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4 Selling Strategies to Focus on in 2010

The marketplace is changing and so is the way prospects do business. If you want to maintain your edge in 2010, here are four ways to do it:

1. Maximize your lead pipeline: Chances are the economic downturn has had an impact on who the prospects most likely to do business with your company are. Now's the time to perform an audit of your sales from the past two years to determine who your high-probability buyers are now (based on SIC, region, executive title, etc.). Once the audit is complete, frontload your pipeline with those leads to give salespeople the best opportunity for success.

2. Sell value over price: While all the talk of an economic rebound continues, a lot of companies are trying to win buyers back by offering one-time discounts and bargain-basement prices. But that's a short-term strategy that does little to promote customer (or brand) loyalty. Now's the time to reinforce the long-term benefits of doing business with your company - and keep salespeople talking to prospects about the return, rather than the investment of doing business with your company.

3. Embrace new marketing channels/modes of communication: Cell phones, e-mail, social networking, Web marketing, text messaging, BlackBerrys - they've all changed the way prospects communicate. And sales organizations that capitalize on them will be in a position to gain an edge over competitors. Some companies use Twitter to maintain contact and promote new offers. Others use Facebook or LinkedIn. And a lot of salespeople ask prospects how they prefer to communicate upfront, so there's no confusion about the best way to contact them. Some have even transitioned to offering mobile coupons and announcing last-minute discounts via text message. The key is to find small, low-cost ways to use technology and new modes of communication to improve your relationships with buyers.

4. Differentiate your offer: Right now, there are more companies competing for fewer buyers, which means it's never been more essential for salespeople to convey what separates their offer from competitors'. A lot of sales organizations have begun to develop their own competitive analysis in light of the fact that prospects now have instant access to competitive prices and low-ball offers thanks to the Web. Creating (and regularly updating) your own competitive analysis allows salespeople to control the process. But it also keeps them on top of what other competitors are offering, as well as where an incumbent supplier may be coming up short. One other approach: Create a sense of urgency by quantifying the cost of not doing business with you.

Selling in Tough Times by Tom Hopkins

Read other articles in this issue:

4 Selling Strategies to Focus on in 2010
8 Powerful Ways That Postcards Can Work For You
4 Trends That Could Lead to Growth

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June 4, 2020

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