Field sales. This can be the thing that ends up making or breaking your business.
That is why there are more than 731,000 field sales representatives in the United States.
With so much money to be made from sales teams, you want to make sure that your sales team is doing things the right way. What are the biggest things that a field sales representative can do for your company?
Today, we’re sharing some networking tips that you and your sales team can use.
One of the biggest things that your field sales team has to have is persistence. Given how much competition there is in sales industries, you have to find a way to stand out compared to your competition.
An easy way to do that is to simply keep trying to win the client over. You would be amazed at how many salesmen give up after just one attempt at trying to call a client.
Statistically speaking, 80% of sales are made during the fifth phone call and beyond. That means that salespeople may have to attempt to win over the same client at least five times before closing a sale.
However, there are not many field sales reps that make it to this point. That is because about 90% of them give up after the fourth phone call attempt.
If you want to know the exact stats on this, 48% of people give up after the first attempt. Then, another 24% of people give up after the second attempt, 12% give up after the third attempt, and six percent of people give up after the fourth attempt.
That leaves us with just 10% of salespeople remaining by the time the fifth phone call comes around.
What happens after that? Well, as mentioned above, 80% of sales are made by this point. So, if you stick around to the fifth phone call, you could be in that elite group of top 10% salesmen that win 80% of the business.
Considering that is the lion’s share of the business, it could automatically make you one of the most successful salespeople in the business assuming that you know how to close by this point. Do yourself a favor and do not give up so easily. Make sure you remain more persistent than your competition.
Another good tip that field sales reps can use is to try to say “yes” to as many opportunities that they get presented with as possible. This gives sales teams a chance to open more doors and to dive deeper into where that door can take them.
Let’s say that you are a field sales representative from a company that is based in New York City. Someone in the area tells you about a large party in Miami that could end up having a lot of high-profile clients in your industry.
This may not only sound fun to you but the business side of your brain could also be telling you that this is a good opportunity to connect with those clients. So, you agree to this idea and decide to fly down to Miami for this party.
Then, let’s say that you end up at this party in Miami and you end up sharing a long conversation with one or two of these premier clients. This gives you exclusive time with them, which you might not have gotten otherwise. If you do this right, the client could gain some trust in you and agree to have you represent their interests.
Try to say “yes” to as many open opportunities as possible. You never know where that door will take you and if you play your cards right, it could expand your business network tremendously.
Find Your Target Audience
One big advantage your sales team can have when attempting to network is knowing exactly who their target audience is. You want to make sure that this is clearly defined before you finalize a sales strategy. This way, you can make sure your sales team doesn’t waste their time on a business that is not going to see a big return on investment.
How do you define this target audience? Collect some data about your current business and see who is most interested in your product or service.
Does it lean towards a certain gender? What about an age group? Does race or ethnicity come into play?
Do political leanings or overall interests have anything to do with your business results?
Look for the answers to each of these questions carefully. If you notice that there is a pattern in your past results, then you need to note that pattern.
From there, you have two options. You can either target your successful demographic more aggressively or you can try to come up with ways to broaden your audience to attempt to win over other demographics.
Let’s say that your product or service mainly appeals to people who are younger than 35 years old. You may not be content with this and want to find ways to keep that audience while trying to win over the 35-49 crowd.
You can do more research on what people in that age group are interested in and then try to center your marketing campaign around those interests. In addition, your sales team can try to recruit more customers specifically in that age range.
Sit down and figure out what your target audience is and then dedicate your networking resources towards that demographic.
Promote on Social Media
In this day and age, you need to have some sort of social media presence for people to know that you exist. A lot of people check for everything on social media so if you are not there, people may not know where else to find you.
In 2023, there are about 4.48 billion people across the world who have some sort of social media presence. Considering that this is more than half of the world’s population, it is safe to say that you can gain a lot of exposure just by being active on those platforms.
You can use this to either manage a business account there or you can make a personal account that has a lot of professional content on there.
Let’s say that you are a real estate agent. You already have a personal profile on most platforms before you decide to get serious about this career. However, you want to start using social media to your advantage and try to promote opportunities that you see for potential clients. You have two options to do this.
The first option is to create an entirely new profile that focuses solely on your professional content. You can then use your personal account to let people know that you are on this platform professionally.
The other option is to put your professional content on the personal profile that you already have. Then, you can hope that people in your social circles notice this and want to work with you professionally. Either way, you should work on increasing your social media presence if you haven’t put your focus there already.
In the business world, timing things right could be one of the most critical details when it comes to making sales. The reason is that depending on the timing, you will garner more interest in your product.
Let’s use the holidays as an example. You are releasing a big product that you expect to be popular with people who are shopping for Christmas presents during a certain time of year.
This can be a new phone release that is supposed to be one of the best on the market. If you are a sales rep who is trying to sell this product, you need to figure out the right timing to promote this product.
Assuming that you expect this to do well before Christmas, you should start upselling this product before the peak holiday shopping season begins.
For most shoppers, this is around Black Friday. So, if you expect people to start shopping more after Thanksgiving, you should start getting the word out about this product more aggressively by the beginning of November.
This gives you a few weeks to start building some hype around this product and remind people that it is coming out. However, it is not so far in advance that people will forget about the product by the time peak shopping season comes around.
That is why the timing can be so crucial when it comes to trying to network with people and promote sales. You need to hit this mark at a time when people are just about ready to dive into your newest product or service.
Take Your Time
When it comes to networking, you have to know when to push your contacts a little bit and also know when you have to back off. Sometimes, it’s going to take a couple of soft pushes to win someone in your network over.
You have to be able to read the room and know when to avoid being too aggressive. Sometimes, it is better to just plant a seed and let that linger while the other person has time to process this idea. It may be a great idea that is beneficial to them but it could be too big of a move to take immediate action for it.
This relates to the timing above. You have to time an all-in pitch correctly to avoid scaring off somebody who can end up being a great client for you.
Taking your time and approaching things softly can also be a good move for people just looking for some additional information. You may want to do some more research before you finalize a big business move or make a big acquisition.
Instead of letting everybody in your network know what your plan is, you can ask an indirect question to somebody and hope that they can give you useful information.
Taking your time and approaching things slowly can be the right tactic for those who prefer to keep their cards close to their chest. In the business world, knowledge is power. So, keeping certain strategies to yourself can allow you some leverage during negotiations if you know how to use this approach at the right time.
Understand that not all sales have to be made in a day. Considering it can take five phone calls to win somebody over, you should almost expect this process to be slow.
Ask Your Network
Finally, remember that networking tends to be mutually beneficial for both parties. You should remember this because there may come a time when you need a favor from somebody in your network.
You could know somebody else in your industry who has connections to people that you do not.
For example, let’s say that you represent a sneaker company that wants to do a big marketing campaign that has a high-profile athlete in the middle of it. You may not know any relevant athletes to fulfill this but an agent in the field may have those connections.
In this situation, you can use your network connections to your advantage. Look to see if you know anyone who can connect you to an athlete who can help you with a marketing campaign. With this, you can simply ask someone in your network for an introduction or a meeting.
After all, the worst they can do is say no. Then, remind that person in your network what you can do for them in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Be a Better Field Sales Representative
These are some networking tips that a field sales representative can use to help improve their sales.
You want to be adaptable when it comes to your sales strategy and not be afraid to play it slow. However, make sure that you are persistent and don’t give up after the first failed attempt. Lastly, make sure you have a good social media presence and key in on your target audience.
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