I had the privilege of getting out of bed early on Martin Luther King Jr Day to assist with Volunteer Arlington’s MLK day service efforts. I haven’t been much of a morning person lately, but the sheer goodwill permeating this event cleared out any lingering cobwebs.
People arrived early in the morning smiling, ready to get to work, and full of palpable positive energy. Even the little ones who weren’t quite sure where they were!
In this environment it was easy to practice the ‘radical hospitality’ concept I’d been told I needed to assume as a greeter. Honestly, it brought back the full-on enjoyment I used to feel working the open shift at the McDonald’s drive-thru when I was a teenager.
That got me thinking. Could you practice radical sales? What would that even mean?
A little internet research turned up a blog on Radical Support, referring in this case to the trademarked exceptional customer support system that The Receptionist has created. I think their six tenets can be adapted to sales.
Radical Sales are:
How satisfying is it to help someone who is experiencing a problem? One sales strategy for a B2B business is to call existing customers when you have something new to offer that you know will help them. It’s the equivalent of a high end clothing store calling its best customers to tell them a new shipment of items you know they will appreciate has just arrived. It feels good to be proactive like this.
Does this one even require further discussion? The most successful sales encounters are based on service. And they happen when the salesperson is listening, not selling. ‘Nuff said.
Yes, yes, and yes! Too many companies ignore this at their peril. Marketing and sales are so often siloed and completely separate from operations and customer service.
It doesn’t matter how large your business is, every employee who *might* interact with a client or a prospective client has a sales role. Every interaction counts, especially in a world where anyone can savage your company on social media.
Nearly everyone falls at this hurdle. Following up once, or even twice, is NOT enough. Yes, following up is tedious, but necessary.
Your clients are every bit as busy as you are. And no, your proposal is not at the top of their to-do list. Hint: you should follow up until you hear a firm ‘no’, or you get some feedback. Unless of course you’ve heard crickets for six months or more. Then you might deploy a version of Blair Enn’s Magic Email:
Subject: Closing The Loop
I haven’t heard back from you on [project/opportunity] so I’m going to assume you’ve gone in a different direction or your priorities have changed.
Let me know if we can be of assistance in the future.
In my Radical Sales concept this refers to your response time to your prospective client. When you tell a prospective client you’ll do something (get back to them with an answer, send a proposal, send background info, follow up) you must do so quickly. The same thing for an inbound inquiry – the faster you can respond, the more likely you are to make a sale eventually.
This is where aligning sales and marketing strategies really moves things forward. Every sales interaction offers an opportunity to collect feedback from clients and potential clients. When that’s shared with the marketing team you create a positive feedback loop that generates even more inbound leads.
Now, doesn’t it feel like you could sell even when you hate selling? If you practice Radical Sales I think you’ll find two things happening – you’ll increase sales, and you’ll find it more satisfying than you ever thought possible.
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