Some time ago, we were approached by one of the world’s biggest furniture companies. After just one introductory meeting, we prepared and sent them a very long and detailed proposal. In retrospect, we likely made a mistake regarding the timing of the proposal and the length of its content. As a result, the clients couldn’t relate to it properly, and we missed the opportunity to work together for a few years.
Thinking back, I realized each one of the sales phases has its own rhythm, prioritizing the key elements in each leads to more wins.
Assuming you divide your sales process into three broad phases: marketing, selling, and retaining or preserving the client. How crucial are the timing of your activities, the packaging of your message and the content of your solution for a successful outcome in each phase?
Sales Phases- Timing is everything!
Consumers are more inclined to do certain things on certain days of the week, at certain times of the year (seasons/holidays) or following other behaviors or traditions. If you understand the habits relevant to your business, you can make sure your selling efforts hit when the consumer is in the right frame of mind to act, and ultimately drive a better ROI.
Especially important in terms of timing of contact are the day of the week and time of the year as well as the fiscal and budgeting cycle. Getting your timing right is particularly critical during the marketing stage, whether it’s near closing or when just starting the contact with the customer/client.
It’s all in the packaging
The packaging design, how you present and communicate the product or service, and how you promote it are traditional components of packaging. However, you also have to consider the emotional and cultural response to the packaging, they are an integral part of it.
Your packaging is the gold star of your marketing mix. It can dictate how well your strategy is working. Packaging is what shows off your product in the best light, displays the price and value of the product, communicates the product’s benefits to consumers, and it is what physically appears in your various distribution points. Your product may be the very best in the market, but its packaging needs to be the main tool to show it. It’s the first thing people see, and it can catch or divert their attention, therefore it is most critical in the Selling Phase.
Solution – Selling to your client’s heart’s content
Always assume your prospects will buy only what they need. How can you persuade them to “need” what you have to sell? Emphasize the features of your product or service to customers. Make sure you bring them value when and where they need it most.
Products and services have features or attributes: Value to the customer, solution to a specific problem, effectiveness, core capability of the company and its reputation, approach used, specific need it addresses, satisfaction with the product or service and price. It is critical to understand these and how they provide value to the client: Make sure you focus on your customer’s need to buy, not your need to sell! Ensuring your product or service delivers the promised value is most important in the Nurturing/Retention phase.
Focusing on the most important variable in each one of the sales phases will help you convert more opportunities into sales.
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