Sales remain the number one thing small business owners struggle with in their companies. Many don’t like to do it. Because they feel afraid. Or they think they don’t have the skills. Or they believe they must become the pushy used car salesman. Popular culture has depicted this figure so negatively.
On this week’s Small Business Radio Show, Andy Paul of The Sales House discusses how B2B sales is changing, but not the way most people think. He explains that we are going back to the way sales used to be on a very personal level. In the past, many sales professionals have spent too much time relying or hiding behind mass automation tools instead of talking to prospects on a personal level.
B2B Sales Trends
To be successful in B2B sales, Andy discusses that you need to engage someone personally to help them make a decision. Being curious about their business is the best path to build trust. Being service minded in an authentic way will help close the sale. Andy emphasizes that tools should be used to facilitate relationships, not to avoid direct contact with prospects. They can be effective as reminders about key prospect information and to set appointments.
Andy believes that small business owners can get better at sales by not thinking about it as something they are forcing on a customer, but instead helping them make a good purchase decision. Build a relationship by being interested in the prospect and stop trying to immediately pitch them your product. Be passionate about how you can help their company. If they are not interested now, that is acceptable and tell them you will be back when they need help.
Too many times, sales gets over complicated and can overwhelm people. Andy stresses that to avoid this you need to be very clear on your company’s mission. When you hit road blocks, don’ take it personally. Look at each day as a new opportunity to meet people and learn about the issues they face in their organization. Andy suggests doing A/B testing to see what works and what is less effective. Don’t be afraid to make reaching out to prospects a bit of a game to lighten the mood when needed.
Finally, Andy believes that every sales professional needs to find a mentor that is not their boss to share their positive and negative experiences.