Being first is great, but it's not enough. To win the sale, you have to be first and have the right knowledge to help your buyer. A study from Forrester found that 65 percent buyers don't choose the first vendor they speak to, but the first vendor who added value. How can you do that? Know when to sell, how to anticipate their needs and keep their promises, among other things. Here are the top five reasons why buyers prefer to work with the knowledgeable salespeople that they can turn to again and again.
1. They Are Prepared
Having a sales person ready to sell when the prospect is ready to buy may sound like luck, but it's really about preparing and selling quickly. Sales professional Karl Miller said his biggest sales challenge is not being able to meet with prospects before they change their mind. Companies are under more pressure to move fast and it's harder to carve out time for meetings. Ever heard of 3x3 research? Steve Richard of VorsightBP explains that your background research should find 3 pieces of contextualized information regarding your prospect or the company which can ultimately drive an outbound conversation. Understand your buyer’s pain points by conducting research on social media and have all your information ready as you provide value through knowledge.
2. They Know What Matters To Me
For Joanne Moretti, Jabil Circuit's senior VP of Sales Enablement, salespeople win when they switch focus from product features to prospect needs. "We have a tendency to tell people what something is and what it does, when the most important thing to that person is what it means to them." Think about how content can help educate your buyers throughout their journey and what assets marketing has provided which can be a great benefit to your buyers. Start with the problem and your explanation of what they need unfolds naturally from there.
3. They Have The Entire Organization Behind Them
Rick Alden, founder of Skullcandy, explained, "A good salesperson...delivers what they say they will deliver. No buyer should ever be left hoping their salesperson will come through." That puts salespeople in a difficult spot when their job depends on how well operations and service can deliver on promises that sales make. The secret is better communication between you and your colleagues in marketing, operations and customer support.
4. They Take The Time To Build A Relationship
The number one behavior associated with successful salespeople, according to the Harvard Business Review, is "more time spent with customers." Of course, you can't spend more time with every prospect, or you'll go broke. Top performers spend 18 percent more time with their customers every week, but they interacted with 40 percent fewer accounts overall. Think about what kind of business intelligence you need to guide you on spending your time more wisely at the top of the sales funnel.
5. They're Not Afraid To Answer Hard Questions.
Sales consultant Jim Keenan reported that top salespeople never sell scared. They are confident in what they are doing and not afraid to lose the deal. "Fear comes from being unprepared, lacking a solid understanding of what the buyer actually wants and why." Knowledge is the opposite of fear. Practice answering hard questions and search online forums to better estimate what the most common questions will be.
The Right Steps To Get There
Remember, it all starts with the right mindset, centered on helping and adding value for the buyer, throughout their journey. From there you can start developing the skillsets you need to support your goals. That means gaining experience with the Social Selling process so you can shorten the sales cycle and devote more time at the top of the funnel. With the right assistance from sales training and ongoing support, you can really enhance your online presence and provide a great value to your buyers. When you are thought of as knowledgeable in your field, the right buyers start coming to you.
If you would like to learn more about how Social Selling fits into every stage of the buyer's journey, download our eBook here.