What Will You Bring to the New Year? Hopefully, Some Lessons from the Old Year!

It’s 2022 and I know it’s going to be a good year! Salespeople – let’s bring everything we’ve learned from the last 2 crazy years and use it to make 2022 our best year ever.  Here’s how…

By Tracy Larson

Happy New Year! I have my fingers crossed that it’s a good one; hoping it can’t get crazier than the last two!  (2022 – don’t take that as a challenge, please.)

The ever-evolving pandemic landscape has forced us to think differently about so many things, including how to run our businesses. We’ve had to reconsider how we connect with prospects, how we sell, and how we deliver.

Some in sales decided it was time to get out, to forge a new career path, or retire. However, in the security industry, many not only chose to stay and continue doing what we’re good at, we found ourselves overwhelmed by new opportunities due to the pandemic.  Finding alternative ways to sell successfully, while facing new challenges has changed us for the better.  To me, this characteristic of accepting change, looking from different perspectives, and enacting new strategies is key to being a great salesperson.

As we continue to ride the COVID rollercoaster many of us feel we are better prepared to handle its unexpected bumps and curves! Salespeople are a resilient bunch. If anything, the challenges we have faced have taught us to be more flexible and adaptable. We have learned new ways of working and selling. 2022 will be the year to go for it, a fresh opportunity to put new skills, attitudes, and energy in action for our best success. 

Which leads me to ask: what are your overarching goals for this year? Of course, we all want to sell more, but how about digging a little deeper? For 2022, consider making one of your goals related to sales-improvement. How can you be a better salesperson?

Here are some ideas:

Listen more. Good salespeople are curious. We ask a lot of questions and observe well. In 2022, pledge to become an even better listener for your prospects and customers.  Listening is always a skill we can improve.  Listening leads to better strategy, to truly understanding the solutions needed and how you can best support customer specific needs.

To improve your listening skills, engage your CRM. Putting your thoughts about opportunities into centralized sales software helps you to recognized and develop the best strategies for your leads and accounts. Using technology to sell technology not only saves you time and improves profitability, it reinforces the message that you and your company are the right team to do business with.

Collaboration is what buyers are looking for. Better listening during a sales call leads to higher levels of collaboration with prospects. Finding the solution right for them takes your sales skills to a new level.

Prospects often know quite a bit before talking with you. Listening will help you uncover this.  Changing from the typical sales behavior of “telling” and instead, collaborating is refreshing. Use a digital site survey and design tool to select and locate system devices from a centralized parts database.  The estimate builds automatically providing immediate insight into investment. Spend your time helping customers to visualize, build, and confirm the solution right for them. Collaboration leads to deeper and more fruitful relationships.

Finally, be receptive to what you hear from others. Feedback doesn’t always come directly from a customer. Your colleagues and partners may have insights about you, your products, and services that customers or prospects haven’t shared. Listening better may not only help you to sell more, it leads to more satisfied customers, who will help grow your sales through loyalty and new sales referrals.

Be more flexible. The past two years have taught us to meet our customers on their terms. Not all sales calls need to be in person. Be sensitive to your prospects’ preferences, and you’ll open more doors. For some, an in-person meeting builds trust, is perceived as more personal, and often the better path for certain projects. For others, in person meetings may be inconvenient and less efficient. Fortunately, there are sales tools available to make presentation and collaboration during sales just as effective, whether you’re on-site or meeting via a web call.  In sales, flexibility is a key to success.

You may consider providing solution and pricing options to help prospects to meet their solution and investment goals. Creating options easily using sales estimating software enables you to price and track what is being considered.  Furthermore, when your customer is ready with a decision, emailing the final sales digital paperwork is a cinch.

Another way to be more flexible is to rethink how you provide payment options. For example, WeSuite’s new integration with DealerAlly can provide turn-key consumer financing during the sales process!  Making it easy for residential customers to invest in the solutions they want while minimizing any financial risk to your company, is a great way to demonstrate sales flexibility.

Find common ground. A pandemic paradox is that while COVID made us feel socially and physically isolated in many ways, it also exposed our shared humanity – allowing others to see parts of our lives that had previously been considered private. We introduced our pets and children on Zoom calls, saw what each other’s homes look like, exposed our gray hairs, and commiserated (and laughed) about shared struggles, from finding toilet paper to homeschooling. Despite our inability to meet in person, we connected with each other more deeply and personally than ever before. 

When customers trust that we understand them and realize that we’re worried about the same things they are, it’s an opening for more effective sales conversations. We can convincingly discuss their challenges within a framework of how we can solve them together. As life, and sales, hopefully return to a more “normal” state in 2022, and we “normalize” to our evolving surroundings, let’s not forget this valuable lesson. 

As you get out there and go for it in 2022, remember that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!  We are grateful that the security industry has weathered the pandemic years better than most.  Get out there with the “we’ve got this” attitude and put to good use all that you have learned.  Resolve to be a solutions-oriented, win-win, sales person and I bet, your 2022 goals will be achieved.

What are your sales resolutions? Please share!

Comments

  1. Samantha Perry
    Tim Meekin February 16, 2022 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Tracy, Thank you for the inspiration to make 2022 the best year ever! My first Sales Manger, in a galaxy far far away, told me I have two ears and one mouth so it is only logical that I should listen at least 2X as much as I speak – I think your listening and collaboration comments are spot on. Gold medals to all that provide sincere empathy and kindness too. I’m confident your 2022 will be amazing. Happy Selling! Tim

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