In an increasingly busy and overwhelming world, getting your customer's attention has never been more challenging.
Our attention spans are often shorter than that of a gold fish. (Fun fact: the attention span of a gold fish is roughly 9 seconds. Yah, ours is shorter.)
This is why, if you work in sales, being proactive has never been more crucial. You can no longer afford to wait for customers to walk in the door and come to you.
Here are 9 ways to be more proactive in your sales strategy.
There's no time for diddling and daddling.
Take notes on every new lead and customer you meet. Their names, their spouse's name, their kids names, what they do for work, where they like to travel, what brands they're wearing, etc.
It's not creepy. It's conversation. You can learn a lot about people just by treating them like a human being, and not a walking, talking wallet.
Create some processes and workflows to help you get, and keep, organized. It doesn't have to be complicated. Even a pencil and paper can work. So long as it works for you.
You should always be working towards something. How do you know what to do if you don't know where you're going? Set some personal targets for you to hit.
Do you struggle with a certain aspect of sales? Pick a specific component of that and work on improving it.
Hit a new personal best in sales last month? Congrats! Time to set a higher target for this month.
Always be improving. No matter what it is.
Every call you make. Every new lead you talk to. Every product a customer bought. Every product a customer talked about but didn't buy...
Information like this will prove invaluable in future interactions. It will provide actionable insight, help you prioritize your tasks, and track every stage of the sales process.
In order to do this, you need the right tools. Tools that simplify, streamline, and automate are what you should be looking for.
Go digging for data
By keeping track of everything you do, you'll be able to dig through that data later when it comes time to remember it.
You'll have built yourself a nice little database of searchable, actionable info that you can use to further your customer relationships.
Can't remember if your customer has two boys or one boy and a girl? Good thing you made a note of it when they first bought from you over a year ago.
Multi-tasking is not your friend. Schedule blocks of time to handle one specific task at a time.
(Pro tip: Always give yourself less time than you think you need. You'd be amazed how productive you can be when under the gun.)
Keep an eye on your competition
If you're not being proactive enough, you can certainly bet your competition is. Keep a close watch on what they're doing. What's working for them, and what's not.
Then, be better.
Think of yourself not just as a Retail Sales Rep, but as a Product Expert and Solution Provider. Your end goal is to build long-term customer relationships, and customers buy from people they trust.
In order to build that trust, you need to know your stuff.
You should be an expert on every product and service you sell. Be prepared to answer any question your customers have right on the spot.
While it's certainly OK to admit you don't know sometimes, constantly replying with "I'm not sure, let me go check for you." is not going to inspire a whole lot of confidence in your customers.
Iron sharpens iron
Practice with your team. Help each other improve. Test random sales scenarios on each other, and share best practices and strategies.
There's always something new to learn.
Make the most of that idle time
The store is empty. Now what?
That, my friend, is your time to shine.
Idle time shouldn't exist anymore. If you've applied all of the previous advice in this article, you should have a massive database of current and potential customers just begging for a message or phone call from you.
This isn't a simple list of Mr Smiths and Ms Does who bought something from you a few years ago and have long been forgotten.
These are all customers who are digitally extending a hand to you.
John's contract is about to expire in a couple of months, Vanessa is going over her data plan each month and could use some help optimizing it, and Frank is probably super interested in the latest Fitbit watch that just came out, considering he has a previous model from two years ago.
That's the power of being proactive in all of your sales strategies.
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