Know the industries your prospects operate in
Generally, the fastest way to build your business is to choose, or target, who you want to sell to. Who is the best prospect for your product or service? Do you know the profile of your ideal customer? Knowing this could help you make sure you are focusing on the right market. For example, your target customer might have the money to buy regardless of whether they want or need what you are selling.
Many business operators confuse hard work with success. To be successful you must have a clear strategy that is designed to minimise wasted effort and maximise results. This involves the business strategy in the process of exploring opportunities, identifying and evaluating options and arriving at a plan to achieve tangible results.
Your business strategy determines the way in which the your business will fit into the competitive environment. Every component of your business strategy should be customer driven. Begin by gathering enough information about your customers so that you clearly understand basic motives that influence the decision to buy your products and services. Then segment your customers into groups for those with different needs.
Finally, zero in on the best market segment by positioning your business to attract these customers like a magnet. The force of your magnet is determined by the strength of your competitive advantage.
As salespeople, we need to become experts in the industry we represent. In many cases, this means moving beyond the role of product (or service) specialist to understanding what is happening in the prospects market.
Staying current and developing an understanding of various industries takes time and may require some additional research. For example, if your prospect operates in the electrical manufacturing industry, then read the appropriate trade journals or subscribe to newsletters that relate to this area. Of course, we need to be careful that we don't wander too far away outside of our current areas of expertise.
In this example, we may have an electrical background, to begin with, so therefore we have a basic understanding of this industry. We now only need now to find tune our understanding just a little bit more to grasp information relating to the prospect’s specific industry. If we have no understanding of the electrical industry at all, then we may be faced with some questions from the prospect during the sales process that we cannot answer. Or worst case we will be embarrassed because we don't know what they are talking about, not a good idea, unless our research is comprehensive enough, and we have gained some valuable insights into the prospect’s market.
There are many advantages to becoming an expert in your field and it's paramount to customers in perceiving you as an expert. Every sales pitch or presentation must be effective for you to be a winner and get business at every opportunity.