“I do not have time to develop relationships with others…”
The words so surprised me that I had to read them a second and third time to make sure I was reading them correctly. Must be the words of a disgruntled person who wants to be left alone, right? Well, not exactly. Read on.
“What I am looking for are people with immediate needs or people who will need my services in the next month or so. Unfortunately, I do not have time to develop relationships with others who may be a source of business years down the road.”
Reading these words, I thought this could have been me if I hadn’t taken some strategic and decisive steps to guard against such thinking.
“I am looking for people with immediate needs…”
Translation? Desperation. “I need real business today, I need it now.” A wake up call for us all. In the race to grow our business, to make more sales, and to meet more goals, we too live with the danger of slipping into desperate thinking that will reveal itself as undue pressure in the next client meeting.
While it’s important that we close as many sales as possible, it’s more important to realize that we’re leading potential clients on a journey that is meant to help them know us, like us, and trust us in order to be ready to buy from us.
“Unfortunately I do not have time…”
Without systems that allow us to automate the selling process and educate potential clients 24/7, none of us will have the time to reach, engage, and nurture new clients. Instead, the people we meet will fall through the cracks like seed falling on stone. Buyers today want to explore their possibilities, they want to learn about the best solutions, and they want to do it all at times convenient for them.
In her post, “Buyer Behavior Helps B2B Marketers Guide the Buyer’s Journey,” Lori Wizdo says, “B2B marketers must nurture prospects for months or years before they turn into sales opportunities.
Customers will engage with marketers who meet their needs – their changing needs – for different information and options during the buying journey. Marketers who continue to “go to customer” with product-centric campaigns and offers risk becoming irrelevant.
“Who may be a source of business years down the road…”
Simply put, this statement creates the very problem this writer has today. Taking a short-term today approach will leave us wishing for buyers days, months and years down the road.
“The paramount shift from 1:1 marketing that took place between a sales rep and a buyer has gone by the wayside. By the time the client lands at your doorstep, the process has long been underway,” Daniel Newman, Content Is The New Sales Call.
So what’s the solution to this dilemma?
1. Come to grips with the fact that sales is a journey and not a one time decision.
Buyers are reading what we write, they are listening to what we say on many different platforms, and they are taking all those things into consideration when making their buying decision. Are you creating content that positions you as the expert in your field of knowledge?
2. Create systems that allow you to personally engage with potential and current clients.
Systems position us for growth both in sales and in reach. With the best systems in place, you’ll remove the burden of worrying about where you are in the sales process. You’ll know at a glance. And your systems will free up your time through the gift of automation.
Do you have the time you need to focus on the people and activities that bring you new clients and drive your sales?
3. Position your business for sales and growth over the long term.
With a great Customer Resource Management system you’ll be able to create a process of client engagement that respects the clients journey and welcomes them to engage with you on their own terms. And when they engage, it’s something to celebrate. Do you have clearly defined processes that respect your clients’ journey and allows them to engage with you and your sales team for the long haul?
Take the pressure off yourself and your sales team. Create systems and processes that allow you to engage clients in a journey that is respect-filled, thoughtful, and strategic. Building positively into clients for years to come will assure you have a business for years to come.
By the way. The writer of the letter is a business owner. Are you ready to buy today?