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There are moments in a B2B salesperson’s line of work where you smile to yourself, shake your head with disbelief and think, “I can’t believe that’s what finally put us over the line!”. You regale tales to your junior team members, watching their eyes pop and jaws drop, as they take mental notes for their future prospects. Despite all your sophisticated sales enablement processes, it was something slightly inane that sealed the deal.
We recently held a sales meeting where an agenda item was the most outrageous ways that the team have closed deals – either at IRD or in previous roles. Unsurprisingly, the stories highlight a finessed human touch, with true insights around connecting with others. Let’s take a look at our surprising team tales.
A daily hit of country and western lyrics
“I once had a chap that was dithering over signing on the dotted line …. and as we’d developed a terrific rapport, I said I’d send him country and western lyrics every morning by email until he’d signed off. This kept me top of mind each morning and it also further developed our relationship … it remained serious, but there was a lighter side to it all. Each day it had the client (which remains one of our largest/longest) in stitches.”
Incorporating this kind of strategy into your repertoire is as simple as picking up on subtle cues about people’s interests. Do they have a unique quote in their email signature? Those pictures in their office offer up any clues? Always wear a certain brand of tie? When you pick up on often unnoticed personal quirks that people feel is the “real them” – away from their work lives – you tap into something special.
Cracking a footy joke
“I wanted to reconnect with a client I hadn’t spoken to in a while, so composed an email: ‘Hi there, I was just thinking that it feels like the last time we spoke was when Royce Simmons was lifting the Winfield Cup! (and I inserted the appropriate image as a screenshot). Would there be a convenient time in the not too distant future that we could discuss your new business needs?’ We won the business, based on my footy reference – that picture was from 1991!”
Tap into the footy frenzy – us Aussies are footy mad, whether it’s Rugby League in Sydney, or AFL in Perth. According to Roy Morgan research, 44.5% of the population watch the AFL grand final and 34.5% watch the NRL grand final (no mean feat, considering it’s the preferred footy code in just QLD and NSW, according to the Barassi line). Hedge your bets on a football reference (funny or otherwise!) of your State’s preferred code and see where it leads…
“I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a big fan of checking out potential clients’ Instagram pages. One such person had a feed full of beautiful, exotic locations, and plenty of sunrises and sunsets. I took a leap of faith and asked her if we could catch up for an early morning breakfast meeting at Bondi. She accepted and the morning was a success… witnessing an amazing sunrise with some clean eats, great coffee, and enlightening chat. I’m fairly sure that it was that sunrise that made all the difference in closing the deal.”
Pick up hints about potential clients’ favourite backdrops, whether it’s through social media, networking, or the lock screen on their phone or laptop. Arrange meetings, host events, and take your prospects to where they would rather be. Hint: It’s not always dropping by their office or taking them out to a boutique pub lunch.
Great salespeople can reach stratospheric heights with the right systems in place supporting them – getting better leads, closing more deals, and creating longer lasting relationships. Our products help you do just that. Ask us for more info about how we can help maximise efficiency and bring in more revenue – both for you and your company.
About the Author
CEO and Managing Director, IRD Group (Information Resource Development)
With more than 20 years in the industry, Matt is responsible for the vision and operation of the IRD group. What gets Matt out of bed? The knowledge that IRD is empowering and motivating our subscribers, and genuinely contributing to their commercial success.