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.

Why customer support problems are the best sales opportunity ever

Why customer support problems are the best sales opportunity ever

Customers with a complaint can turn into your most loyal advocates.  They will probably become repeat buyers and will generate more sales for you than you can measure.   How can I say that?

  1. People remember a good experience
  2. Any customer interaction is a chance to upsell
  3. A customer support issue is an opportunity to stay in touch
  4. Your marketing can be adjusted to the requirements of your buyers because you know what they want!

 

But let’s face it – it’s a challenge to turn them around.   Nobody enjoys having to deal with a frustrated caller.  Let’s be honest, some people are downright rude when they speak to a customer support representative.  Possibly callers are even more upset nowadays because they have probably tried all the self-help options available and haven’t received the help they need. Here’s the thing – support bots simply don’t have that human touch or the ability to swing a negative into a positive experience for you clients.   I find chatbots and call-centre options highly frustrating….

Don’t overlook the value which problem solving brings to your business.  You can turn a frustrated customer into your most loyal supporter by using these simple techniques:

 

Listen

Listening is probably the most effective way of building a good relationship.   It’s getting the know the person you are speaking to and letting them know that you are taking them seriously.   People feel valued and respected when they can express themselves.

 

Acknowledge that there is a problem

Even if the customer has unrealistic expectations, if they are unhappy with your product or service there is a problem!  Sometimes by the time they speak to you the problem is simply irritation because they have an enquiry which hasn’t been answered by the FAQs on your website.  Or they have tried and tried to troubleshoot, and the support bot has started referring them back to those same FAQs repeatedly.    I know this has happened to me, and yes – it is highly irritating.

Stick to the old adage “the customer is always right”.

 

Empathise

Empathy shows that you really understand.  This is how good relationships are built.    It’s also the communication technique which is most effective in business communication.

 

A little humour

If you feel humour is appropriate, you can lighten the situation immediately.   But it’s important to assess whether your caller will be receptive to a little joke or shares your sense of humour.

 

Thank your customer

Your business actually benefits from every issue which is brought to your attention.   It gives you the information you need to improve.  It identifies where a solution is needed.

You can also learn what messaging to use in outbound communication, such as social media posts and information provided on your website and those dreaded FAQs.   Letting your customers know that a problem has been identified and a solution is in progress can ensure that they’re willing to wait instead of looking for a similar product or service.

 

Follow up

Take the opportunity to strengthen your relationships and remind the customer that you care.  This is how you turn a complainer into a supporter and advocate who will give you a good review.

 

Seize the moment

Your customer may be dissatisfied because the product or service does not offer the functionality they need.   There will never be a better time to increase the bottom line than when you have identified a need which you can fulfil.

Of course, this is not always the case, but this is also the time when you can show that your business puts the customer first, values their business and respects their needs.

Customers remember a business that goes the extra mile to solve their problems.   Show that you always put the customer first and the rewards will follow.

 

Photo by Jopwell from Pexels