How to Sell When Nobody's Buying - Dave Lakhani

How to Sell When Nobody's Buying - Dave Lakhani

Understand why conventional sales methods don't work during recessions. And learn how to power up your sales and create a personal brand using social media.

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When a country goes through a crisis, the economy slows down, the number of unemployed increases and people stop buying what is not essential for survival.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and when it comes to selling during an economic downturn, the survival of your business may depend on radical and assertive action.

So in this summary, let's understand why conventional sales methods do not work during a recession, how to create a personal brand with online tools, and how to use social media to connect with potential customers.

Are you interested? Keep reading!

About the book "How to Sell When Nobody's Buying"

The book How to Sell When Nobody's Buying (2009) is from the speaker, author and trainer Dave Lakhani.

In it, the author states that the old sales techniques are no longer appropriate. He recommends alternative and innovative selling approaches, including some brave tricks - though perhaps clichés.

About the author Dave Lakhani

Dave Lakhani is a sales trainer, entrepreneur and speaker. In addition, he is president of a public relations and marketing firm and author of 4 bestsellers.

His enterprise, Bold Approach, is an accelerator to firm's strategies considered by magazine Fast Company as one of the 50 fastest business.

To whom is this book indicated?

This book provides interesting recommendations and countless valuable Web resources to sellers who want to establish or embellish their personal brands, connect with potential customers, and operate more efficiently.

This sum makes the book a valuable addition to any sales professional 's library.

Main ideas of the book "How to Sell When Nobody's Buying"

  • Selling tactics that work in prosperous periods are not efficient in times of recession;
  • In difficult times, bad sellers give up and open up opportunities for the most creative and efficient sellers;
  • It is important to identify people who spend money on their products and establish a means of communication with them;
  • Lectures and seminars can be conducted to demonstrate your specialties and increase your credibility;
  • It is interesting to show customers that you are always available and willing to serve them.

To facilitate your understanding, we divided this summary into 6 parts, in order to present the concepts in detail and facilitate your learning. Are you ready?

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[Book Summary] How To Sell When Nobody's Buying - Dave Lakhani

Overview: Concept 1 - Are you not selling? Better to change your approach.

An economic cycle has four phases: expansion, prosperity, contraction and recession. Selling during the expansion and prosperity phases is easy. Everyone jumps aboard the sales train and enjoys the party.

But selling during contractions and recessions can be a struggle. Conventional Sales techniques that worked well during the good times will not succeed in a recession.

So many marketers who continue to use their tried and tested sales methods may believe that no one is buying and therefore decide to leave the field.

However, economic crises offer entrepreneurial sellers a golden opportunity. Entrepreneurial sellers can fill the sales vacuum that other vendors leave behind.

These survivors must simply ask, "What else is there that we could be doing that all the others do not do?"

An answer to this question would be to conduct "high-value activities and high-impact" to get their sales.

For this, follow this five-day plan:

First day:

Contact 25 inactive customers. Make them work with you again. If they have complaints with your company, designate someone to resolve them. So call 10 active customers.

Offer to sell them a product update or service done. Contact a non competitor and switch leads. Do not leave the office without making all of your follow-up calls.

Second day:

Call 10 people who could give you a nomination. Please greet them in a friendly way and use this script: "I'm getting in touch because it's a difficult time in our industry and I'd like to know if I can point someone out now that would help your business to grow."

Then, after hearing the answers, politely ask for a statement in return. Follow up with anyone whose names you get.

Third day:

Arrange three boxes of a dozen donuts each. Wrap them up. Ask each customer to personally accept delivery.

When he or she is in front of you, say, "I'm trying to get in touch with you, but I was not lucky, so I thought I'd take a sweet approach." Then ask for a telephone interview.

Fourth day:

Learn all you can about your top 25 potential clients. List ways to help each one and think about new techniques to get in touch with.

Fifth day:

Contact five customers who are happy with you and your company. Discuss more ways you can be useful. Plan to attend some future networking events.

Overview: Concept 2 - Exploring Internet Tools to Get Sales

After following the plan of the five days and re-energized, you need to rethink your attitude.

You must adapt your sales strategy to changes in your market and economy. Do not ask: "What can I sell today to people who have money to buy today?"

Instead, ask: "How do I find people who have the need and ideal remuneration to get my product?"

To achieve your goals use the "45/15 formula": 45 minutes for intense concentration and 15 minutes for auxiliary tasks.

Condition your colleagues to respect your need to focus. Do not let them interfere in any way.

Now get ready for the online world. Buy domain, preferably yourname. com, if possible.

A website gives you credibility. Then, include your web address in your business cards and in your emails.

You should also incorporate these items into your site:

  • Professional Biography: Use this document to tell people who you are. Give a personal touch by providing information about your hobbies and your family;
  • Testimonials: Add a page called "What My Customers Say" and link to it. Fill in with positive quotes from your customers. Post video testimonials. Shoot them yourself and use the free video editing software to polish. Upload your videos to your site and to YouTube.
  • List of customers: on this page, name all the companies you've sold to in the past;
  • Contact me: include your contact information so customers can get in touch with you. Your email address must be in the format yourname@yourname. com. This prevents people and businesses from using "spam robots" to collect their email address and thus send junk mail;
  • Blog: consider this your online journal. Communicate about issues that your customers will find interesting, including how your products or services can help them. In the headlines of your posts, use keywords that your potential customers will likely type in the search boxes. This allows them to find your posts. Plan to write at least three entries each week for the next three months.

Another way to draw attention to your company is to develop articles aligned on important topics in the industry.

Online conferences also help you demonstrate your expertise.

Also, use the internet to create presentations online. Develop a strong pitch outlining your most powerful proposal and then split it into PowerPoint slides. Also include a personal photo and a photo of the product.

Finally, submit your presentation to YouTube and provide prospects with the link so they can watch.

Another option is email, an excellent communication tool to stay in touch with potential and existing customers.

Overview: Concept 3 - Connect With Buyers

Where should your sales focus be during a recession?

You will find the answer by asking yourself, "Who is still investing in what I sell and how I connect to them?" A good strategy is use social media to reach potential customers.

Follow this plan, which is courtesy of Dr. Rachna Jain, specialist in social marketing:

  • Decide which social media resources will help you and how you will measure the results;
  • Develop a profile "DPT", ideal for the customer. It concerns the demographics (age, income, and so on), psychographics (motivational traits) and technographics (the degree to which your clients "will be involved in the social media space.").

When you understand your DPT profile, you will know where to look for customers in the social media sphere;

  • Find your ideal customers using the internet with research mechanisms;
  • Use Google Analytics to "monitor" your blog;
  • Ask clients to explain the problems for which you sold the solution;
  • Employing the exact terminology, use Google Alerts to set up notifications for keyword phrases;
  • Create profiles on social media sites such as Facebook and Linkedin;
  • Start following people on Twitter and post your own tweets;

Overview: Concept 4 - Marketing drop by drop

Remind your prospects that you are available to any existing doubt.

Do this through a drip campaign, where you will be consistently "dripping" some sales message on your prospects until they are ready to buy.

Here's how this campaign works in 12 steps:

  1. Call the potential customer to introduce yourself;
  2. Submit a media kit to the prospect. Include copies of your articles, transcripts of your speeches, and so forth. Wrap the package so the recipient sees it as valuable;
  3. Submit a promotional DVD containing teaching materials on how to use your product or service;
  4. Send a postcard with a friendly reminder to get in touch with you;
  5. Send to the prospectus some official document that you have developed on some topic of the industry;
  6. Email a video stating that you are eager to meet with the prospect;
  7. Create a nice card for the prospect. Include his picture if you can;
  8. Send testimonials about yourself from the three respected clients;
  9. Make sure that the prospect receives a "handwritten birthday card" from you;
  10. Send another DVD, in which you present an important industry topic to a large and enthusiastic audience;
  11. Send a good-humored message to the prospect, encouraging them to get in touch;
  12. If none of the above work, send a false obituary with this message: "After a long and courageous battle with the connection lessness syndrome, [your name] gave up the fight... Send your condolences by calling [your phone number]".

Overview: Concept 5 - Breaking the Trance

Many people get stuck in trances caused by "their own beliefs and prejudices or even by the media."

Acknowledge your beliefs and then complete them with concepts that they can readily accept. Link your ideas to theirs. Incite the curiosity of your potential customers about your products or services.

Overview: Concept 6 - Mass Persuasion

How do you employ mass persuasion?

Find the influential consensus maker in the room by asking questions that reveal your identity - for example: Who was responsible here for gathering the ideas of the group?. Seek out who the leader is, work for his or her support.

This person, in turn, will win the support of everyone. Receive confirmation that your solution meets the terms of the consensus builder.

Stand by this person when you make your presentation. Use testimonials to gain more acceptance.

What do other authors say about it?

In "The 7 Pillars of Successful Sales", author Rejiano Vedovatto and César Frazão make it clear that the concept of value can be perfect explained with the presentation of the characteristics, benefits and product advantages.

The author of "Digital Business", Alan Pakes, tells that selling are the holding pillars of any business. By that, you must focus too in conquering your client and showing that you have the perfect solution for him, guiding through selling your product.

Last but not least important, Neil Rackham, in "SPIN Selling", tells that exists four types of questions that can change a unintentional buyer into a potential client: questions of Situation, Problem, Implication and Solution Needed.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Answer your emails once a day, utilizing the uninterrupt focus. Mainly those which don't need an instant response;
  • Read that book (or this summary) once a week to always implement something new;
  • If you have an assistant, someone who attends you, give those people every task that makes you more distant from your focus point;
  • Sign your emails and blog posts, you need to be seen!
  • Be careful to not think that the problems which you are facing are uncontrollable. Sometimes they can't even be real;
  • Dress formally. In casualty times, you can, in a subconscious manner, indicate who is in charge;
  • Surround yourself with people who are aiming success.

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