Here are 5 tips on getting better results in 2019.

  1. You’re human and so is the guy you’re trying to reach

In trying to sell tech and services to each other, we have put language and technology between us and then added time and distance. All four are the enemy of good communications, unless they are treated right. There is no easy fix, because if you knew you target’s linguistic, technical and timing preferences, then these would all serve you right. The best guidance is to consider all these factors when creating a communication. Are you using language that sounds like it was generated by a computer, and which, therefore, you would never use in normal conversation?

  1. You have something to say that no one else has thought of

Sure, I get that most people looking for a solution are typing in the same words and phrases into their search terms, and you want to get found, but if you are simply regurgitating what everyone else has fed you, then you are not going to get noticed. You know you have a unique view on what is going on in your world so it’s worth finding a way to get it across. After all, that’s why blogs were invented, although sadly, Marketing has got hold of them and turned many of them into, well, marketing.

  1. Winning new business depends on a common language

I’m a fan of NLP. No, not natural language processing, but Neuro Linguistic Programming. It is not a control weapon as some have suggested but a way to communicate effectively with people using their language, to get your point across. If your prospect says that her problem is like pushing rocks up a hill, then you stick with that analogy and NOT try to impose your own metaphor. You can ask, ‘what does that feel like?’ Not, ‘Yes, that problem does seem like herding cats.’ Adopting similar body posture also helps, but you may find, if you are a human being, that you do that naturally; unless the person you are selling to doesn’t like you, or you don’t like them.

  1. Keep it simple if you want to sell

The person you’re talking to right now isn’t listening. You think they are listening because you’re a nice guy and you’ve got loads of interesting stuff to say, but they’re not because you are probably rambling. There is no perfect answer to this, because the meeting you are having right now may be just a get to know you; your prospect is thinking – do I like this guy, do I trust them, why is he wearing that funny jacket, what was I meant to do this afternoon, I wonder if M&S still has those turkey sandwiches, why is he still talking? Or you may be into meeting number two, and talking about your solution, its value and its price, so keep it structured, concise and simple. No more small talk!

  1. Stop doing all the things that didn’t work this year

Corporate culture or the company rulebook may require you to sell in a certain way, but you may have noticed something about your best salesperson; they tend to do things their own way and get away with it because they are reaching or exceeding target. Believe me, that guy used to do everything by the book, until they realised it wasn’t working. Their maverick tendencies were probably born of frustration at how poorly the status quo was performing. Doing things your own way is highly liberating, because you get to be yourself. And in an age of Me Too, being yourself is going to really count for something.

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