The buyer-seller relationship in the engineering and construction industry has evolved considerably over the past 20 years. Access to key decision-makers is more limited and infrequent. This was further complicated by business shutdowns during the Covid 19 pandemic which forced the shift from in-person to virtual meetings.
With less customer facetime, sales professionals must find new ways to engage customers. Top performers already know they must match their sales activity to their customer’s procurement practices and information gathering needs.
While the sales channels and processes may have evolved, customers still expect to engage, interact, and transact with suppliers. Understanding customers needs and leading them to sound decisions is still the favored sales approach.
Here are three sales fundamentals that will help you navigate the shift to digital selling.
1. Multi-Channel Communications
We are deluged by information each day from a variety of sources. Consider a buyer in the world of information overload. Shrinking attention spans, reduced memory, and information coming from a large pool of suppliers makes it harder than ever for the seller to do his/her job.
Face-to-face sales meetings gave us the ability to communicate and connect in more memorable and meaningful ways. Many salespeople know how to make an entrance and energize a room full of strangers by their very presence. Today, it’s impossible to command the room, because there is no room!
Embrace a multi-channel approach and master effective communication by phone, video conference, email, text, social media, and in person. The more channels you use, the more you will be able to connect with and be remembered by customers.
2. Relentless Focus
Think about the last meeting you were in. How many times did you look at your phone? What about the others? According to ZD Net, Americans spend a little more than 5 hours using their mobile phones each day. So not only do you meet less frequently, but the precious time you do share is compromised.
Put your phone away and pay close attention to your client. Observe their behaviors and surroundings. Listen intently and ask relevant questions so that you understand their priorities. Try to uncover gaps in their knowledge or understanding and fill them. Continue to make them feel respected, heard, and understood through other communication channels.
Where is the customer in the buying cycle? If it’s early in the process, you might gain further consideration by sharing thought leadership or subject matter expert content and customer success stories. Ask high-level questions to lead your customer with unique insight that you have. As the customer progresses in the buying process, continue to advise, and educate at all steps of the buying journey. This will enable customers make small decisions that will lead to big decisions in your favor.
3. Contagious Confidence
A confident, sincere, and logical salesperson inspires certainty in customers and helps them make good decisions. Top performing sellers know that they must lead and guide customers through the decision-making process. decisions. Arm the customer with information and insights that increase their confidence and provide a factual basis for a decision that might be questioned by others in their organization.
The number one reason sales don’t close is no decision. Most buyers are fearful of making a mistake or looking foolish to their employers. They lack the confidence to move forward, which causes delays. Eventually, the opportunity just disappears. You can help clients avoid these costly delays by summarizing information into a few key talking points that are easy to understand and remember. Make sure they have all the options clearly defined and include your own thoughtful recommendations.
We are always changing and adapting to emerging trends and technology and to new buyer expectations. Top performing sellers have always understood their role in helping buyers overcome their fears and make sound business decisions.
I have coached and trained dozens of top performing sales professionals in the AEC industry. If you are looking to improve your win rate, let’s talk. Click here to schedule a complimentary meeting.