We either are now, or are quickly becoming a cashless society. I am old enough to remember when people in line had a menacing look on their face when the person in front of them paid with a credit card. And now you can often get the same reaction if you pay with cash. And how about pocket change? Who wants that rattling around in their pocket? Now more than ever people paying with cash might say “just keep the change.”
But in 2023 that is bad advice for salespeople. At Anthony Cole Training Group we spend a fair amount of time working with salespeople on sales adaptation strategies. In a world with a continued and accelerated pace of change, salespeople must also change, or they will likely get left behind. You might say they could wind up still using a Palm Pilot in an iPhone world. I can still recall the immortal words from the Palm Pilot leadership who asked, “why would anybody want a mobile device without a keyboard?” I think the world has answered that question.
4 Trends and Sales Adaptation Strategies for Salespeople to Consider:
- Prospects are not sitting back and waiting for a salesperson to call them. They are initiating the sales process on their own and when they do, they are armed with more information than ever before. The adjustment that needs to be made? If you guessed networking with COI’s, you are correct. The first call many prospects make is to a trusted business advisor for recommendations. It is your job to know these people.
- The challenge of prospect engagement has increased dramatically. By prospect engagement, I am referring to the number of attempts (both phone calls and emails) it takes a salesperson just to get a prospect to pay attention to them and want to have a conversation. In 2009, that number was 8 attempts, but now in 2023 that number is closer to 16. And here is the problem – most salespeople quit around 5 to 7 attempts.
- There is much data that now suggests that many prospects prefer to be contacted by phone instead of email. Of course, many salespeople have fallen in love with email because it is efficient, and it comes with no rejection. Your prospect might ignore you, but they typically will not reject you. If you are going to change, you might need to consider picking up the phone more.
- If you are going to thrive in this new world, you will want to know that the average number of people on your prospect’s decision-making team is now higher than ever. Long gone (for the most part) are the days of a single person deciding. We are seeing teams of 4 to 7 people or more coming together to make decisions. You must account for all of them. And yes, that means more work for you.
I know that all the above have one thing in common – they require more effort. There is nothing easy about any of the strategies noted above. And of course, you don’t have to change unless you want to go the way of coins in today’s cashless society. It’s time to Make and Keep the Change!
Chief Growth Officer, Anthony Cole Training Group