What’snew in sales this year?
Some people make abunch of silly resolutions and goals at the beginning of a year tocure what they screwed up last year — or at least what was not asgood as it could have been last year. Or, if it was good last year,they make a 14% (pick a number) goal over what they achieved.
Not me. I do notresolve, nor do I goal. I observe, I listen, and I study. I try tosee what’s new, and compare it to what has happened in the past andwhat is happening now. That helps me see what is likely to be — thetrend — and helps me define my market, understand my customers,document my opportunities, and stay on the cutting edge of mybusiness sector.
Here’swhat I perceive is happening in sales. You decide how it will affectyou and your business, and what you need to do to stay in aleadership position:
1. 2008 is the yearof the Internet — with or without your participation. Oh, theInternet has been around for 20 years, but the sophistication levelis growing by quantum leaps, and consumer RELIANCE is as evident asbusiness reliance. This year will dwarf all other years, both in useand purchasing.
FACT: Internetacceptance happened five years ago. We have now reached reliance.Dependence. Addiction.
FACT: If your email isdown for an hour, you go nuts. You have a Blackberry and instantaccess to messages. You’re compelled to thumb answers at all hoursof the day, within minutes of receipt.
FACT: If your Internetservice is interrupted or goes down, you go nuts. Online access mustbe available at all times.
FACT: It’s easier toclick the “buy now” button than it is to get in the car, fighttraffic, find a parking place, walk into the mall in the rain, and betold by a clerk, “Sorry, but we’re out of stock.”
You go online to getnews and information, buy stuff for yourself, buy stuff for others,do research, check the weather, book a plane ticket, buy something onAmazon, bid on something on eBay, and on and on — online.
Get it? No, I don’tthink you do. The question you need to ask yourself is are youkeeping up with the technology that can make you money?
2. Invest intechnology that leads to more leads and more sales. Last year Iinvested a ton of money in my business, completely redesigning andre-launching my website, www.gitomer.com. I (we) made it cool,attractive, sticky, fun, video-filled, and easy to buy from. Result?My e-commerce business doubled within 60 days, and my sales leadsincreased more than 50%.
This year I’m doingthe same for my online training company’s site, www.trainone.com.Brand new look and navigation. Cost? PLENTY! Option? NONE!
I’m a leader in myfield. I believe I’m THE leader in my field. Second best does notenter my mind or my lexicon. This must be reflected in my technologyand my image in order to build my brand credibility.
SELF DISCOVERY: Look atyour website. What is it doing for your business? Does it make yourphone ring? Are you making sales online? Are people returning to yoursite because you have valuable information? What do you WISH yoursite was?
3. Customers aresmarter. Respect them, engage them, and earn their respect — orlose them. Gone are the days of salespeople being smarter thancustomers. Internet search engines have shrunk time and space to afew strokes on a keyboard.
FACTS: Customers arebetter informed. They know what they want, they have lots ofresources to get it, and they’re way more sophisticated than yougive them credit for. They believe your product knowledge is a given,and they want help, more profit, and less problems.
Study your presentcustomers. If you are B2B, go to their place of business and work fora day or two. Get on the inside. Be a resource. Learn their needs anddo something about them. The more you study your existing customers,the faster you will be able to sell prospective customers.
4. Send an emailvalue message to every one of your customers and prospects everyweek. Email magazines, e-zines, are becoming more prevalent. Notmany are compelling, but the few that are have loyal subscribers(customers).
Where is your e-zine?Probably nowhere, or nowhere near the value message that it shouldbe. I recommend you start your e-zine today. Make it all about thecustomer and how they win. The results will amaze you.
4.5 Learn buyingmotives. Knowing why customers buy is more powerful than knowinghow to sell, and trying to sell the customer. Old-world sales tacticsare over. If you learn why customers buy, you will outselleveryone.
Why do customers buy?Why don’t you ask them and find out.
If you want more ideasof how to prepare an e-zine, go to www.gitomer.com, register ifyou’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word EZINE in the GitBitbox.