Managing director of Vincent Consulting
The new sales year is on us. The targets and budget clocks are reset. We are at the starting blocks and it’s too late to turn back. Expectations are set and we must now perform.
I recall the famous quote by Henry Ford, “If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you have always got”.
We can take from this that if the expectations are higher, we must change our patterns of behaviour, change our attitudes, and change our methods to achieve those higher expectations.
I suspect this new financial year’s trading will be significantly harder and only the best will be happy with their results. The proposed fuel cost increases are just one factor that will impact on us all.
We must look instead at adding significant and tangible value to our clients. We must have mind sets that serve our own companies and those we serve.
New thinking will be required, as well as new sales skills in listening, consultation, customer service, negotiation, value added selling, and strategy processes.
This year it will be more important than ever to arm our teams with and assist them to hone the skill sets to succeed. We must also be effective leaders demonstrating strong, innovative leadership, consistency, honesty, proactivity, support and encouragement, and good ethical behaviour.
In respect of your product and service offering, it is timely to reconsider your USP (unique selling proposition). Do you have one? What is it?
Invest some time to rank yourself against your competition and understand the characteristics that your customers want and value. Identify where you rank well and where you need improvement.
Your USP could come from any number of attributes including: price, quality, range of product or services, publications quality, website, ease of ordering, on-time delivery, reliability or most importantly, added value.
Can you save your client money by reducing their inventory, saving them employment costs, reducing their asset base, perhaps by using your capabilities or saving them time? Time after all is money. This is added value.
There are many ways we can create a USP that will set us apart, set us up as the market leader and become suppliers of choice to our clients. I encourage you to reflect on this as you enter the year ahead. A prosperous year just doesn’t happen on its own. Winning at sales is a choice. We choose to win or lose and once you choose, you become the sales person you have decided to be.
Your success depends on enjoying a positive market share, holding and gaining customers through adding value and having a strong USP, increased turnover, higher profits, expansion, and advancement.