstrate you care and understand them.

Set yourself apart:

How or why are you different from everyone else? Saying “I’m a hard worker, and I’ve won many awards” on your CV won’t really get you as far as saying that you have a unique skill or ability. Make sure you cater to what your audience needs, and emphasize those points instead of speaking in generalities.

Pro-tip: Offer less, not more. A product, service, or even an employee that is really, really good at only one thing may be worth a lot more than something that claims to do it all. Also, offering too many options can lead to analysis paralysis, where the audience, the client, or the customer end up getting stuck on deciding, instead of going ahead and deciding. Simplify things for them and focus on key strengths or offerings. By making their job of deciding easier for them, you’ll improve your chances of having them decide in your favor.

Create exclusivity:

“I’m sorry, this item is too expensive for you.” Ouch! We are by no means recommending that you say something as callous as this to your clients or customers, but by creating a sense that what you have to offer is just beyond their reach, they will want to reach for it – if for nothing else then to prove to themselves that they can in fact buy or book or register whatever it is you are pitching.

 Summary

The psychology behind how to sell is not a new area of study, and implementing it is really a combination of science and art. By incorporating some of these techniques in your everyday life – from work, sales meetings, phone calls, and interpersonal engagements – you can be a more successful, and more convincing, deal broker.

Good luck! Feel free to comment below and let us know which tricks work best for you. We’re excited to see your results!

 
Pjay

PJAY SHRESTHA

Pjay is passionate about entrepreneurship and helping businesses grow. He is the recent winner of MR. Nepal Oceania and loves writing articles about Business Development, Marketing, and Productivity Hacks. 

 
 
 

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