The 2016 Richardson Selling Challenges Study proves it’s getting harder to get prospects to engage through digital communication. There is a digital tidal wave, and we’re all drowning in communication.
How do you stay afloat in the midst of an online info tsunami? Circumnavigate the tsunami.
Did you know 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales? Take that percentage and multiply it by your company’s average deal size. It’s a pretty nice chunk of change, isn’t it? A chunk of change that is not in your pocket. This is the real damage of the digital tsunami. And it’s left a waterline on your quarterly report.
Giving is Getting
According to Richardson, “…an astounding 73% of buyers don’t think salespeople understand their company’s needs. For sales professionals to overcome these challenges, they need to develop the skills to better understand their customers from a business perspective.” Which makes one think that the first order of action for salespeople is to become more knowledgeable about the issues that buyers face.
However, even if a sales team does educate themselves by doing their research, asking the right questions, etc., it’s all for nothing if they don’t have a tool to actually reach those prospects and deliver their insights. That’s where gifts come in.
Gifts activate an entirely different brain mechanism in the prospect, opening up the lucrative law of reciprocity. The idea is simple, if someone gets a gift, they are more likely to give one back. A box of cool swag, a personalized letter, or a gift card all trigger this behavior. The more genuine the gift, the more likely it is to work. In sales, this means the prospect is more likely to return your missed calls and emails.
Gifts Get the Job Done
Let’s say you met a prospect at an event where you made a strong connection but he isn’t the decision maker. Even so, he’s into your solution and wants to advocate on your behalf. He even gave you the right contact info.
But we all know that getting in front of the decision maker is easier said than done, even if you have their contact info in hand. If you send her a thoughtful gift with a note to introduce yourself that says you were given her name by her colleague, Arnold, she’s going to look out for your follow up.
Stand Out or Be Ignored
The Richardson Study points out how, “The selling landscape has been forever changed by rapid technology development and highly connected global marketplaces in which commoditization can happen almost instantaneously.”
They couldn’t have hit the nail more on the head.
While your prospects may view product choice as simply pulling the cheapest one down off the shelf, the truth is those products aren’t created equally. If you can’t stand up your product on price alone, let great customer service set you apart. But how do you get your foot in the door to talk about why your service is so great?
Seeing as there are 2,476,148 emails sent every second, that particular avenue isn’t your best bet. You’ve got to show them.
Get off to a great start by sending prospects a personal gift—the package alone is a testament that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make their experience extraordinary, while breaking through all the digital noise.
Win Customer Loyalty
The best sales cycles are those that don’t come to an end. You work hard to obtain new customers, and nurturing them long after their first purchase is key to a healthy customer lifetime value. Richardson advises a few ways of doing so, and states that, “Because of the hurdles in acquiring new customers, sales organizations need to focus on the tools, processes, and resources needed to not only satisfy customers but to exceed expectations. This may mean changes in organizational structure, such as freeing up account managers’ time to focus solely on managing existing accounts.”
While dedicated customer success teams are great, tactics like gifting let you exceed expectations without having to change your entire organizational structure. Sending something as simple as a welcome gift to kick off the new relationship, or an appreciation package that recognizes a milestone can go a long way to create brand loyalty.