Written by Sean McPheat |
I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from sales professionals who have been asking me what my predictions are for the future of selling! Mainly, these have come off the back of my special report
“The Sales Person’s Crisis”
So here are my top 10 predictions for the sales industry in 2010:
1. Expert Status & Positioning Is Vital
There is going to be a trend where your suppliers will want to hunt out and deal with experts to help them. So even if you are selling green socks, what are you doing in terms of building up your reputation within the green sock industry? Are you contributing to blogs and forums? Have you written some articles in the green sock trade journal? Have you spoken on tv about issues facing green socks?
You can use all of this to help position yourself as the “go to” person.
Imagine that a company was meeting with two green sock sellers? You turn up with a bio to die for, you are known as THE expert in green socks. And then Billy Average turns up.
Suppliers want to deal with experts and “industry celebrities” in 2010 so position yourself as one.
2. The Death Of Cold Calling
Anyone who had to make cold calls in 2009 knows that it was a very tough year.
Will 2010 really be the death of cold calling? Well, probably not but it will be the death of cold calling as we know it.
Out goes the enthusiastic, smile and dial approach and in comes a more measured, down to earth and above all, straight talking approach.
Out goes the “Oh, he’ll know what I’m calling about” trick and in will come “this is a sales call Jo, can you spare 5 minutes so I can tell you how to reduce your paper bill by using our new software?”
Your prospects know a cold call when they hear one so just act natural and be honest. It will surprise them and will help to build up the rapport with them because you are being different.
Direct and down to earth will work the best in 2010 – with no tricks!
3. There Will Be More Prospecting On The Web
2010 is the year to get into blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, Twitter and the use of email to do your prospecting.
The connections and business that you can create on the web is mind blowing if you know what to do.
So improve your knowledge in these areas because over the years there will be a big shift towards more web marketing and sales.
4. You Need To Respect The Fence Sitter
The fence sitters hold the key to open the door and to let us out of this recession.
What’s a fence sitter?
Well, in 2009 there were 3 types of prospects. Those that did nothing and would not spend because of the recession, those that did want to spend to get them out of the recession. And then those in the middle who were waiting for someone in authority to say “Hey, we’re out of recession you can spend again”
These are the ones that put projects on hold and play a waiting game. But there are billions just waiting to be released. They have the keys to the gold.
So how are you marketing to these people? How are you educating them in the meantime? Will they choose you when they finally say “Full steam ahead”
You need to have a specific ongoing sales and marketing plan for the fence sitters.
5. Different Is Going To Be Better Than Best
In order to capture the attention of your marketplace you need to be different.
How can you do this?
Can you remodel your service in a different way?
Can you offer something truly unique?
Going back to being an expert and positioning yourself – this is an example of being different. Just because you’ve been on the radio about green socks does not mean that your products are any better than anyone else but because there are no other green sock gurus it will position them as so.
Just by being different can unlock the pathway to riches.
6. AIDA No Longer Works In 2010
You’ve heard of AIDI right?
Well, your prospects and clients have got so much on their plates that grabbing their attention nowadays is a lot harder than it once was!
You need to do more than just ask a question to grab their attention because there are another 64,000 things that are competing for their attention each and every day.
So in order to do this you actually need to reverse this statement to begin with so it becomes:
You need to take ACTION first. Do something different, this could be sending them something, a unique act, a video, sending them a report, saying this is a sales call when making a call, whatever it is. This creates the desire to find out more and then they’re interested. Only then do you have someones ATTENTION.
And then you can start with the AIDA model again.
7. New “Leaner” Sales Models Are Launched
If you haven’t taken a look at how you current sell in terms of your sales process, your interactions, the measurements etc and have modified your approach for the current climate then you are in big trouble for 2010.
2010 will be the year where a lot of companies will be launching a new, leaner and fitter sales process and approach to cope with the demands of the economy.
8. Buyers Will Eat Your Lunch For You
Your buyers know that 2009 was a tough year for you.
They most likely know that 2010 will be the same. They are more educated than ever before and they’ll want to murder your margins.
Make sure that you spend a lot of time in honing and perfecting your art to deal with these new and upgraded buying machines.
9. Activity Based Targets Become More Important
Too many sales people are focused on the actual amount that they need to make that they forget or ignore what will help them to achieve it. And that’s all about ACTIVITY.
In 2010, sales commissions will be linked to a combination of both performance AND activity and not just the target alone which has been the bread and butter of sales commissions and bonuses in the past.
10. If It Moves Then You Need To Measure It!
Part of the problem why so many companies are struggling is because they do not understand what’s going on in their sales process.
More than ever before you need to invest in measuring what you do and how you do it.
If it moves, measure it.
Those are my predictions for 2010.
There is business out there, you’ve just got to make sure that it comes your way!
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling
Originally published: 24 November, 2009