Today’s guest post is written by Kimberly Koehly, a Certified Partner in Phoenix with The Whale Hunters and Director, Channel Sales at EmpowHER.
Sales in and of itself can often feel confusing. “What can I do to get my foot in the door at this company that I know (based on my research) is a perfect fit for my business offerings when I don’t have any connections there? Why won’t she return my calls to discuss the proposal she requested? Why didn’t they buy when they gave me all the right signals? How could they have possibly selected our biggest competitor when clearly we are the best fit to meet their stated objectives/needs?” I’m sure most of these sound familiar. So rather than sit at your desk ho-hum and ruminate on these questions, recognize these challenges during the sales process as opportunities to INNOVATE.
So few sales professionals or companies go that extra step to think creatively about the sales process, and more importantly, about the individual to whom you are selling. This creates an enormous opportunity for those individuals and companies who are willing to invest in innovative thinking and execution to stand out – which is fairly easy given no one else is doing it! In the process of coming up with innovative ways to move a deal forward, always be thinking from the mindset of your buyer. Ask yourself, “What will make an impact on him? How can I help him solve a business problem with an innovative solution? What can I do to make the sales process easier for him?”
Never confuse sheer creativity for innovation. Something can be clever and stand out, but the effect will be short-lived if it is clever for the sake of being clever, rather than clever as well as on point with the business problem at hand. For example, if you want to get your foot in the door and believe you know the best person to contact at a company but do not have a connection to that person, do your research to uncover a specific business problem your offerings solve. Then think about innovative ways you can present your company’s offerings to solve the business problem you believe exists based on your research. If it makes sense, send a physical package to the person you have identified as the buyer to demonstrate their problem and your solution. Then of course, follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. I guarantee you will stand out!
Never confuse innovation with expense, either. Innovative ideas are free and often do not cost much to execute. The real expense is continuing to do what you’ve always done to get what you’ve always got. Get out of your comfort zone and see what happens. Confuse your prospects with your extra effort and they will want to work with an innovative person like you.