Patience and the need to nurture sales

Do you think there is a need to nurture sales? If not, you may be sabotaging your own revenue opportunities.

It’s important to recognize there’s a need to nurture.

Many startups are driven  by ‘revenue panic’ while other, more established businesses may be driven by the demand for quarterly revenue increases  – in either case they need to practice nurturing — and to not simply walk away from prospects that aren’t buying immediately.

Time versus Nurturing

In many cases sales may deem certain prospects unsuitable because they aren’t going to buy in the next quarter. This short-term view, driven by panic for cashflow or relentless revenue goals, needs to shift to a solid nurturing approach, with opportunities and prospects being added to a long-term nurturing process which is reviewed, measured and a part of the marketing plan.

Trust goes hand-in-hand with Nurturing

The importance of trust is well documented in the transactional sales cycle. Numerous studies over many years draw attention to it’s importance in winning more opportunities, prospects and ultimately new customers. But how do you build trust?

By relationship, little by little, via nurturing. Relationship building is good for everyone – good for both seller and buyer. We have all heard anecdotes of the customers that follow a good sales person elsewhere? That is the power of relationship – and the importance of nurturing it within the sales cycle.

As well as dissolving uncertainty and risk for the prospect, it ensures that you, the seller, are really listening. Whether it is the messaging you create, the communications you send or the calls you make; take the time to listen, nurture, build relationship.

How patient do you think you are with opportunities to nurture sales and to help your prospects at all stages of the sales cycle?

Want to ramp up your sales and shift your business results?  Sign up now for our 60-Day Sales Challenge.

Resolved to sell more this year? Then sell more!

Last year we were working on a project for a startup where the company needed to increase revenue (as is the general goal of business), but the team didn’t want to sell.

I’d like to say that this situation is a rarity – talented individuals with a great product and a reluctance to sell. And by selling I don’t mean writing blogs, posting to social media, or adding content to LinkedIn. I mean selling – speaking directly to individuals and companies that you can help, telling them how you could be of value and asking them if they want to work with you.

I find it heartbreaking that many startups (and let’s be totally honest, this isn’t strictly an issue inherent to startups) are in this situation. They have poured their heart, soul, sweat, possibly tears, certainly finances and time into developing a new product or service. They’ve done this because they want to have an impact, to make a difference in the world and because they believe in their product, in their vision.

Then … they don’t want to sell.

Instead, they spend time on social media, developing content, adding new channels, fine-tuning landing pages. Don’t get me wrong, marketing is important. But when you’re a startup and you need sales, you need to go and sell.

Why do people avoid sales? I struggle to answer this question sometimes – I’ve seen startups fail because the founder doesn’t want to pick up a phone or do anything that they would be construed as being sales-related. I can only conclude that it’s for any of these possible reasons:

–        A low (and to be honest, incorrect) perception of the sales process – thinking it’s something that is slimy, unwanted or ‘below’ your role as a founding team member

– Lack of belief in your product or service

– Lack of belief in yourself

– A deep-rooted fear of rejection. I think this is the reason in many cases – it can be hard to share your product or service, and then to have people say ‘no’

– Distractions within the business. I’ve witnessed this first hand, where a small founding team moves on to develop a new product or capability without really ensuring an already-developed product is up-and-selling

–  A misunderstanding of the sales process – how to position, communicate and connect with prospects and how to ask for a sale

– A poor product or service (in which case, sales is unlikely to help you in the long term)

In short, if you want to sell more, go and sell. Not sure where to start? – Then sign up for our comprehensive six-month sales coaching and accountability program: Sales Mastery for Startups.