4 Things Your Mommy Taught You About Sales

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At the end of the day, when push comes to shove, the success of your business is measured by the volume of sales; this holds true whether you have products or services. Point blank, if your selling sucks, so does your business.

But whether you realize it or not  (we know you tuned out 90%,) your mom taught you everything you need to know about sales.

We recently discussed how to explain inbound marketing to a five year old, where we covered the bases on inbound marketing. While we’re on this 'mom trend,' let’s take a trip down memory lane: it’s time to capitalize on the 4 Things Your Mommy Taught You About Sales.

1. Be respectful

When it comes to sales and marketing strategy, being respectful is about more than minding your Ps and Qs.

If you can’t respect your potential client by honoring them with your time, energy, and attention, you’re already sabotaging your relationship. Be respectful and build loyalty to increase sales by genuinely investing the time necessary to interface with them and to understand their perceived goals and needs.

More importantly, focusing on the respect you show your current clients could be that much more beneficial to your establishments long term sales. It is said that 80% of your future sales will come from 20% of your current client base.

That says a lot.

I recently worked with a company that regularly made promises to potential and existing clients, which they could not fulfill in a timely manner. This failure to deliver resulted in bad blood with sales qualified leads (SQL’s,) and was also part of my reason for separating myself (after repeated appeals) from the company; they did not take the time to understand the significance of the agreed-upon deadlines with these partners and failed to have the basic respect necessary to preserve a working business relationship.

The disrespect continued through a failure to apologize to these partners for multiple delays and a general lack of direct and timely communication.

All of that could have been avoided had they simply applied what their mommy taught them about sales. If you can’t show basic respect to your potential partners and existing customers, you can’t be effective with sales; or as mother would say, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Good B2C relationships begin with respect. Respect = increased sales.

2. Listen before you speak

Building a streamlined and successful business includes nurturing the simple but profound skill of listening. If you want to S-E-L-L, you have to:

  • S-eek
  • E-ngage
  • L-isten
  • L-earn

Assuming your inbound marketing is bringing the seekers to you, and you’ve already engaged respectfully with a potential customer, the next vital step to sales is to listen.

Truth is, whether you have mastered your selling points or not, you can’t be the best solution if you don’t understand the problem. Rather than wasting the first few minutes of engagement with a potential customer by singing your own praises, take the time to listen.

Acknowledgement can be quietly reassuring.

Let them do the talking. You will find that when you let people talk, they begin spilling their life/business story. What starts as a business conversation turns into you listening to them dish their emotions and background and disappointments and frustrations and hopes and dreams and fears; while it can be overwhelming,

While 'nurturing' is usually referred to as the process after you convert a customer, I would argue that nurturing begins with listening before you make the sale. According to BuzzBuilder, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

Never assume you know everything; you will close your best sales through a process of questions, not statements.

3. Cheaters never prosper

Honesty and integrity are everything in business. They drive:

  • sales
  • networking
  • customer tenure
  • B2C relationships
  • perceived value

I remember one very terrible evening, a few days after Easter when I was about eight years old; I ate all of the butts and heads off of the marshmallow peeps in my sisters’ Easter baskets (true story: contact me for movie rights). Surprisingly, I thought I would get away with this. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t. I legitimately had my mouth washed out with soap by my grandmother after a tearful apology to my sisters.

When it comes to your business' sales, don’t get to the point where you’re having your mouth washed out with soap.

Maintain your integrity and be transparent with your potential and current consumers. This sets you apart from other businesses more than you know, and provides the second pillar of a good B2C relationship:

Trust.

My colleague, Derek Palizay, recently wrote an excellent article on developing loyal customers which ties into this point brilliantly: “When you don’t hold true to your word, you not only crush your reputation, you waste others time and money and ultimately lose business”.

Grow sales through maintaining a business model known for respect and integrity.

4. Learn from your mistakes

Absolutely one of the best things my mother taught me was to take the time to reflect on my mistakes:

“you are only defeated by your past if you refuse to learn from it”.

Analyze trends across your various marketing platforms with tools like Google analytics and Hubspot, to ascertain the best ways to make adjustments that can help you sell more effectively. Refining your sales funnel on a consistent basis can make the difference between success and failure. The most effective business models evaluate their sales processes and marketing strategies as well as the quality of their content on a regular basis; if you want to succeed, you can’t become static. Be humble enough to recognize what isn’t working, and what needs to improve.

Here’s a prime example: We constructed a high intelligence research paper for a large marketing firm in the UK, for one of their biggest clients, Travelocity. After learning from many mistakes about re-engaging customers the wrong way, our client was able to increase their sales funnel conversion rate from 9% to 12%, which for Travelocity was hundreds of thousands of dollars. They learned from their mistakes, made the appropriate adjustments and moved forward with significantly greater sales volume.

Behind all of those cliché colloquialisms (familiar talk) and family table lectures, we know mom just wanted us to succeed.

In summary, you will drive sales by:

  • showing respect through listening
  • building trust by maintaining integrity
  • demonstrating humility through learning from your mistakes

(Oh, and while you’re at it, send mom some flowers.)   25 Traffic Methods

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Josh Coffy

Josh is an entrepreneur at heart, dropping out of college to pursue his dream of owning his own business. Fast-forward five years later, and Josh’s unique ability to marry technology with creative marketing strategies has led to Flight Media’s steady and swift growth. Now one of the leading Inbound Marketing companies in Ohio, the U.S. and abroad, clients trust Flight Media’s expertise, agile approach, and transparency. You can find Josh at CrossFit, backpacking the West coast with his wife, Kelsey, or reading a personal development book from his ever-growing library.