As we close the book on 2012 and turn to 2013, it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions. Personal goals are easy—exercising, spending more time with family, or learning something new to name a few—but what will you do differently in your daily sales efforts?
The resolution that can change everything: pay attention to how you communicate in writing
Nobody is perfect. Even the sales rock stars had a few big prospects they failed to close in 2012. But why exactly did those sales fall through? Was it a weak proposal or a poorly written message that bungled a critical step forward? Though we might recognize many of our bad habits (hello chocolate), we are often less aware of our bad writing habits.
Here are five easy New Year’s resolutions to increase your sales success in 2013:
- Take the time to analyze your audience’s needs.
This is the most important advice we can offer, and it is never more important than when you are in sales mode. If you target your prospect’s particular needs, your attentiveness will wow them. Don’t do a bag dive—throwing every feature at them to see what sticks is a huge no-no. Your prospects will feel like just another number in your company’s plan to maximize profit.
- Stress your Customer Value Proposition (CVP).
Highlight your product’s key solutions for your prospect’s business strategy execution. Do your homework—what product do you have that can solve their particular challenges? Articulate this solution clearly; your customers won’t have time to read in between the lines or analyze your product on their own.
- Use reader-centered language.
Use “you” language to show that you understand the customer’s point of view. Generic bragging about your company is a red flag to any customer. Terms like “we specialize,” “our products,” and “my company” fail to recognize your customer as the important one and can cool off a sale quickly.
- Write authentically with empathy and warmth.
Don’t talk to clients like they are your best friends, because you have not yet earned the right. Likewise, if you try to sound overly formal and intelligent, your message will come off as disingenuous and confusing. Write personably and professionally—be yourself.
- Use an attention-grabbing subject line.
According to sales expert Jill Konrath, 2.7 seconds is all the time you have to capture a reader’s attention. Make that prospect want to open your e-mail with an effective subject line that
- is brief and relevant
- intrigues your reader
- feels personalized—no one wants to read a template.
These five resolutions are simple steps that you can take to accomplish one incredibly important goal when it comes to successful sales—building strong relationships. People do business with people they like. If you focus on your prospects’ needs and adopt a personable tone, your sales can skyrocket in 2013!