The joy of closing my first deal at a new job

The joy of closing my first deal at a new job

Working in the sales environment can be one of the most demanding, rewarding and thrilling workspaces out there. As a salesperson, I do not think that there is anything quite like closing your first deal. Then there is the same customer reordering within a few weeks of their first deal.

The pleasure and stress of joining a new company as a sales consultant can be daunting. Especially when the company is a start-up business in America, and you must virtually create a whole new client base, with the added pressure of achieving sales targets or making any sales at all. When one’s experience is predominantly based on face to face direct sales, adapting to a virtual sales strategy can be challenging, let alone entering an entirely new industry. It can pull at the strings of your self-esteem and capabilities as an experienced salesperson. The timeline of joining a company is always crucial because the longer it takes to close a deal, the less confidence your new employer has in your capacity to be a successful salesperson.

This is exactly how I felt a little over month into my new role, having not closed a single sale for the company. After 6 weeks of nothing, and getting used to the American accent, cultural differences, and colloquialisms, dealing with clients from another country. I began to doubt myself. My self-confidence was shaken. I started to question my experience, and whether I was indeed a good fit for the position. Any salesperson with tell you that having thick skin is a part of the game, but even the toughest salespeople have their outer exterior scathed every now and then.

 

First sale

Nevertheless, like all things in life, it is always darkest before the dawn. Finally, my first lead was easily and quickly closed. It was a small order of 75 units but well enough to give me the boost I needed to push myself even harder. Which also came with a pat on the back from my COO. That, for me, is always a great motivator.

 

Second sale

Then, within the next few days, a second lead of mine closed. A modest 25 units, but still an order. The most vital thing that came out of my second order was a positive review. The client positively praised me on my sales etiquette to one of the business partners.

Another win!

 

Third sale

Staying on my winning streak, after weeks of running email campaigns targeted at various industries, a positive response from one of my email campaigns for a much more substantial order of 250 units.

Two wins here, one from a successful email campaign and my largest order so far.

 

Valuable lessons learned

The important lessons I have learned from my recent achievements:

  • The first is always stay hungry and to stay motivated, even when the initial results show otherwise. Hard work and perseverance never go unnoticed.
  • The second lesson is from my COO, which is to not to be afraid to ask for referrals from clients.

 

As salespeople, we tend to want to achieve results on our own accord, but there is no harm in a little help from your client base.

 

The best way to emerge out of Covid-19? Generate more sales

The best way to emerge out of Covid-19? Generate more sales

Let’s not kid ourselves. This pandemic has ground the aspirations of most businesses to a halt or even forced some companies to shut their doors completely. Nobody could have foreseen the impact that Covid-19 has had on revenue – the lifeblood of most companies. Chances are unless you sell hand sanitiser or facemasks, your revenue has taken a knock too.

 

Putting out fires

When trying to put out fires at present, most businesses turn to reduce costs to survive and keep heads above water. These costs include reducing your workforce, cutting salaries, marketing budgets either kept to a minimum or even scrapped and in some cases working from home to cut out office rent. When the dust settles, however, the only thing that will be able to propel business performance forward is generating revenue and using that to regain momentum.

That is easier said than done of course. Most business owners or leaders are currently trying to hold the fort, multi-tasking, and trying to keep the ship steady. And let’s face it – finding new business in most industries is tough enough as it is. Many people are holding on to the money that they earn with the fear that things could get tougher. Therefore, spending their money on what is now is luxury in their eyes is a big no-no!

 

Free up your time

As the chief business winner in most cases, business owners and leaders should be doing everything they can to focus their energy on establishing new relationships and closing deals. But they face many distractions from that at this moment in time. Dealing with HR issues, finance, and other critical business areas, let alone the restrictions in place from the government. But none of these will fuel growth. Being able to free oneself from these distractions to be able to free up time and focus on sales is possibly the most critical business need.

 

How a virtual assistant will make the difference

Using a virtual assistant service is one such way to be able to do this, without the financial burden of taking on full-time staff too soon, when the road ahead of us is uncertain and inevitably lined with challenges. A VA can offer a range of skills and services, which can all be deployed at short notice on short term contracts, including administration, marketing, accounting, and various others.

  1. Here are some reasons why a virtual assistant is not a financial or HR burden:
    They are not a full-time employee, therefore you don’t have to worry about salaries or the benefits that one needs to provide to full-time staff.
  2. With the current pandemic we are facing, there may be months where a VA is not required as some projects may have come to an end or business is a bit slow. You would be able to have an agreement with your VA to use their services when required. The contract can be flexible.
  3. As the name says, your assistant is virtual, so you do not have to worry about office space or a laptop for them. They can plug in online as and when you need them.

Leverage an agile and scalable team to contribute to your business so that you can focus all your attention on generating sales!

Hiring a virtual assistant would help you achieve your goal.

Will Virtual Sales do as well as Direct Sales?

Will Virtual Sales do as well as Direct Sales?

The global pandemic has seen a dramatic increase in virtual sales, but there seems to be a continuous divide when it comes to developing sales strategies for the future.   Can we   return to the classic method of face-to-face direct sales as soon as circumstances allow,  or joining the revolution of going full virtual.    What should we plan for in the “new normal”?

This time last year, I was waking up at the crack of dawn to brace the Johannesburg morning rush to get to my first client meeting in Pretoria. Today, I am working virtually for an American company. My first Zoom meeting is at 3 p.m., which is 8 a.m. Central Time Zone in Tennessee. I have gone from meeting clients in person every day, to calling and emailing them. Building virtual relationships with the time difference has been quite an adjustment, but I am enjoying not having to sit in traffic for hours. As someone with experience on both sides, this is my take on the two strategies.

The way I distinguish virtual from direct sales would be, quality versus quantity.

 

Direct Sales – Quality

Direct sales would be the quality approach. The focus is on face-to-face interactions. The value of the relationship between business and client is heightened because of the personal bond created. The client’s trust is built on meetings where informal conversations can lead to a higher chance of client retention. Even if the number of clients reached is considerably lower, because of the time taken to build the relationship.

 

Virtual Sales – Quantity

Virtual sales would be the quantity approach due to the access to a larger spectrum of potential clients from various industries, and the ease of contact via electronic platforms i.e. email. It is a great way to determine which industries to target and eliminate the ones that do not bring in positive metrics or sales. However, maintaining good relationships with clients can be difficult because of not having the face-to-face factor, and managing a concentrated customer base can create a lower chance of client retention.

To further differentiate the two sales strategies, I will use the 4 A’s model: Acceptability, Accessibility, Affordability, Awareness, and the selling of sweaters as an example for each.

 

4 A’s Model

Direct Sales

  • Acceptability – Why should customers buy our sweaters? Are they priced according to the quality we are offering? This component can be used in the sales pitch to potential customers.
  • Accessibility – Ensuring the store is stocked up with sweaters and positioned where customers can easily see and reach them.
  • Affordability – Are our sweaters priced to attract our target markets? How are the sweaters priced against competitors at stores nearby?
  • Awareness – Can customers see that we sell sweaters in our store? Are they visible on mannequins in the display window? Do we have a sign?

Virtual Sales

  • Acceptability – Why should customers buy our sweaters? Are they priced according to the quality we are offering? This component can be used in the product title and description on the website.
  • Accessibility – Having a website that is easy to navigate, and mobile phone optimised, so customers can effortlessly buy sweaters from any device.
  • Affordability – Are our sweaters priced to attract the desired target markets? How are sweaters on competitors’ websites priced?
  • Awareness – An email campaign, targeted at a group of potential customers to inform them about our brand of sweaters.

We can see from this, that the mechanisms of the 4 A’s in both approaches often coincide and have similarities.

Adapting to the current climate and adopting a sales process that not only protects your team, but also grows your business, is essential.

A combined approach of both sales strategies based on your company’s goals and objectives, would, in my view, be the most beneficial in these uncertain times.