Editor’s note: This article has been adapted from a video series recorded with popular speaker, business strategist, and ultra runner Dan Waldschmidt.
With the right sales strategies and techniques, any sales person can warm up their cold calls, deliver deal-closing value propositions, and make lasting connections with their customers.
The most effective salespeople are communication handymen. No matter the situation, they always seem to have the right retort, pitch, or explanation at the ready. But their ascent up the sales ranks isn’t thanks to the fact that they know something the average salesperson doesn’t. And it’s not because they’ve mastered mind control, either. Their success is simply owed to a well-balanced repertoire of sales strategies and techniques. They never take a one-dimensional approach when pitching a customer, and that’s what distinguishes the deal-makers from the deal-breakers.
In a video series for OpenView Labs, business strategist Dan Waldschmidt, author of the Edgy Conversations Blog, delivers a quartet of tried-and-true sales practices, as well as a handful of unorthodox ones to help get you from cold to sold. Watch the videos below and see where his advice can help take your selling.
Warming Up Cold Calling: Engaging Cold Contacts Effectively
Few terms within the sales lexicon possess the negative connotation of the cold call. It’s dreaded by salespeople and customers alike – and for good reason. Most people simply don’t know how to do it correctly in order to minimize the mindless chatter. When a cold contact is undertaken with fear and uncertainty, those undertones are transmitted to the party being contacted. Things quickly unravel thereafter. But an effective cold contact doesn’t have to follow this pattern, Waldschmidt explains.
“[You] can engage customers that you’ve never met before, if you have the right value,” he says in this video. “You need to have the right solution for a pain that they might have.”
For emails, brevity is vital. And there’s no need to be purposefully boring. You must remember that you’re trying to grab the attention of your reader. Want another easily implemented tip? Don’t put questions in the beginning of your content. People tend to respond to the last thing you say, not the first.
Delivering Your Best Value Proposition
Effective salespeople who have spent years painstakingly honing their talents exponentially outnumber sales prodigies. Why is that? Because most people simply aren’t born with the necessary-but-rare skills elite salespeople have. Few people “just know” what to do. A much larger portion of them get it right after countless hours of practice and failed attempts. Delivering a killer value proposition is an excellent example of how practice makes perfect.
As Waldschmidt stresses, the value proposition is the elephant in the room. Or at least it should be. When you introduce it to your client you must make it clear that this is – above all else – what you can offer as a company that others can’t.
The Value of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence in salespeople is a highly desirable trait. It allows them to understand people and read situations. In this short video, Waldschmidt explains how elite football players like Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning are said to be highly emotionally intelligent. They also happen to play the most integral and demanding position on a football team: quarterback.
Waldschmidt explains how this same quality can be a huge factor in your sales success.
Breaking the Mold: Unconventional Sales Techniques
“If you don’t have an unconventional sales process, then you won’t be successful,” concludes Waldschmidt. “Here’s why: The buying space is becoming increasingly cluttered with everybody doing the exact same things. Companies buy [identical] technology and we all buy this same seven-step training program, and we all end up doing the exact same things.”
In this short video, Waldschmidt looks at all the angles involved with unconventional sales strategies. He goes on to say that, before forward-thinking companies like Zappos and Amazon emerged as industry-leaders, they had the foresight to develop and get behind techniques that were largely unproven at the time.