Whether we work within a large corporation or attempt to sell to one, we need to simplify doing business. One sales training quote commonly used by sales trainers is forever in my mind. However, I don’t recommend using it: “Keep It Simple Stupid.”
You can believe that shivers went up my spine when I heard the slogan while attending my first sales training class. I was curious if the trainer was implying that all people associated with the profession are stupid? I still wonder about the statement.
With a similar philosophy of using a simple business strategy, I would simplify the quote to say,
“Keep it simple!” It doesn’t get easier than that!
The Better Slogan
Growing up, I always heard, “The customer comes first.” The philosophy behind it is the best business strategy and lends itself to keeping the process simple. However, as a teen who frequently challenged statements, I inquired about unethical clients. Do we put them first, too?
Thankfully, the advice was,
“Walk away from anyone who does not speak the truth or is not ethical. It is never worthwhile to cross over the line.”
Selling Within Corporations
The larger the company and potential sale, the greater the number of people who will participate in making the decision. Multiple conversations take place. The salesperson’s task is to connect all the dots plus verify all the statements.
Some may wonder how it’s possible to keep a conversation and process simple while working within the giant corporate framework. The requirements of corporations alone can be seemingly monumental. And the politics within the company we represent can add to the complexity.
To eliminate some stress, I once allowed myself twelve months to finalize a Fortune 100 company sale. At times, I questioned whether the executives knew what they were doing. But my motivator was to land the account so that I could proudly place it on my resume.
Putting the customer first is sage advice. By focusing on prospects first and hearing out their perspective, we gain valuable insight into how to proceed. The same is true when we work with entrepreneurs. When meeting for the first time with an entrepreneur, an excellent question to ask is: ‘What caught your attention for you to take the time to speak with me today?’ By gaining insight into the other party’s interest, we know how to advance the conversation.
Branding, Marketing, and Being Social
While most of us dread gossip, word of mouth in business is essential. It’s known as branding and building your personal brand. The usage of social media emphasizes the point that we are all connected. Being social and using excellent communication skills are significant differentiators for those who do well.
Online communication does well by demonstrating we are here to serve. By sharing the best of what we know, our followings grow. Introductions, testimonials, and collaborative efforts expand in numbers. Over time, recognition and influence also evolve.
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Do You Simplify Doing Business?
Regardless of the complexity of what you sell, the process has to be straight-forward and easy for others to understand. Otherwise, people will conclude that your offerings are not for them. It’s easy for everyone to say, ‘next.’ Notice that the word, ‘easy,’ comes into play again. People seek the easy solution, and that is why we are to simplify doing business.
Entrepreneur or salesperson, seriously consider the following questions:
- As an entrepreneur, do you make it easy to do business with you?
- Being a salesperson, do your prospects and clients welcome having conversations with you?
An essential part of simplifying the process is to behave as a partner with prospects and clients. To move the sale forward, do the following:
- Take notes as the conversation develops.
- Near the end of the meeting, verify the words you heard are accurate or if the notes require editing.
- Ask for clarifications as needed to remain on track.
- Be honest about the steps on your end.
- Ask if your prospect has any hesitation; if so, inquire how you may help.
- Always provide updates for everyone in the loop.
- Share the requirements of your prospective client with those in your office, assisting you.
- Reconvene to discuss possible tweaks or verify everything is moving forward
- Gain confirmation that the sale is on track.
It’s the tiny baby steps that include congeniality, integrity, and the signal you are there to help resolve a problem that will encourage the first sale. Establish the ease of doing business with you for long-term client loyalty.
Sales Tips: Use A Simple Business Strategy
- Be friendly with everyone and smile
- Strive to build relationships with those you meet
- Put serving others as your top priority
- Work as a partner with clientele
- Inquire about past experiences that influence today’s status
- Ask prospects how they view improvement
- Offer ‘what if’ ideas to measure the level of interest
- Work together to draw up an initial plan
- Flexibility is a simple business strategy that moves the project forward
- Celebrate Success!
These insights are to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!