In this article, leading Sales Expert Andy Preston explains 7 simple ways that enable you to get (and stay) ahead of your competitors throughout 2018….. along with what you need to be doing to stop your customers from going to your competitors.
Andy explains that whenever he is talking to salespeople or business owners, a question he’s often asked is ‘Andy, how can I ensure I stay ahead of my competitors?’ So Andy gave Unique Speaker Bureau the 7 TOP tips that you can implement NOW to ensure that you stay ahead of your competition for 2018 and beyond!….
Andy’s Sales Tip Number 1 – ‘Ringfence’ All Your Existing Accounts
If you want to get ahead (and stay ahead) of your competitors in 2018, the very first thing you need to do is ‘ringfence’ all your existing customers. Companies are looking to replace lost revenue and profitability through acquiring new business – and some of the ‘new business’ your competitors are targeting will include your existing accounts!
As complacency increases amongst salespeople and companies as a whole, they’ve tended to neglect existing accounts – and those are now the ones that have been taken by their competitors, or the ones most at risk.
What are your relationships like with your existing accounts? What about the
ones you haven’t spoken to for a while? The ones you don’t get on as well with? Would they tell you if a competitor had been in? And if they did, would you retain the business at the same
price, or would you have to ‘price match’ to keep it?
Andy’s Sales Tip Number 2 – Focus Your Prospecting
The quality of your prospecting will be one of the biggest factors in how successful you are (or not) in 2018. As an individual in sales, you are asked to do more and more, therefore it’s VITAL that the time you spend prospecting is time well-spent.
Saleswoman Juggling Upcoming Activities & Tasks. That means you knowing who is a good prospect for you. Most people THINK that they know. But most times they don’t. They’ll say things like ‘anyone who needs printing’, or ‘anyone who wants a new mobile phone’, or even worse – ‘any small business’. Andy explains “That’s a BIG sign” that they haven’t really got a clue! they did? What was it that made
them buy from you and your company, rather than going to someone else – like your biggest competitor?
Then look for ‘commonalities’ or ‘patterns’ in why (and when) they bought. That will start to give you some ideas on what you need to look for in other prospects too!
Andy’s Sales Tip Number 3 – Become A ‘Valued Resource’
Some of the best salespeople I know are a ‘valued resource’ for their clients. They’re someone whose opinion their clients respect. They’re someone their clients turn to first to get information about purchasing decisions – either now or in the future. They’re someone that has a high level of credibility and clients trust their opinions and advice.
Not all salespeople get to this position however! A lot of salespeople complain that their clients ignore their ‘advice’. That they don’t listen. That they don’t take their calls or see them when they ‘pop in’. All signs that your clients don’t see you as a valued resource!
In order to be seen as a valued resource, you have to earn it. You have to give value first. You have to get updated on industry trends, technological advancements and understand the impact that these could have on your client’s business. You have to have the capabilities of holding a business conversation with the level of decision makers you’re meeting. Invest the time to do things like this, and it will pay you back tenfold!
Andy’s Sales Tip Number 4 – Plan Your ‘Attack’
Plan Your Sales Strategy. One of the best ways to get ahead of the competition in 2018 is to get some of their customers off them! This is a great way of distracting them from their own ‘new business’ efforts (so also helps you potentially ‘defend’ your own existing customers), plus it’s a great motivational factor for you and your team when you successfully win business at your competitor’s expense!
In order to have the best chance of success, if you’re in field sales why not ‘map out’ competitors accounts in
your territory? Who they’re
working with and where they are? Then create a call plan for getting into see them, and focus on winning their business.
If you’re in internal sales, make notes on the prospects that are currently using your competition, then filter the data by competitor’s name. Then you can create a phone campaign designed specifically to convert their customers to your customers instead! Experience shows that dedicated and focused approaches like those above have a far better chance of success – and also put a big ‘dent’ in your competitor’s motivation at the same time!
Andy’s Sales Tip Number 5 – Increase Your Activity
Now, once you’ve targeted your prospecting, the next thing you need to do is crank up the ‘volume’. If you’ve seen Andy or worked with him before, you’ll know he’s a big fan of a high level of activity – as long as that activity is good quality of course and is done with the right mindset!
One of the biggest reasons for this is that the more deals you have in your ‘pipeline’, the more you can afford to lose! If you only have just enough in your pipeline to hit your targets (or close to), then you’re always going to be struggling as you’ll be counting on every deal converting, and it’s devastating to you when any of them ‘drop out’.
Andy’s Sales Tip Number 6 – Develop CONSISTENT Motivation
We all know that motivation is important for a salesperson. But it’s the salesperson’s ability to be CONSISTENTLY motivated that will help them stand out from the rest, and stay ahead of their competition in 2018.
This is something Andy talks about a lot when he’s working to improve motivation levels within sales teams all over the world. In order to be motivated on a consistent basis, the salesperson has to take charge of their own motivation, rather than waiting for other people to do it for them.
They need to have compelling reasons for doing what they do. In particular the ‘tougher’ parts of their role – like cold calling, canvassing, or the things they like doing the least! Without a compelling reason, they’re less likely to get the results!
Andy’s Sales Tip Number 7 – Sharpen Your Sales Skills
If you truly want to stay ahead of your competition in 2018, you’ll need to sharpen your sales skills. This means getting up-to-date, relevant sales tips and advice from trusted sources.
If you get some internal training at your company, great! If your company invests in bringing an external trainer or motivator to help you improve, even better!
However, you don’t have to spend money to keep your sales skills updated – plenty of articles like this one are free of charge, there are various audios around that are free or low-cost, and there are plenty of seminars you can attend without spending a fortune – just make sure you put into practice what you learn.
Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar! On behalf of Andy Preston at Unique Speaker Bureau we look forward to seeing you stay ahead of your competition in 2018!
Sales Motivational Speaker and Sales Trainer at Andy Preston
Andy Preston is a top International Sales Motivational Speaker, Sales Influencer and Master Sales Trainer.
Named as one of the World’s Top Sales Gurus, Andy creates ‘Stand Out Salespeople’ worldwide, with his revolutionary ‘Stand Out Selling’ Sales System. ‘Stand Out Selling’ helps salespeople stand out from their competition, win more business, and do so at higher prices!
Previously a trained Professional Buyer, then the Top Salesperson in the UK, Andy Preston has now trained more than 120,000 Salespeople, in more than 30 countries, on 6 continents, since 2004!
Andy is best known for his work in 5 specific areas…
1) Prospecting/Cold Calling/Business Development
2) Converting Incoming Sales Leads
3) Consultative Selling and Pipeline Management
4) Standing Out From The Competition
5) Helping Salespeople Close More Deals
Contact Andy at www.andypreston.com
This article is copyright Andy Preston 2004-2018.