Imagine a sales professional is granted one customer for the entire year. Who does she select? Is it the market leader? The prospect with the biggest budget? The deal where she has invested the most time and energy? No. No. No. Select the customer that has the most influence! If business development success is determined by generating the most money for the sales professional, then that one customer must deliver the most income. That customer will buy, then influence followers, competitors, and admirers to do the same. Their story matters. Essentially, select the customer whose proven leadership will result in the sales professional’s greatest personal income.
Sales success demands hard work. Nothing substitutes for vetting prospects, discovering explicit needs, and fulfilling resultant wants. Fortunes are made when professionals satisfy customers’ desires with solutions they sale, then replicate the process repeatedly. Efficiently replicating the process of delivering solutions separates sales superstars from mere mortals. The more effectively prospects are profiled and satisfied with replicated solutions, the more sales result from the same amount of effort.
Referrals drive that dynamic. Communicating a positive reputation through satisfied customers directly results in more referrals and increased sales volume. Consequently, selective selling delivers superior results when the most influential referral sources explicitly or implicitly endorse a specific product or service. Intentionally cultivating relationships through superior performance and service subsequently maximizes the most profitable returns for savvy, selective sales professionals.
Sales professionals who thoroughly and relentlessly understand the priorities of their target market’s leaders earn superior insight into better growth prospects. Identifying profitable niches, earning recognition as an expert, consistently delivering superior solutions, undoubtedly requires hard work. But, so does mindlessly knocking door to door seeking opportunities to book meetings and do demonstrations. Nevertheless, niche development processes deliver superior results because they more efficiently leverage proven success tactics. Such targeted niche development practices feature recruiting market leaders as advocates for the individual sales professional and their specific solutions. Niche knowledge and leadership quickly forge connections that build sustainable advantages.
The aspiring sales superstar separates from the competition by intentionally cultivating trust that translates into strong endorsements. Industry leader endorsements clearly open doors to better prospects, but they also result in speaking engagements, content followers, industry panels, and event invitations to connect with additional leaders. Consequently, success breeds further success. Service more industry leaders with excellence so that the reputation effectively markets, and subsequently sells, in their stratosphere.
Common wisdom states, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Progressive winners realize, “It’s not who you know; it’s who knows you!” Selective selling generates success because credibility and endorsements from established leaders reduces sales cycles. Great influencers learned to avoid wasting time long ago. Consequently, their trust carries weight with followers and peers. Start planting seeds to access this success level by targeting leaders that will become advocates. Developing superior professional relationships while simultaneously building sales volume is demanding and competitive. But if success was easy, then everyone would simply grab it with their morning coffee. Outwork the competition by strategically accessing decision makers quicker, thus abbreviating sales cycles. Select influencers whose storytelling includes identifying profitable business opportunities. Then, service them so that they really want to be genuine advocates.
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC