When it comes to sales, the ultimate aim is to influence your buyers, so that they make the decision to work with your company rather than a competing firm. This may be as simple as influencing them to buy from you in the first place, but it may also involve influencing them to purchase a more expensive product, or influencing them to buy from you again in the future.
Whatever your specific aims, there are some simple steps you can take to influence buyers. Here, we take a look at some of them, so that you can achieve the sales results you are looking for.
1. Increased Knowledge and Collaboration
In today’s business world, buyers often have less authority and individual influence than in the past. To provide evidence of this, a 2015 study from MHIGlobal found that the number of influencers and decision makers in business dealings has increased significantly in the last five years alone.
More and more, we are seeing buyers who do not actually have individual buying authority, but are answerable to their company’s corporate structure. This means your sales training needs to provide your reps with an improved knowledge of your products and services, so they can deal with a broader range of people, with different concerns.
One way to achieve this is to increase the number of sales team members involved in each sale. For example, you might employ people who specialize in different areas – products, strategy, corporate sales, etc. This way, as the sale progresses, people can either step up or decrease their involvement, depending on who is involved in the buying process from the other end at that particular time.
2. Demonstrable Value
When dealing with buyers, the concept of value is arguably the single biggest influencing factor. People want to know they are getting a good deal and especially in today’s world, when they must answer to an increasing number of higher-ups, buyers want to know their purchase will produce a decent return on investment.
However, the problem with value as a concept is that it is subjective. What seems like good value to one person may not seem like such a good deal to another, depending on their needs, their resources, who else they have spoken to, etc. Therefore, in order to influence buyer behavior through value, you have to demonstrate it.
It is no longer enough to make promises regarding value, so provide buyers with clear examples. Utilize case studies where customers bought from you and achieved success, use sales managers training to think about what your customers deem valuable and make sure your sales team can provide buyers with calculations based on this.
3. Relationship Building
Return customers are, as a general rule, easier to influence than new customers. This is because, by the time they return to your organization, you have already built up a certain level of trust. It is likely, for example, that your company has met their expectations and that they have been happy with the service.
All too often, businesses focus on new customers at the expense of existing ones, even though repeated studies have shown existing customers are more likely to buy new products. Moreover, research shows that new customer acquisition costs five times more than looking after existing ones.
Therefore, one of the biggest steps you can take to influence your buyers is to ensure that they have a positive experience and good results the first time around, and build a solid relationship with them. Focus on trying to gain repeat business as a percentage of overall your revenue and you will find that loyal customers are naturally much easier to positively influence.