Proven sales strategies from top entrepreneurs and startups
By Ryan Robinson
1. Lead with what's in it for your prospect
So many salespeople, entrepreneurs, and even freelancers employ a sales strategy that ignores what they’re really selling their prospects: Solutions to problems. When you lead your sales pitch by urgently diving straight into the different packages, price points and special promotions your prospect can take advantage of by signing up this week, you’re immediately showing them that you don’t have empathy for their position. You’re not even trying to understand them—which is the first step towards providing meaningful solutions that’ll actually turn them into happy, loyal customers.
Your sales strategy needs to lead with a clear articulation of the challenge you can help your prospect solve. Here’s why: During the beginning of a sales conversation, your prospect likely doesn’t fully understand the benefits of what you’re selling. The last thing you want to do is immediately treat your product or service like a commodity, rather than a valuable solution to a real business need they have. Do your best to research their needs up front and start your outreach conversation by explaining what’s in it for your prospect.
Grab these free cold email templates and get started in the right direction today.
2. Clearly articulate end results
People buy results, not just products or services. Once you’ve captured your prospect’s attention with what they’ll be able to achieve by using your solution, it’s now your job to clearly explain how that’ll happen and what they’ll get after signing up. End results equal value. If you’re selling a premium CRM system to SMB’s that have never used one before, you’ll need to educate them about how the platform will work, how much of a time investment they should expect to make in managing it moving forward and the types of ongoing support they’ll have access to.
This sales strategy is particularly relevant if you’re selling a product or service that comes with an upfront fee, requires a complex rollout, time-intensive integrations or ongoing collaboration with your customers after closing the deal. Your prospect needs to know exactly what they’re going to get as far as deliverables, when those milestones will be met, and the downstream impact they’re expected to have on their business.
3. Start with small niche markets
You can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your cold outreach by targeting specific niche markets of people that share common pain points you’ll be able to uniquely address. Rather than reaching out to businesses of all different sizes, industries, and offerings, focus in on a narrow grouping of companies to pitch.
For example, if you’re selling inventory management software, choosing a small niche market could mean starting with pitching only to businesses that manufacture construction equipment. You could narrow your beginning niche by focusing only on these types of companies that are located in the western United States and have 100 to 250 employees. By working your sales strategy only with this homogenous group of companies, you’ll be able to perfect your pitch for this space much quicker than if you were mixing in businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Don’t worry that choosing a small niche could limit your options, either. Entrepreneur and marketer, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income shares, “Selecting a niche is a long-term decision, but if it’s the wrong one, it’s not a long-term loss. You may fail, but as long as you learn, it’s time well invested.”
Adding that choosing a small niche in the beginning allows you to specialize, Flynn continues, “It’s great to think big and shoot for the stars, but when it comes to niche selection you can get more results, faster, by thinking specialized. Start by picking a market that actually interests you. The competition doesn’t matter at this point—just pick something you like.”
The same principle applies to your decision of whether or not to invest in starting to blog for your business—pick a niche to own and become the ultimate resource for your readers. You can read more about how Flynn teaches his readers to find the right niche markets on his blog right here.
Here’s another example—let’s take a look at the email marketing software company, ConvertKit. They self-identify as, “email marketing for professional bloggers.” In the highly competitive landscape of well-established email marketing providers like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Active Campaign, this small company has carved out a curated niche market of customers to go after—professional bloggers. By forging creative partnerships with big name bloggers and brands that reach an audience of bloggers, ConvertKit has gained invaluable brand advocates & affiliates to spread their message as a major component of their sales strategy.
To read more: https://blog.close.com/sales-strategies