Cold Call, Cold Call, Cold Call!! It always used to be outbound sales... the more calls you made the better the chance of a sale. Sales used to be the "sleazy" occupation.
Having been in sales my whole career I hated this viewpoint and challenged it constantly. It does work in some cases but this has changed. My personal approach is a "Solution Selling" approach; build trust (do what you say you will do) and develop that relationship over time for mutual business benefit. This is great for larger purchases where relationship becomes more important, however even this has changed with the way people spend their money.
We have changed our buying habits dramatically over recent times thanks to technology and more information being readily available. We can easily search online, compare, investigate, find informative pieces and gather a substantial amount of information before choosing to engage to purchase.
If you have a product or service to sell, having a multi channel approach to sales is critical - why? - you need to be flexible and responsive enough to reach your customers in a number of ways, and importantly the ways that suit them. Customers are using mobile more than ever, engage more on a range social media platforms, spend less time watching television and are generally busier than ever before.
With so much competition for a customer's attention, how do you best reach them? The answer is simple - make it as easy as possible for them to engage with your brand and ultimately purchase from you. Don't limit the way they can buy just to suit you. Allow them to purchase from you on your website, allow them to do this through social media, allow them to meet face to face and speak with you in a retail setting. Think about collaborations with other businesses that can achieve this, think about how you are seen by customers and how they can buy. You might be surprised.
In our case with TIXSTAR, we provide our vendors with a sales & marketing channel that compliments their current marketing plans and sales activities. We are a marketplace for the industry and if you are in that industry you obviously need to be where potential buyers are. Traditionally, many sports & entertainment sellers have relied on sales personnel building relationships and making sales calls, supported by their own marketing or in some cases that of other key stakeholders. Most are excellent with content creation to engage their members, supporters and followers but often forget about the customer purchasing from the business across their breadth of product offering.
At TIXSTAR, we allow our vendors to use another sales channel to directly sell their product mix to a dedicated audience of businesses and individuals, while benefitting from external marketing support specifically for their brand or unique event - all designed to drive traffic, lead generation/enquiry and sales. Importantly, our software platform gives them complete control of how their offering is presented via imagery and video, the ability to manage their events, packages and experiences, manage inventory levels and ultimately control the customer experience through the marketplace. All on-brand and in-line with their marketing campaigns. A strong example of this is Victoria Racing Club at Flemington Racecourse for the Spring Racing Carnival or the AFL Finals Series Weeks 1-3.
It remains easier for the customer to not only connect with their brand, but allow them the easiest possible way to purchase - ensuring efficiency in sales for vendors (not being so reliant on sales staff with high overheads) and most importantly a seamless experience with their brand for the customer.
Our consumer habits are changing and it is critical for all businesses to adjust to this. The more you can make your product/service available to the customer, and make it easy and efficient to purchase, the greater chance of making the sale.