When I graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in mechanical engineering, I was hesitant to enter a professional sales career. I was excited, but it was tough for me to throw away the full value of my degree. So, I asked a mentor of mine about sales and why it is such a great career, and his answer stuck with me: “Chris,” he said, “you can drop me into any city in the country with only a quarter to make a phone call, and I’ll be ok – because I’m a sales professional.”
About 22 years later, I was pulling out of my driveway one morning realizing that Vector Firm’s pipeline was miniscule, and we had many contracts about to expire. Instead of panic, I felt a strange calm and remembered that statement. I started making things happen and Vector Firm never skipped a beat.
As we move out of lockdown and look forward to recovery, salespeople should be at the front of the action. We need to make things happen and prime the pump of our recovery. It is our job and our opportunity to do this. Here are five ways to accomplish it:
1. Create and deliver unsolicited ideas. The number-one business development idea during any time is to bring ideas to customers and prospects before they realize they have a need. For one, you might get a sale; however, the purpose of the unsolicited idea is to spark a dialogue that will also lead to future business. You do not have to create a bunch of detailed proposals that may not go anywhere. Just get creative and show them a high-level scope.
2. Get out there (yes, in person). I know many communities are still cautious about meeting in person, but I suggest getting out there anyway. Of course, follow local guidelines and be courteous to customers, but get out in the field in person. Drop off printed articles, case studies and unsolicited ideas. Not many of your competitors are doing this right now, so it is a perfect time to get out there.
3. Provide free training to current customers. Reach out to customers and provide free training on things that they already purchased. You can usually perform the training virtually or in person, so it should work for anyone. This type of activity will help you gain access to more users and gain additional traction in the account.
4. Record extremely brief webinars or podcasts. Everyone is tired of traditional webinars by now, but the value behind recorded content is still valid. An option may be recording micro-webinars or podcasts that are simple and just five to eight minutes long. Let the recipients know the length of the broadcast in your very first statement. You can even name them something different; for example, in the Vector Firm Sales Academy, we call them “Sprints.”
5. Believe that it is your job to get the economy moving. As a sales professional, own and be proud of the fact that you can put yourself on the frontlines of opening this economy and get it booming again. This is an excellent opportunity for you to shine right now by doing something for yourself, your company and your community. Get out there and make it happen… and you don’t even need a quarter!
Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (www.vectorfirm.com), a sales consulting and training company built specifically for the security industry. To request more info about the company, visit www.securityinfowatch.com/12361573.