4. Stage 1 - Open the sale

  1. Always ask your customers to refer you to a friend/associate. Reference selling is THE best way “in”.

  2. When approaching a prospect, always start by emailing the CEO/CFO. Keep your email short (ONE sentence).

  3. If you're trying to reach a contact by phone, NEVER leave a voice mail. Call early morning and evening.

  4. Use all sorts of media to grab the attention of your contact, i.e. personalised YouTube videos, LinkedIn, and short, well crafted letters.

  5. It's NOT about your product – it's about your customer's needs, which you don't know at this point.

  6. Build strategic relationships with your vendors, as they are a great source of leads.

  7. To bypass the “switchboard police” change the last digit on the main phone number - then ask to be re-routed.

  8. Do the thinking for your customer – if you know how you can help but your contact is struggling to make the connection, tell them.

  9. Use relevant case studies as often as possible – case studies are a very effective reference selling tool.

  10. Follow your prospects on Twitter and LinkedIn – you will pick up hooks and be able to have more meaningful conversations.

  11. Always link your offering to the personal and company drivers of your prospect. It's always about them, not about you.

  12. ### TOP TIP ### Keep your written communications SHORT and leave your prospect wanting more. Short.

  13. Know who's currently supplying your prospect then move quickly off the back of any negative news about them.

  14. If your solution uses a financing vehicle, qualify when the current finance ends and time your approach accordingly.

  15. Update your LinkedIn “status” then Link to your prospect – when they accept, they will see your updated & relevant status.

  16. Position yourself as an expert, not a generalist “Account Manager”. Reference similar companies you've worked with.

  17. Don't be worried about being pigeon-holed – “If you only remember me for one thing, remember me for XXX”.

  18. Always be passionate: Every day, in every way, in every thing you do, with every one you meet.

  19. Always have something to talk about. There's no point in connecting with a prospect and being tongue-tied.

  20. To help you clarify “Why me?” ask yourself “So what?” 3 times after each reason you THINK people should buy from you.