Selling is at its best when it doesn’t feel like you’re being sold.
The sales game has changed. Cold calling has been put on ice. Social selling is the new normal. And, within that context, there’s a key step that can really make a difference for sales leaders.
Today, “selling” takes the form of an invitation.
An invitation is closing in a modern context.
An invitation conveys several important ideas:
- You convey to your prospect the following idea: “I see and recognize you, and your needs.” Recognition is the key. Relationships begin with recognition.
- Your invitation conveys that you have identified some sort of special event – something that, if accepted, would be perfect for your prospect. An invitation, if it is sincere, implies a unique and tailored next step.
- You provide a logical and attainable progression to the conversation. You’re not closing, you’re continuing the dialogue.
- An invitation is always unique, every time you give it. Even if your invitation is to something you’ve provided hundreds of times before (a software demo, a tour of the factory, etc.) you’ve never done it with this particular audience. If the invitation doesn’t feel special, it’s not much of an invitation.
Why Selling Has to Include an Invitation
Doesn’t matter if you have a product or service; invite your customers – don’t “sell ’em”. Show how your service has solved problems for other like-minded individuals, demonstrate your value, and create the dialogue you want.
Selling is inviting, if you know how to pitch your story.
We all want to go where the action is – where the deals are – where the products are useful and practical, and the advice is proven and concrete.
The most effective prospecting strategies start with a story that is specific enough to be engaging, but broad enough that a contact replies with interest. Three magic words to look for: “Tell me more…”. That response lets you know that the dialogue has begun, and Web 2.0 is all about the invitation that continues your story. How does your conversation get started?