I start most of my days like you. I hit the snooze button on my alarm and lay semi-awake thinking about all the things I should be doing. Then, 20 minutes later (where did the time go?!), I autopilot my way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. While I sip my caffeine, I scan the news to see what I’ve missed overnight. I recently discovered a new perspective on the inordinate amount of time I spend reading the news each morning.
Most news stories innately hold a sales lesson. In short, reading the news can increase sales.
Here are three news stories and an accompanying sales takeaway.
When the Brooklyn Museum of Art discovered that a third of items in their Egyptian sculpture collection were fake, they found a way to create value for their patrons by putting them on display. In sales, it’s essential to create and articulate value for your leads and prospects.
… the transactional aspects of sales are disappearing. When routine functions can be automated, and when customers and prospects often have as much data as the saleswoman herself, the skills that matter most are heuristic: Curating and interpreting information instead of merely dispensing it. Identifying new problems along with solving established ones. Selling insights rather than items.
What value are you providing to your potential customers? Is it unique enough to cut through the noise?
As Buzzfeed explains, “when you type a Facebook status, suggestions are made to auto-tag other users. When you start typing “grandma”, it often suggests tagging the seminal hip-hop artist Grandmaster Flash.” The result looks something like this:
Happy Birthday, Abby! Have a wonderful day sweetheart. – Love, Grandmaster Flash
Take a moment to think about why this is happening. It’s because some Facebook users are signing their names to a post – just like they would in a letter.
We sometimes need to make assumptions in sales about the tools and processes of our leads and prospects, but it’s important to ensure we share the same understanding of how they are being used. Taking action, like segmenting our buyers, allows us to predict the behaviors and characteristics of buyers with some degree of certainty. Understanding both the proficiencies and limitations of each buyer segments enables us to more meaningfully connect with leads and prospects.
It took thirteen years for this woman to find the owner of the photo. Thirteen years. Her dogged persistence resulted in an exceptionally gratifying ending – the woman not only found the photo’s owner, but also received confirmation that all six people in the photograph were alive.
Spend some time reviewing each of your successful closes and you’ll probably notice that many of them have one thing in common: persistence. Conversely, can any past missed opportunities be contributed to a lack of perseverance? Note how you navigated both successes and disappointing outcomes and whether or not you maintained momentum throughout the sales process. Identify what went right and how you influenced that. Understanding how and why you were successful increases the likelihood of repeating that success.
There’s a lot of news out there, but it’s worth taking the time to appreciate the implications of a few each day. Doing so can help you draw noteworthy conclusions about human behavior and inform your efforts to successfully engage with prospects. So, tomorrow morning give yourself a few extra minutes with that cup of coffee while you read the news.