“Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.”

Karen Salmansohn

Conversations are the strongest sales tool that sales reps have in order to effectively build credible relationships between their clients, their brand and their company.

Unfortunately, many in sales believe their customers enjoy working with them because they have the best products and best customer service. You kidding me!

The way sales reps open up new conversations has a direct bearing on the close. The way sales reps open up conversations, the direction they take those conversations along with the strategy behind those conversations; all will have a direct bearing on the close of the sale.

“You never know when one conversation will lead to exponential sales growth.”

This is why conversation starters are so important. Because conversations build relationships, and relationships build businesses.

The question to all sales leaders…

How well are your sales reps opening up new conversations?

CONVERSATIONS START IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS

Technology is playing an extremely important role in how sales reps communicate with their clients and prospects. In today’s digitally enhanced business world, sales reps must learn how to drive business conversations leveraging many different communication tools.

These conversation starters can be:

  • Face to face
  • Text messages
  • Emails
  • Social media posts
  • Phone calls

What’s important is that your sales reps create conversations, and whichever channels work are the ones they should use. I hate to tell you this, it’s all of them!

WHAT’S BEHIND A VALUE PROPOSITION

What’s the value proposition of each and every one of your sales reps? Quite frankly, this is the opening act of their business conversation. Get this wrong and the curtains have closed before the first act!

A value proposition is a promise by your sales reps on behalf of your company. It is an easy-to-understand statement to engage a prospect and or a client to say, “Interesting, can you tell me more?” A value proposition should be a clear statement explaining how they can solve a certain business issue while communicating the message in a convincing manner. The ideal value proposition is concise and appeals to a customer’s strongest decision-making drivers.

Simple exercise for all sales leaders, one by one have your sales people share with you their value proposition.

Listen, learn and say with me, “I have some work to do!”

LAZY VALUE PROPOSITIONS

Ask anyone is sales what their value proposition is and watch their reactions. Listen for words such as: “Um”, “Well”, “Insert laughter”… I’m here to tell you most sales reps have weak value propositions.

All this nonsense around I can save you money has to stop! Sure, this may get some heads to turn but I guarantee it will create a transactional encounter. A transactional encounter will lead to a transactional relationship.

KNOW THY VALUE

By understanding their value, your sales reps will start to open up some amazing new conversations.

Here are a few ideas to stir the new conversation pot…

  • “I have some ideas to help you drive more revenue”
  • “I have some ideas to help make your business better”

When your sales reps lead with real ideas and real insight they now set the stage for differentiation.

“What are your sales reps bringing to the business table?”

CONTENT STARTS CONVERSATIONS

In a socially connected and digitally driven business world, content opens up new opportunities to drive new conversations. Sales reps must start researching the business problems inside the industries of their clients and prospects.

With a simple Google search, sales people can uncover a ton of information to help them kick start a professional business conversation.

Let’s say a sales rep calls into the legal community… imagine opening up a conversation like this…

“In a recent IDC study, lawyers and paralegals lose as much as 2.3 hours a week searching, but not finding, the right documents and another 2 hours recreating documents that can’t found. All told, time wasted in document creation and management activities cost firms $9,071 per lawyer a year or a 9.8% loss in the firm’s total productivity according to the study. Can you imagine the impact this could have on your law firm?”

The question now becomes, do you want your sales reps starting conversations around I can save you money or take the value approach which I guarantee will 10x their results?

“Sales reps won’t get to the close unless the open up the conversation correctly”

KNOW YOUR CLIENTS

How well do your sales reps understand their clients, their business and their competitive landscape?

How much do your sales rep care about their clients and prospects? Are they someone who truly cares about improving their business lives? Do they give a rip about them?

Your clients and prospects can see sincerity in your sales reps eyes. They can smell sincerity but all too often what they smell is commission breath spewing out their mouths.

How can your sales reps improve the business lives of their clients and prospects? Quite simple, just ask them. Make it about them.

FINAL WORD

Conversations are the most powerful tool your sales reps have at their disposal to foster relationships with their clients and prospects. Having meaningful conversations is something that can be learned, with focus and practice, all those in sales can become better at it.

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