1. Do Show Your Face In Public!
Technology is wonderful and has made communicating very easy for us. Too easy in many ways, especially when it comes to business. It is very tempting to outsource our communications to automated tools, bots and now even AI assistants! The time saving is incredible given that the drudgery of doing any of this ourselves is so unappealing.
But as we continue to become increasingly digitally dependent, are we simultaneously becoming more superficial, less authentic and perhaps deficient at creating genuine relationships? And as we all know, solid relationships are still the foundation of successful business engagements.
So get out and network face-to-face, you might be surprised how much prospects and customers will appreciate getting to know you in person. So why not make 2020 the year when more people come out of their face-to-face hibernation and get out there and network in person?
2. Also, Show Your Face Online Too!
Selling virtually and never even meeting face-to-face is becoming so prevalent that there is a risk of completely dehumanizing the whole process. One way to bridge the gap is to take a deep breath and switch on the camera! You don’t even have to keep it on for the whole time but when you first start your virtual meeting put a face to your name and you will find most customers will reciprocate and immediately you have improved your chances of building a relationship with the other person.
And yes this means you have to shower, get dressed and organize your workspace if you work at home but you should be doing that anyway – so if you are doing calls in your sweats, or pajamas then maybe you should ask yourself how serious you are about your success – just sayin’….
3. Take A Cold Hard Look At Your Sales Process
Have you analyzed your sales process lately (hopefully you have a defined sales process and if not, then define one fast!)?
Jason Jordan wrote in the Harvard Business Review that “We discovered that sales forces were most effective at managing their sales pipelines if they had invested time in defining a credible, formalized sales process. In fact, there was an 18% difference in revenue growth between companies that defined a formal sales process and companies that didn’t.”
So as you can see there is a real economic incentive for having a formal sales process and for making sure it is effective, followed and constantly reviewed. That might be a nice early January project; review recent sales you won and examine the customer’s buying process and then compare it to your existing sales process – is there alignment? Be good to know don’t you think?
4. Put On Sunglasses To Avoid The Distracting Glare of Shiny New Toys
It really is time to focus on the one piece of technology you really need to support your sales team and that is your CRM. I already mentioned reviewing your sales process and part of that is making sure it is reflected and followed inside your CRM. (If you only follow these two pieces of advice I guarantee you will set yourself up for a more successful 2020).
Yes I am aware that there are new sales tools coming out every 10 nanoseconds and they all sound marvelous – too good to be true even….and it is so tempting to believe them just like the late-night infomercials for the 3-second ab workout or the new driver that regardless of your golf swing will send the ball 500 yards in a straight line – ignore them and redirect your stare back to the basics. And guess what? When you focus on the fundamentals and really do them well, chances are you won’t need anything else. So focus on your CRM, use it properly and you will be on the right track and whenever someone dangles a shiny new toy in front of you, reach for your sunglasses and move on, quickly.
5. Pay Attention To Your Appearance
Sounds like I am being superficial here but I am not. How you appear is multi-layered. It is your attitude first and foremost, are you positive, engaging and respectful? Are your digital communications (email, text, chat) lazy and haphazard or well thought out, polite, respectful and not overly casual when you have not earned that right yet?
And yes, do you make an effort to look your best because that also communicates respect – you will never lose a sale because you were overdressed, over-polite, over-respectful, or grammatically correct and even formal in your written communications but I can 100% guarantee that you can lose a sale from doing the opposite of any of these.