The following is a guest post by Josiane Feigon, author of Smart Selling on the Phone and Online: Inside Sales That Gets Results.
Holiday Selling 2.0; The New Rules
Admit it — this was one of the toughest sales years in history. As new predictions come trickling in to warn us of a sad and cold holiday season ahead, it’s easy to opt-out and pull out the decorations and call it a year. Remember the days when you looked forward to going to President’s club and your escalators started kicking in? Now you can barely close the deal you heavily discounted just to get it off the books for this year.
Salespeople are running on empty. They’ve been desperately trying to sell to fearful prospects who have pressed the “pause” button virtually all year. We catch a few glimpses of the economy getting stronger, but there are still more sales deals being lost because of “no decision,” making sales funnels look shakier each day.
It’s time to stop the doom and gloom and start hearing the sleigh bells: This can be one of the brightest and most gratifying times in sales history. The level of creativity, resourcefulness, and partnering has never been healthier. Selling in pre- and post-holiday time requires a different approach, different mental stamina, and different selling techniques.
So, my favorite people, start your engines! Prepare to fly in full sales control, and spin your offerings with your sales fuel food for a winning flight. You will change your business as you move into 2010.
- Sell Green. According to a recent poll, Americans feel that protecting the environment should take priority over economic growth. With soaring energy prices and increased consumer awareness of that the environment is in danger, if its sounds, tastes, or acts Green, there’s budget. How can your product be recycled? How does it affect the environment? Spin it Green!
- Sell Self-interest. People always want to hear how it will affect them, them, them. They’re looking for ways your solution will change their lives, and also how it will impact their social and ecological values. Tell them!
- Sell your Smile. Web cameras continue to take the place of you making an in-person appearance. So when you call, remember the webcam. Dress for success —at least from the waist up. Set up web demos now as a fun holiday treat, and check in on your prospects.
- Sell Profitability. While the stimulus package gets doled out, inflation will more likely kick in and our economy will take another step back. Your prospects will want to see more value and future significance for every earned dollar they intend on spending.
- Sell Multi-culturally. Today, about 24 million Americans work in the 24/7 culture, and they don’t all look like you. Educate yourself on their buying habits, values and simple etiquette. Be prepared to speak with a culturally diverse group.
- Sell Loyalty. According to new research by Walker Information, 4 out of 10 employees feel trapped in their jobs. Even when the economy eventually recovers, pervasive dissatisfaction and anger will not disappear. Treat your employees to holiday cheer now, and all year round. Their loyalty will grow and you won’t experience high productivity slumps.
- Sell Smart. Everyday there is a new sales intelligence tool out there to help you sell smart. There’s no such thing as cold calling when you have so many ways of finding out about your prospect. Do your homework, and come in prepared
Josiane Chriqui Feigon, is President of TeleSmart and a popular blogger on inside sales . She is a global thought leader in the inside sales community and recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on inside sales teams and management talent. Her new book, Smart Selling on the Phone and Online: Inside Sales That Gets Results is currently creating a buzz as the must-have inside sales sourcebook.