At the heart of it, sales is about connecting authentically with other human beings. If you have this ability in your sale networking skills toolkit, you have the ability to sell. Often, people think that when they are in a selling role, they somehow need to act differently than when they are, for example, making friends, and this more formal approach can sometimes get awkward or stiff or flat out off-putting if that’s not the natural way in which they conduct themselves.
“Just be yourself” is probably the best and yet at the same time, the most terrible advice for salespeople, because what exactly does that mean?
In this second article in our series based on The Multiplier Sale™ sales accelerator program, we explore sales networking skills that begin with connecting authentically, using your own personality in a way that feels most natural to you.Then, you begin purposeful outreach to connect, schedule meetings and start building relationships with individuals who are decision makers for the companies represented on your ideal target list.
In this article, you will get ideas for how to:
- Identify and reach out to decision makers
- Practice your elevator pitch
- Schedule discovery meetings
The Multiplier Sale™ Step 2: CONNECT
Before scheduling meetings with decision makers, spend some time identifying how to connect in the most natural and authentic way for YOU. A good place to start, can be to think back on what you were like as a child. Were you a dreamer or a doer? How introverted or extroverted were you? What were your favorite hobbies? Who were your favorite friends? What were your favorite toys? What were your favorite things to talk about? How did you communicate?
Then, think about what you are like as an adult. How have you changed? What are your current hobbies and interests? What are the most interesting conversations you have with people? What does “showing up” authentically mean to you? What resonates with you in the way others communicate with you?
Connect Authentically: Reach Out
How do you CONNECT authentically with decision makers?
Once you have identified your ideal clients and prioritized your sales approach, it is time to begin connecting with prospects. The sooner you engage and the more real conversations you have with real people such as existing customers and potential prospects, the more you will learn about what works for them and what doesn’t.
In the previous article in this series, we discussed how to identify your “sweet spot” ideal client, and who the decision makers are. Now, you want to spend some time thinking through what is important to that client, and how to get to know them.
Think through the following:
- Where do they hang out (physically, and online)?
- What is top of mind for them (interests, opportunities, fears)?
- What challenges do they face (internal or external)?
- What do they like to talk about?
- What type of contact do they respond well to?
- How would you want to be approached, if you were your customer?
Begin to think through the various touchpoints you will incorporate into your outbound sales outreach campaign (inbound content marketing is important and a separate topic; let’s focus on outbound activity for this exercise): outbound social media engagement, email outreach, phone outreach, in-person meetings, etc.
Perfect Your Pitch
What do you say when people ask you what you do?
The short statement you use when you first introduce yourself and your business to someone, is sometimes referred to as an “elevator pitch,” because it should be short enough that you could use it if you meet someone on a brief elevator
ride. Every time you introduce yourself to someone, this statement should roll off your tongue easily and effortlessly!
What is a Good Elevator Pitch?
When formulating your “perfect pitch,” it can be meaningful to first identify the “Golden Circle” from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why before you write out your elevator statement:
- Why (the challenge or problem you are solving – the “so what”)
- How (some of the ways you can help solve this challenge)
- What (the specific product or service you offer)
Some Other Things to Consider
- Who (are you addressing a specific customer/segment?)
- When (is your solution most viable when this problem or challenge is most urgent or before it becomes urgent?)
- Where (are you most relevant in the customer’s local area, in a specific community, physical or online?)
- Call to action/”hook” (what do you want to happen because of this conversation?)
Spend some time formulating and practicing your elevator pitch. It shouldn’t sound like a memorized script, it should sound and feel organic, dynamic, and effortless.
Set a Meeting
In sales networking, your goal with every interaction with a prospect should be to set the next meeting, or “close” for the next step or action toward advancing the sale. To connect with a prospective client, consider using a very simple, brief and to-the-point email message for the sole purpose of setting up a live meeting (phone, online, or in person).
This is NOT a “sales email,” and should not be a form letter that gets copied and pasted to multiple prospects. It should be personal, short and sweet (3 sentences is enough!) with a very clear call to action: “When can we meet?”
Be brief, be brilliant, and be gone!
Rules of Thumb
- Email is terrible for selling. It is good for making initial contact (when done well) and for follow-up and documenting conversations.
- Engagement rarely happens via email alone, unless you already have an established relationship with the individual or otherwise already engaged following.
- People don’t read long emails, especially when unsolicited. We are all too busy!
Craft the subject line for the email last. Always use custom-made subject lines, crafted for a specific individual, with a compelling reason that particular person would want to open the email.
Don’t give people a reason to hit delete!
The same strategy works on the phone too. When you call the person to schedule a meeting, give them three sentences of WHY, WHO/HOW and WHAT. That’s it. Don’t try to “sell” yourself of your service, just schedule the meeting. Practicing this skill first, and then easing into the sale, elevates your sales networking into creating loyal client relationships.
ABC: Always Be Closing
Finally, remember your ABCs: always be closing – for the next step, the next action. Focus on activity that advances the deal, and make sure you close for the next appointment before you hang up the phone or leave the meeting.
Subscribe and stay tuned for the next installment in The Multiplier Sale© series: ENGAGE Decision Makers. The third article in this series focuses on discovering value and creating engaging conversations with decision makers.
🌟 Who are the people in your life with whom you connect the most naturally?
🌟 Why do you think that is?
Hit me up with your thoughts in the comments below! 👇🏼
Further Reading – if you would like to dig deeper, consider these books:
- Friend of a Friend… : Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career by David Burkus
- Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
- The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want by Dave Kerpen