Most B2B companies are using social media these days to find potential customers. They’re using it to connect with them in real-time and build relationships that lead to sales.
This is because social media has become an essential part of business culture. The average consumer spends about five hours daily on social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter! That’s a lot of time for companies to connect with potential buyers—and win new clients.
Having More Than One Key Contact Per Account
If you work with just one person in each account and they leave, or something happens to them, you will be left without access to that client. So it’s much better to build a team of people who know you and your product well.
When you have one relationship in an account, you have a greater chance that the other people in that account won’t know you or your value proposition. If they don’t know you or your value proposition, they won’t be able to help you make deals. This can lead to wasted efforts because nobody knows who you are or why you’re there.
On the other hand, if you build multiple relationships within an account and with different stakeholders (for example, executives and mid-level managers), then these people will be able to introduce you to others within their organization who might also benefit from knowing about your product or service offerings. In addition, this strategy allows for more opportunities for introductions and referrals without relying solely on one person who may not always be available due to their busy schedule or priorities within the company.
The fact is that your customers are going to change too. That means that if you don’t stay involved in your customers’ lives and how they use your product or service, you risk becoming irrelevant—and potentially losing them altogether.
Outbound sales, in a nutshell, is any form of traditional selling initiated by salespeople to the target customer – meaning they start and drive the interaction. Given the nature of selling and buying these days, it’s more appropriate to call it outbound communication. However, some proven strategies help an outbound effort be more effective while reducing attrition rates regardless of what you name it.
Here are some tips that can serve as a guide for sales professionals who want to improve the execution of their outbound sales strategy:
Craft Your Ideal Customer Profile
Creating an ideal customer persona is a three-step process:
First, identify the traits of your ideal customer.
Understand their problems and how they’re currently solving them.
Determine what makes your product or service superior to the alternatives for this customer and their particular problem(s).
Additionally, you can create a customer persona by asking yourself a few key questions:
Who are the people using my product or service?
How old are they?
Where do they live?
What kind of job do they have?
What is their annual income?
Do they have kids?
Do they own a car?
Do they own a home?
Are they married or single?
What do they like to do for fun?
How much time do they spend online per week?
What search terms do they use when looking for products or services like mine?
Once you have all this information, it will be easy to develop marketing strategies targeting them directly.
Social Media Marketing
Social media provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to reach consumers with relevant content that is easily accessible on their devices and in real time, making it highly effective at getting customers interested in what you’re selling.
The advantages of using social media are:
It’s a great way to build a community around your brand, which can help with customer retention, loyalty, and growth.
It can be used as a lead generation tool, where you can offer incentives to those who sign up to your email list or follow you on social media.
Social media is free! It could be a good option for you if you have time and resources available.
Here are some strategies to help you make the most of social media marketing:
Use visuals. Visuals help attract attention with their bright colors and graphics, so include photos and videos in your posts whenever possible.
Focus on engagement. Engagement is critical in social media marketing because it helps you better understand what people want from you—and how they want to interact with your brand.
By sharing relevant, engaging, and helpful content, you will be able to attract new clients looking for a particular type of service.
It is also possible to use social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to drive traffic to your website or blog so that potential customers can learn more about the products or services you offer.
Invest in Outbound Sales Tools and Tech
Inbound and outbound sales strategies are not mutually exclusive—in fact, they work together to create a holistic customer experience that makes you stand out from your competition. But what is the difference between these two approaches?
Inbound sales focuses on attracting new customers through content marketing, SEO optimization, and other digital tactics that drive traffic to your website.
It’s not enough to have a tool like Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, or others. You need to use it as the baseline for everything else you do—and you need to ensure it’s set up correctly from the beginning. Outbound sales teams will be responsible for driving your company forward, and if they don’t have all the tools they need, it will be much harder for them to succeed.
Outbound sales teams will rely on data for their success, so make sure that you’re making it easy for them with an intuitive interface and seamless integration between different systems (CRM and marketing automation). They’ll also want access to information about their leads’ behaviors and preferences to tailor their pitches accordingly. Finally, they’ll need access to customer data to anticipate what each person wants before they even ask them!
If you want to increase sales, you need to start selling. Although most companies have moved to an inbound approach, they still struggle with inbound sales because they don’t understand what makes people buy something. Outbound sales techniques are still very effective at generating leads that convert customers because they focus on the right things.
Outbound sales is not about pushing people into buying something from you (although that can be part of it). It’s about building relationships with prospects so they know who you are when they need what you offer.
By creating a relationship with prospects, you can build trust and credibility and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. Show them how valuable their business is by providing helpful advice, free resources, or even just engaging them with questions about their business.
You’ve just sent an intriguing and persuasive email to a prospect. You get a reply. They’re interested. They want a demo. They’re ready to speak with you. And then…that’s it. All work and no follow-ups make Jack a dull boy.
When making outbound sales, it’s easy to focus on setting the hook. The initial contact. The opening email. But more likely than not, you fail to continue the conversation and close deals after your first outreach.
In this article, we’re going to explore the often-overlooked follow-up.
What is an Outbound Follow-Up?
You’ve just made a sales pitch. You’re excited and hopeful, but there’s one small thing you need to do before you can put your feet up: follow up.
Following up with a potential customer is a great way to ensure that the customer does not forget about you or your company after the initial contact at the top of the sales cycle.
A sales follow-up can be the key to landing a sale. Follow-ups are a salesperson’s prompt to the prospective customer to take action, whether making an appointment, scheduling a meeting, or placing an order.
Setting your follow-up schedule can be challenging. You don’t want to annoy your prospects, but you also have a limited time frame to get the appointment or sale. The best way to approach this is to send emails or calls, beginning immediately after your initial contact and continuing for about a week after.
Sales follow-up is essential because it helps create a friendly, familiar relationship with your potential customers. It also allows you to answer any questions they might have and ensure they understand exactly what they’re getting into if they decide to purchase from you.
How Many Follow-Ups Should You Make?
When you reach out to someone cold, you must realize that they might not be expecting your email. The best way to get through that mindset is by following up with them multiple times. The first time, you should send a terse and concise email explaining who you are and what your company does, along with a link to your website and an offer that will help them.
You can follow up three days later with another email or call-to-action, but if they haven’t responded, it’s probably time to move on to other prospects.
If the prospect responds positively, it’s time for a more extended conversation—maybe over the phone or in person!
If the other person is a colleague or someone in your network, you might have an opportunity to connect with them again. But if it’s a stranger, you should probably move on.
You can usually tell if someone is interested in your offer when they say something like “I’m interested in learning more about [product name]. Do you have any time next week?” or “I know our schedules won’t sync up but let me get back to you when they do! Thanks for thinking of me!” This doesn’t mean they will buy from you—just that they’re willing to learn more about what you’re offering.
Here’s a general outline you can follow. It is possible to tweak this depending on your product and what conversations you’re having.
1st day: Follow-up #1
3rd day: Follow-up #2
7th day: Follow-up #3
14th day: Follow-up #4
28th day: Follow-up #5
Two months after: Follow-up #6
One follow-up for each month after
What To Do (and Not Do)
DO: Be persistent but not annoying. Inbound leads are easy because they come to you, but outbound sales require a little more work and persistence, so don’t give up too quickly if someone doesn’t respond immediately. If they don’t answer their phone or email, try again later in the day or week. If that doesn’t work, send them another email or call them again later in the week (but not too much later).
DO: Take notes about what worked for each person you call so that you know where it went wrong with others and can adjust accordingly the next time someone from that company calls you back.
DO: Be specific about what you want from them. Don’t just say, “Please reply if interested in scheduling a meeting next week at 3 p.m.,” because many people will simply delete that email without replying or taking action. Instead, clarify why they should respond (e.g., “If interested in scheduling a meeting next week at 3 p.m., please reply with confirmation and availability details by Tuesday morning”).
DO: Send them your email only when you have something relevant to send them. Don’t send random emails just because you haven’t sent one in a while. That will annoy them more than anything else.
DO: Follow-up with them if they reply to your email with a question or comment. You don’t have to write an essay every time, but at least acknowledge that you received their message, so they know you read it and care about their response.
DON’T: When you send an email asking someone for their information or a quote, you mustn’t make them feel guilty about not responding. If they haven’t responded yet, that means they’re busy and haven’t had time to get back to you yet. If you contact a prospect and they don’t respond, it’s not necessarily because they’re ignoring you. It could be that they just haven’t had time to reply. Or maybe they’re waiting for something else (like a response from another sales rep). Or perhaps they’re just not interested in what you’re selling.
You’ve reached your first revenue milestone once a customer makes the initial purchase. But your sales opportunity doesn’t end here — it’s just beginning. While products sold are a great way to measure revenue, there’s so much more potential beyond this initial transaction.
Cross-selling is a term that gets thrown around a lot in business, but do you know exactly what it means to cross-sell?
Cross-selling is the concept of encouraging a customer to purchase additional products in conjunction with the primary product. This is critical and very powerful in the subscription business model, where recurring revenue is the goal.
What is Upselling?
Millions of dollars are wasted every year because of the inability of salespeople and other customer-facing staff to upsell effectively. A lack of precise questioning on the value of a product often leads to costly, low-quality purchases that never even get used.
Upselling is a strategy focused on encouraging these purchases through improved and enhanced products, but it can be challenging to pursue. Your first business sale was only part of the way towards financial growth; you must now do everything possible to ensure that customers will return for upgrades and add-ons. Here is where upselling comes into play.
But take note – The idea behind an effective upsell is to build rapport with clients and show your expertise so that they understand you’re suitable for their needs.
What is a Renewal?
A renewal sale, or a repurchase conversation (“repurchase” only if it is the same product/service), occurs when a customer has a question, concern, or issue needing resolution.
The challenge is that customers will likely not come directly to you with a renewal question unless they have some form of complaint, issue, or problem. A renewal discussion often occurs at the right time. There are five primary categories of renewals — based on the date when the existing contract expires –, and each can be handled differently based on the company policy and sales strategy.
For anything you sell (SaaS, recurring billing, etc.), renewal conversations constitute a significant component of any sales strategy.
One Thing in Common
Salespeople are constantly using different strategies to find leads. This can be limiting, though, since new sales reps may not have the tools they need to find leads. Enter outbound marketing: one of the best tactics you can use to reach leads and generate new business. Using this method, you’ll be able to get prospects and stay on their radar intelligently.
The best salespeople always reach out to their leads and existing customers to stay connected and make sure they’re both happy with the deal they’ve struck. The more they build that relationship, the easier it’ll be to find that next opportunity together – an upgrade, an expansion of services, or a renewal.
Sales, like any other profession, is a game of numbers. Hopefully, you already have your sales machine in place and are starting to see sales trickle in for your product or service. The next step is to build a stronger team to handle these incoming sales and help you reach even higher numbers. Renewals, upsells, and cross-sells are highly effective at achieving this goal.
Outbound sales sequences are a foundational component of an outbound sales strategy. Think of them as your digital playbooks: you create the structure that guides how your team initiates and closes new business opportunities.
How to Analyze and Improve Your Outbound Sales Sequences
Sales sequences are among the most potent tools that outbound sales teams use to close deals and provide value to potential clients. Sales sequences allow reps to execute predictable, consistent workflows. But not all sales teams are using outbound sales sequences — many still rely on organic email outreach, cold call/cold email, or general best practices. This can result in wasted time, missed opportunities, and unsatisfied customers.
Your Targets Should Be Clear and Defined from the Get-Go
Your outbound sales strategy is only as good as your target.
So what makes an outbound sales sequence successful? It all comes down to knowing your target audience. Your target for each sequence should be either a persona, industry or specific company. Once you know who you’re talking to, it’s easier to tailor your messaging and get them excited about using your product. You’ll also be able to create a consistent tone that resonates with them.
If you can’t define your target audience clearly, it’s impossible for any of this to work. If you don’t know who you’re selling to, how will you know how to sell them?
The amount of time and effort you put into your outbound sales sequences depends on who you’re targeting. Your sequence may last longer if you’re targeting a VP-level persona, and you may need to manually touch the lead more often than you would a lower-level persona.
In other words, the more critical your target customer is to your business, the longer your outbound sales sequence should be. The longer the sequence, the more chances to make an impression on your target customer before they become part of your company.
A/B Testing is Crucial to Success
Do you know how your outbound sales sequences are performing?
If you’re not testing, then you’re flying blind. And we all know that flying blind is a bad idea when trying to land a plane full of passengers!
Why? Because even the best product in the world won’t be able to sell itself if the sales sequence is poorly written and structured.
There’s a reason why the best-selling products don’t use generic email templates: they know that it’s not just about writing copy that’s good enough but also about writing copy that converts.
That’s where A/B testing comes in. By running A/B tests on your emails, you’ll be able to learn what works best for your audience and what doesn’t work at all. You’ll also be able to see which versions are most effective at getting signups or sales from customers who have given their contact information in exchange for information about your product or service.
You might think that having a great product is enough, but if no one knows who you are or what you do—let alone cares—then how will anyone buy from you?
Use the “Right” Mix of Sequences
As you’re reviewing your sequences, make sure you look at the types of steps involved in your email and call sequences. Some sequences lend themselves to more calls, while others are email-heavy.
But no matter what sequence type you’re reviewing, make sure you have a mix of step types. This is what makes sellers appear authentic and genuine to buyers. And that quality, in turn, ups the likelihood of a response and builds rapport.
When building out your outbound sales sequences, make sure you have a mix of step types.
It’s easy to think that all you need is an email. But if your buyer is expecting a call or LinkedIn message, they’ll be disappointed and annoyed when you don’t deliver on the expectation you set. This will hurt your chances of getting a response and building rapport with the buyer.
So what does it mean to have a good mix of step types?
Let’s say your sequence has three steps: email, call, and LinkedIn touch. If those are your only three steps, it might be time to add something else there! If this is true for you, think about what kinds of calls would work best in this case—maybe two emails followed by two calls? Or perhaps a series of emails followed by one call and then another email?
Consider Adding More Steps to Your Sequences
Yes, you can add another step to your outbound sales sequence.
If you’re following a sequential sales process, you can use the same logic to determine when to add more steps.
The reply rate for each step will tell you how well your target audience is receiving your product and give you insight into where they’re getting hung up. If your first step has a low reply rate, then it’s likely that people aren’t interested in what you have to offer. If the second step has a low reply rate and the third step has a high reply rate, then it’s possible that people are interested but don’t know how they can get started with what you’re offering. And if all three steps have high reply rates, then it means that people are ready to buy!
If you want to increase your sales success rates, try adding another step and see how much impact it has on your overall reply rates.
Note: It’s easy to feel like you should keep adding steps to your outbound sales sequence. You want to be sure that you’ve exhausted all possible resources, right?
But what if adding another step doesn’t help?
It’s tempting to add another step to your outbound sales sequence because it seems like it could help—and it might! But you also have to consider the cost of doing so.
Every time you add a new step, there are associated costs: time spent creating and refining the content and time spent running A/B tests on the content (if applicable). It increased the cost for each contact who will receive the additional message.
So before you start adding more steps, look at how many contacts are still clicking through from your last step (or from the first step). If their click-through rate is still high, go ahead and tack on an additional step if you think it might help! If their click-through rate has dropped significantly, you can feel confident that you’ve exhausted all resources and won’t see any gains from adding additional steps.
Change the Focus of Your Language
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “outbound sales?”
If you’re like most people, it’s probably “pushy” or “annoying.” But if that were true, why would we keep doing it? Why would companies spend so much time, energy, and money on outbound sales when all they get in return is a bad rap?
Because it works.
The truth is that inbound sales—when your customers come to you—aren’t enough anymore. With so many options for customers to find what they want (and for them to do it without talking to anyone), it’s no wonder that inbound sales have become less effective than ever before. That’s why outbound sales have taken over: because they work! They get your potential buyers’ attention in ways that other techniques don’t.
The key is not being pushy or annoying; instead, it’s helpful. Your buyer doesn’t care about how great your company is, how many awards you’ve won, or how great your product is. They care about how you can make their job easier and make their business more money.
Do you ever wonder why your outbound sales sequences don’t seem to be as effective as they should be?
It’s not your product. It’s not your salespeople. It’s not even the market.
It’s all about the buyer.
No matter how great those things might be, your buyers aren’t interested in hearing about you or your company. They want to know how you can make their job easier and how you can help their business make more money.
So what does this mean for your sales process? It means that it’s time for an overhaul! You need to start making it about THEM, not YOU, from the very beginning of your outbound sales process until the end.
Do you feel like you need to post every day on your social networks to keep up with the Joneses? And if so, do you think that could be a detriment to your business? Not necessarily. You can post every day and maintain quality, variety, and value. It isn’t always easy to conceive ideas for new content every day, but there are ways to make it easier.
The 3 (Not-So) Secret Ingredients to Daily Social Media Content
To build a solid online presence and gain followers, post quality content regularly, with variety in your posts and value for your readers.
Quality. Variety. Value. These three variables, when combined, create top-notch blog posts. Don’t worry about keyword density or backlinks. Instead, focus on creating fascinating blog posts that people will link to naturally. Google’s Panda update rewards this sort of content because Google knows that your readers will naturally want to share or link to great content.
Quality Comes First.
It’s a common misconception that you have to post more content to gain more followers. But the truth is that posting high-quality content will bring people back for more.
No matter how often your material gets shared on social media, people will stop viewing it and go elsewhere if it lacks quality. Quality is the key to creating solid relationships with your audience, and it’s what makes them want to keep coming back for more.
If you want to be seen as an expert, or just a credible source of information, you need to make sure that everything you post is high-quality. Your content needs to be researched, well-written and accurate. If it isn’t, no one will take you seriously, and they certainly won’t trust your opinions or advice!
Variety Comes Next.
We know you’re busy, so we don’t want to tell you this every day: posting the same thing every day is a bad idea.
There are a few reasons why. First, it gets boring—your followers will get bored and stop following you if they see the same thing repeatedly. Second, it’s not suitable for your brand—you want people to be excited about what you post, and if they can’t even remember what you posted yesterday because it was the same as today, how excited can they get?
So how do you make sure that doesn’t happen? We recommend posting 3-4 different kinds of posts throughout the week. How many depends on your industry—if your followers are in the tech industry, then maybe only one post per week is enough; but if they’re in retail or fashion, then perhaps two or three times per day might be necessary!
People want more than just sales pitches from brands—they want something that helps them understand their problems and gives them advice on how to solve them.
You need to mix things up a bit! Some days, you can post a link to an article relevant to your business and industry. Other days, you can post a picture of something funny or cute. Sometimes, it’s even okay to post something that makes you happy! If all else fails, think about what would make other people like the posts they see in their feed—and then go with that.
Finally, Provide Value.
Here’s the thing: If you’re not providing value to your followers, then what are you doing?
Your followers follow you because they want to learn something new and be inspired. They want to see what you’re up to in your business, but they also wish for tips and tricks to help them in their careers and personal lives.
You need to give your followers something that will improve something for them. That’s where the real magic happens—when you give people something that makes their lives better, no matter how small or insignificant it seems.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of posting just to post—but if you’re not providing any kind of value in the posts you share, what are you even doing? What’s the point?
If you don’t have anything valuable to say or give to your followers, then why are they following you in the first place?
The answer: They want to be inspired, informed, and entertained by your content. And if they’re not getting that from you, well—they’re going somewhere else.
You’ve probably heard this before: you have to put in the time to see results.
It’s true—and especially true when it comes to content creation. When you’re trying to build a brand and gain followers, you’re building up trust. And you do that by showing your audience that you know what you’re talking about and that they can trust what you say.
That means creating quality content that tells your story, educates your audience, and gives them something they want or need. It also means editing each piece of content, so it’s as accurate and polished as possible before publishing.
If your job was to prospect for potential clients looking to buy from your company, what strategies can you use to help close more deals?
Ten years ago, just about any business owner that possessed a camcorder, a tripod, and the ability to turn on the recorder could film a commercial. These days, video marketing needs a little more creativity and professionalism. Video offers a personal touch when communicating with prospects and lets them know that you care enough to put in extra effort for them.
If you’re looking to create a video that will truly stand out, then it’s essential to follow these guidelines:
Keep it short and sweet. Keep your sales prospecting videos under two minutes. This ensures you can get your point across without overwhelming your customer.
Make sure your script is on point and tight. A poorly written script for a sales prospecting video can lead to even worse results than no video. You want to make sure you’re saying what you need to say to get those prospects on board with your brand message and sales pitch.
Keep it simple and easy to understand. Don’t overcomplicate things by being fancy or clever — it won’t work in this situation! Everything about this video makes sense for your audience, from start to finish.
#2: Always Leave a CTA.
A call to action (CTA) is simply an instruction that encourages people to take some kind of action. This could be signing up for something, buying a product, or even sharing the video with their friends.
It can be anything from signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, sharing, subscribing, or following you on social media.
There are many ways of including a call to action in your video. Here are some ideas:
At the beginning of your video – If you want people to take action at the end of your video (for example, subscribe or share), then it’s best to include the CTA in the beginning. This way, viewers will remember what they’re supposed to do when they reach the end of your video.
In the end – This is probably how most people include CTAs in their videos. You can either ask directly for viewers to take action (for example, “please subscribe”) or use a subtle hint – for instance, by saying something like “make sure you don’t miss out on our next video.” You can also leave it up to the viewer’s imagination by asking, “what should we talk about next?”
#3: Be Prepared. Have a Script Ready.
We’ve all been there. You’re recording a video, and you realize that you don’t know what you’re going to say.
It’s not a good feeling, and it can make the difference between a successful video and one that flops.
To avoid this scenario in your videos, write down your talking points before recording. When it comes time to record, you’ll be prepared with ideas for what to say next.
This can be as simple as writing down bullet points on paper or in a word processor — whatever works best for you.
It’s common for people to get nervous about being on camera and forget what they want to say, so you must have everything written down ahead of time.
You can use bullet points or complete sentences, but it’s best if the notes are short and concise. Don’t worry about the length of the talking points — just get the main points out there.
Once you’ve written down your talking points, you’ll need to memorize them. Practice saying them out loud until they feel natural. If you’re not sure how to practice, try reciting them while driving or doing chores around your house.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask someone else for help if they notice something that needs fixing or improving in your presentation style. You’ll be surprised at how better people will react when they see that you’re trying hard — not just winging it!
#4: Connect with Your Audience.
When speaking to someone on camera, your eyes are the most essential part of your body. When you talk to your audience on camera, make sure that you look at them as they watch what’s happening in front of them with interest and focus.
When we speak to someone, there’s an unconscious connection between our eyes and theirs. To make it work in a video, simply turn the camera toward yourself to capture your face from the side while you’re talking. Then, turn the camera back toward whoever is listening to you so they can see what you see onscreen.
The viewer will be able to see that connection between their eyes and yours through this process — making it easier for them to feel like they know who you are and what you’re experiencing together in real-time.
Because video is an emotional medium, it’s important that your viewers feel connected to you through their feelings about what’s happening onscreen — rather than just watching passively from an outsider’s perspective.
#5: Add Some Personality To Your Videos!
A sales prospecting video is one of the best ways to get your message to your target audience in a way that they can relate to. It’s a great way to show off your personality, and it offers you an opportunity to be yourself.
For example, if you’re a consultant, you might want to show how easy it is for people to reach out and ask you questions. Maybe you want to explain why you do what you do, or perhaps you just want to give some tips on how they can get started on their businesses.
If you’re a freelancer or contractor, your prospecting videos should focus on why clients should hire you instead of everyone else offering similar services. Show them why they should choose you over all the other options!
When producing a sales prospecting video, it’s tempting to use stock images and generic music. You may think that having a generic look will help as many people hear your message as possible.
That might be true, but it also means that your prospects will be less likely to pay attention. If they’ve seen a million videos just like yours, they’ll tune out before you get started.
The best way to promote yourself is to show off who you are through the videos you create. Don’t hide behind the camera or pretend that you’re someone else — let your personality shine through so that prospects can see who they’re dealing with.
Here are some tips to achieve this:
Show off your office space.
This is a great way to give prospects a chance to see what working at your company would look like, but it also gives them a chance to see where the work they do every day happens. If you have any cool features like slide shows or other office amenities, definitely include those!
It goes without saying: people love humor, especially when it’s used effectively—and the best part is that there’s no wrong way to do it! Just make sure that whatever jokes or puns you use are appropriate for the audience you’re reaching out to
Sales professionals have always used storytelling to persuade and inspire. Abraham Lincoln used advertising stories to speak out against slavery with the help of the newspaper. Mary Kay Ash took part in personal development classes through storytelling.
Today, salespeople and other professionals rely on marketing stories for different purposes such as sharing tips, inspiring, or even persuading customers. Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that Facebook was initially built because he wanted people to share their stories.
Have you ever had a salesperson tell you how good a product or service was, and it just left you cold? You’ve heard the story before from another seller — the same features, the same benefits, the same story — and decided to buy from someone else.
I’m not interested in telling you that my product will save your business $10,000 per month. I’d rather show you. This is the mindset you should always have when making your pitch.
How To Craft Stories That Sell
#1: Create a connection powered by relevance
Stories have the ability to create a connection between your audience and what you are trying to sell. It should be based on real-life experiences and not be theoretical or too much in the future.
For example, if you’re selling advertising space for a website, don’t talk about how great it would be to have an unlimited supply of targeted traffic. Tell them what happened when your client ran out of targeted traffic and couldn’t afford to pay their bills.
If you sell medical insurance, tell them about a client who lost her job due to an illness and had no way to pay her medical bills.
If you sell financial services, tell them how you were able to help someone get out of debt or plan for retirement by using those products.
#2: Compel through concrete storytelling
When we tell stories, we’re not just recounting events — we’re building connections. A story is a way of showing the kind of person you are and the values you hold.
When you tell a story, you’re doing more than just sharing an experience — you’re creating an emotional connection with the other person. And when they connect with you, they see themselves in your story and realize that they can relate to it as well.
To make your stories memorable, use concrete details.
In order to make your stories more powerful and compelling, you need to be able to tell them from different angles. That’s why most people have a hard time telling good stories. They can only think about one angle at a time.
But when you understand how stories work on multiple levels, you can change your perspective on any given story and see it from many different angles. This will help you make your stories better and more engaging for your audience.
#3: Honesty is still the best policy
Storytelling is an art form that can be used to connect with your audience, create a sense of community, and prompt them to take action.
The best sales stories are simple, authentic, and memorable. They’re told in a way that feels natural and relatable to the listener.
Stories help you connect with your customers on a deeper level by getting inside their heads and making them feel something genuine — empathy, excitement, or even fear.
But too many salespeople fall into the trap of using canned or trite phrases when they try to tell a story. This makes it harder for listeners to relate to what you’re saying because it doesn’t sound like something they would actually say.
A great way to illustrate concepts or processes is by using examples from your own life or from other people’s lives. For example, if you’re selling software that helps businesses track their inventory, talk about how this software has helped other businesses reduce costs because they didn’t have to ship out extra inventory when they sold out of a particular item. Or if you’re selling an online course on personal finance management, share stories about how people have been able to pay down debt by setting up savings accounts for emergencies and sticking to their budgets.
#4: Tell your story with flair
Storytelling is about more than just telling a tale; it’s about sharing an experience that connects with the audience. And this is how you get customers to buy from you: by making them feel something.
So if you want to be an effective salesman, be an effective storyteller first!
Here are some storytelling techniques that will help you sell like a pro:
Use vivid details
Tell stories that reflect your audience’s concerns (and not yours)
Create characters with whom people can empathize
Focus on what matters most to your audience
Storytelling is an art form that engages people at an emotional level — it’s not just about facts and figures. It’s about connecting with people as human beings who have problems they want to be solved or desires they want to be fulfilled. When you tell stories in your presentations, you make yourself approachable as a person instead of just another vendor trying to sell something.
Alternatively, use analogies and metaphors to explain complex concepts more clearly.
Storytelling is an ancient art form.
It’s been around for thousands of years and has been used to tell all kinds of stories. The Bible, for example, is full of stories about people’s lives, struggles, and triumphs. Ancient Greek mythology is full of tales about gods and goddesses. And today, we are still telling stories through books, movies, television shows, and more.
But storytelling isn’t just for entertainment purposes — it can be a powerful tool in business as well. If you haven’t already realized this, then you need to start incorporating storytelling into your sales process immediately!
If you’re in B2B sales, you’ve probably battled a gatekeeper. They can make or break your sale. This is especially true of B2B mid-market sales. Gatekeepers hold the keys to the kingdom. If they don’t see an opportunity, they can ensure no one else sees it either. That’s why we call them gatekeepers.
Without a doubt, B2Bs hate gatekeepers. They frustrate salespeople and hurt business relationships. The real trick is finding ways to overcome these obstacles. If you’re interested in selling to B2B companies in the future, it’s essential to know how to get around gatekeepers.
4 Ways to Get Past the Gatekeeper
You can’t just pick up the phone and call to accomplish this. Gatekeepers live to prevent salespeople from getting through. Here are four ways to bounce over, under, and around gatekeepers to reach prospects you otherwise couldn’t.
Whether a receptionist or an account manager, a gatekeeper is designed to keep you out. They’re tasked with filtering visitors, calls, and emails from prospects and determining if the person you want to reach will be willing to listen to what you have to say.
A gatekeeper has control over whether or not you can speak with your prospect, but they don’t have to be the end-all-be-all of decision-makers. Most gatekeepers are just doing their job—managing their boss’s schedule and ensuring they don’t get interrupted by unnecessary people.
You can win over gatekeepers by showing them that you value them as an essential part of the process and that you’re not just trying to get past them so you can sell something. You need to have a sense of empathy for their role in the company and understand how much they must be juggling on any given day. That way, when they say no, it won’t feel like a rejection from someone who doesn’t want to hear from you at all—it’ll feel like a rejection from someone who does want to help but just doesn’t have time right now!
#2: Make It Personal.
1. Handwrite a note.
If your prospect is someone who cares about personal touches, this can be an excellent way to break through their defenses.
2. Make an appointment in person.
If you’re able to arrange an in-person meeting, do so! It’ll help show that you’re serious about wanting to have a conversation with them, which can go a long way toward getting past their defenses (and gatekeepers).
3. Send swag!
If your prospect is the type who responds well to gifts or small tokens of appreciation, send them some marketing swag as soon as possible after making contact with their gatekeeper—it’ll help show that you’re serious about wanting them as an account
#3: Changing Your Perspective.
Every gatekeeper is a resource. Each of them has access to valuable information. They know where your prospect is, their schedule, phone number, and much more.
You must view each gatekeeper as a resource rather than an obstacle. Viewing each gatekeeper as an obstacle can lead to some frustration if you’re not careful. Asking for the name of someone’s assistant can be an excellent way to get around this problem and make sure you have the right person on the line when you call back.
You should also try to be polite and respectful when dealing with gatekeepers. Remember that they are people too and may be working in an uncomfortable situation themselves (for example, fielding calls from angry customers). Don’t take it out on them just because they’re not letting you through!
If you’re having trouble getting through to someone by phone, try sending them an email instead or following up later in the day when their schedule might be less busy.
#4: Bypass the Gatekeeper.
If you have a sales team, they probably spend most of their time on the phone and emailing leads. They may be spending more time doing this than they are selling.
You should be if you’re not using a CRM (customer relationship management) system to track your contacts. But even with a CRM, there are still plenty of people who aren’t using it as effectively as they could be.
Gatekeepers will always exist in some form or another — whether it’s a secretary or someone else who answers the phone or screens your emails — so it’s vital for you to find ways around them if you want to get through to decision-makers
The most effective way to bypass gatekeepers is to invest in sales data. Partner with a B2B data provider, such as Pipeline Signals, to secure your most important prospects’ direct dials and email addresses.
Once you have these contacts, send them an introductory email explaining who you are and why you’re reaching out. If they respond, it’s time to start building rapport and working on establishing a relationship over time.
Another approach is to research your prospective company and find out what their employees are talking about online. Look for groups or communities where they participate and join those groups yourself. This will allow you to engage with them online in a more organic way than sending an email cold call — which could see it as spammy or intrusive (and therefore not read).
Almost every prospect you speak with has sales objections or reasons for not buying your product. If they didn’t have qualms about the price, value, applicability to their situation, or purchasing ability, they would have bought it already.
While dealing with objections is an inevitable aspect of the sales process, it may be a significant stumbling block for moving prospects through the pipeline. Accepting the complaints and sending a breakup email right away may be tempting. If you’re going to be successful, you’ll need to learn how to find and overcome these concerns.
What is a Sales Objection?
Any concern a prospect expresses about a barrier impeding their ability to buy from you is a sales objection — an unambiguous indication that you’ll need to handle more areas of the buying process than you thought.
According to Brett Trainor in an Expert Talk, customer objections are a sign that they don’t grasp your value or your ability to solve their problem. When customers raise objections to a purchase, it’s a sign that they’re interested in what you’re offering. They enquire, demand more information, and express their worries.
Instead of being afraid of sales objections, learn to see them as chances to move your sales process forward.
How to Deal with Sales Objections
While objections are one of the hardest and more unpleasant aspects of sales, they are not necessarily dead ends. Let’s look at how you can get around these potential stumbling blocks.
Taking care of objections
Dealing with objections is an inevitable and frustrating part of the sales process. The process entails specific actions and skills that every salesperson should be familiar with. Situational awareness, gathering background knowledge, leading with empathy, and asking intelligent, open-ended questions are just a few.
Being aware of the situation
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing objections that will address all of a prospect’s concerns. You’ll need a good sense of where you are in the sales cycle, the kind of the deal you’re chasing, and your prospect’s demands and interests, among other things.
Understanding the conditions that shape a prospect’s objections is critical to effectively addressing them. As a result, you must retain situational awareness as your talks with a prospect proceed.
Getting a lot of background information
This argument follows the previous one: comprehensive background information informs effective, actionable situational awareness. Investigate your prospect’s company and, to some extent, the prospect themselves.
What are the company’s current challenges? What problems do the prospect’s industry peers regularly have? If you’ve previously worked with similar-sized firms, try to recollect their concerns.
And, in the event of your contact, be aware of their responsibilities. What authority do they have to make decisions? Daily, what areas of the company’s operations do they deal with? What are the most common issues that someone in their job faces?
If you know all of this and more, you’ll be in an excellent position to answer objections gracefully.
Empathy in leadership
Objections are a normal part of the sales process, and they often — if not always — reflect legitimate concerns. When your prospects push back a little, you must avoid being visibly upset and impatient with them.
Every great sales effort starts with empathy. You shouldn’t sell to a prospect solely to make money; you should sell to them because your product or service is the best fit for their problems. As a result, you must always keep their wants and interests in mind.
You may set yourself up to anticipate and effectively answer their objections if you stay on top of their problems and circumstances and approach them with compassion and understanding.
Posing open-ended, thoughtful questions
Every other element on this list can be bolstered by the capacity to ask meaningful, open-ended questions. If you want to comprehend and effectively resolve the objections raised by your prospects, you need to go to the bottom of their problems.
Asking them meaningful, courteous questions and providing the opportunity to address them thoroughly is an excellent place to start. Avoid queries that can only be answered with a single word, “yes or no,” and don’t be afraid to use silence to your advantage.
There could be more underlying objections that the prospect hasn’t expressed or has merely hinted at. Before you can react successfully, you’ll need to ask open-ended questions to assist you in uncovering all of the objections.
Allow your customers to express themselves. Determine their issues – and put yourself in a position to anticipate their objections.
Sales for Life was founded with one goal – to become the most trusted sales resource for its customers. During our journey, we’ve had the privilege of serving thousands of sales professionals and leaders around the world, from start-ups to Fortune 50 corporations.