The gear switch: give, give, give…ask

The gear switch: give, give, give…ask

How much do you prioritise securing a sale in business?

Of course the business relies on sales, but too much focus on short-term sales will have you in survival mode. And surviving is not what successful businesses do. Thriving is.

The main difference is in the focus of the business: they’re about seeing a person for who they are in front of you, instead of seeing them as a pound sign. They’re about seizing the opportunity to leave positive impressions in every individual interaction. They’re about optimising the sales process to grow revenue in a consistent and stable way.

So how do successful businesses do this?

The art of giving in sales (without expectation)

Follow-up sales after an initial pitch just doesn’t do the magic. When you see the prospect in front of you as a human, and not as a sales target, creating a connection bond with them is easy. Genuinely giving value, as in quality content that speaks directly to a problem prospects have, without any expectation of a return, humanises the sales process.

This is what our founder believed in when he coined ‘the sales ladder’ concept two decades ago. To ease your customer into the core or premium offer, believe that every interaction with them is an opportunity to build value and interest in your brand.

To genuinely give is to keep your exchange for details to a minimum after the delivery of the content. Do so with confidence that you will gain loyal returning customers who will become increasingly familiar with the value of your content and will naturally develop trust toward you.

The start of a two-way relationship in sales

You’ve introduced yourself, now let them do so.

“Super Gateway products are less about making money
and more about piquing interest and qualifying leads.
A super gateway item could be a whitepaper in exchange for email addresses,
a seven-day free trial of a product, or a digital health check service.
The idea behind it is that it’s a foot in the door, a route to Gateway Products themselves or even straight to Core offerings.”

This is essential for personalising your approach to make the returning customers feel individually visible. It’s achieved not by selling or using the sales pitch, but by asking the right questions.

To move customers along the sales ladder, let your interpersonal skills shine, but don’t lose focus: show them what other relevant problems you can help them solve. Telling them is not enough. Show them something tangible like a digital product card to effectively communicate your offerings. An overview of your offerings to the prospect will inform them and ease them into making a purchasing decision.

Climbing the sales ladder by winning the relationship, not the project

The quality of your leads - not the quantity of them - determines the loyalty and conversion. In marketing, this process begins with a prospect’s expressed interest in your offering, which would be any engagement with your website or marketing campaign. Climbing the sales ladder requires you to maintain momentum

"The whole idea behind Gateway Products is to move prospects to the Core offering through value offering and knowledge demonstration. It’s a bonus that Gateway Products earn money for your business, perhaps not as much as Core or Premium, but still taking money off the table."

MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) are prospects who have been vetted and identified as quality leads who have an interest in purchasing. Your sophisticated qualification criteria list, along with its points-valued system, informs you on how to nurture your leads with relevant targeted content. Consistency is key to achieving results.

The art of giving requires you to be genuine so have sincere passion for helping them with their brand. Send useful content that is tailored to them individually even if there is no guaranteed purchase that will come as a result of it. What you can be sure of is that you are building long-term relationships with the right relevant brands.

MQLs are usually prepared to pay more for premium products based on how they perceive the business, so the role of relationships becomes key to climbing the sales ladder. This is not about manipulation. This is about building healthy relationships where you maintain and improve your interactions. This creates stability and security around your longer-term business goals.

To (further) develop a thriving business mentality of partnership and growth place empathy at the core of your business: Many times, customers don’t have the budget for the big purchase. Put yourself in their shoes to know what they would need, and offer those solutions. By individually humanising your interactions, you’re bringing a lot into the top of the sales/marketing funnel.

Show attention to details when starting small to earn trust, and make it a continuous habit that builds up a positive impression as you climb upwards. You show that you care. Be selective as you don’t need to do the work if the customer is out of alignment with you.

Listening more than you talk and by providing honest counsel will set the standard on the quality of time that you, as an Expert, are open to having. You must understand that part of being open includes acknowledging any resistance in the dynamic, and to go with the flow to sustain the not-so straightforward climbing journey.

So what’s your next move?

A thriving business mentality prioritises healthy sales relationships for long-term stability of the business. It knows that the art of giving without expectation involves having firm belief that every interaction with the customer is one that benefits the sales process even if its offering is not at the forefront. They are still playing in the background. Proactively adding value to the time you give to each customer by understanding them individually attunes you to instinctively know when the right time is to switch gears and ask.

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