I run a lot of sales workshops, mostly for bloggers attempting to build an income and diversify their revenue streams. Time and time again I am reminding people of one single thing that will make the biggest difference in their sales success.
It doesn’t matter WHAT you are trying to sell to someone, the most successful sales people will understand to sell their product to people who are looking for it.
Sounds crazy right? Of COURSE you would want to sell your product or service to someone who is looking to purchase it. Except, somehow as bloggers, we started pitching companies who WEREN’T looking for our services.
Bloggers would send their “rate” sheet back in respond to PR pitches or inquiries, with nary a care if they were actually requesting it. We would slap a sticker price on engaging with us, not bother to communicate or build a relationship (or even see if we had a product that would actually benefit the brand)
So, what DO you do?
My #1 tip to help bloggers improve their sales is to have a pre-qualifying conversation.
Sounds simple, and it is.
When you are contacted by a company in regards to them having information to share, send a simple response back that includes your pre-qualifier.
“Thanks so much for contacting me. I would love to work with you to promote XXX and have some fun ideas. Please let me know if you would be interested in a proposal of services and opportunities”
Simple, but direct.
Do NOT attach your rate sheet, but use this opportunity to enter into a sales discussion and create conversation about what their needs are.
As in, I have something to sell that could help you solve your problem. Are you interested in seeing what it is, and entering into a sales discussion.
Bloggers sometimes spend HOURS crafting creative pitches and marketing plans. To provide these to companies who are NOT interested in investing is a crazy waste of time. It is also kind of awkward to have someone try and sell you something that you have no interest in buying.
As well, sometimes we have some AWESOME ideas, and to share these, without previously defining there will be a cost to execution is giving away too much.
Sales is providing a solution to a problem. Sit back and take a look at your inbox and figure out which of these brands YOU have a solution for. Start there, send your pre-qualifier and see what comes back. Spend your time putting the effort into pitches that companies actually WANT and you will not only streamline your sales process, but also improve your sales rate!
And please, don’t sell to someone who is not in the market to BUY!