SALES: The Power of Stickiness
By Kim DiMatteo
Here’s the ugly truth: RARELY do you land a sale on the first “touch”. Sure it happens, but those are the exceptions not the norm. So, if you are new to the sales game and have had some early onset luck with the one touch close, don’t get too cocky and confident because I’m about to burst your bubble. The choice is yours: Be the hare and probably crash and burn before you hit the pot of gold OR be the tortoise and learn how top earners set the stage for long term success by going the slow and steady route.
It’s all about the power of stickiness.
The stickiness applies to both sides of the sales relationship. One, you want your message to resonate and “stick” with your prospect and/or client. Two, you want your clients to be “sticky” as it takes far more energy to get a new client than to keep your current ones happy.
Stickiness requires patience and a lot of it.
I often laugh when I interview a potential salesperson or run into a newly minted one and they immediately hone in on the money. These are the folks who want to learn how to land a whale in the first 30-60 days, how to hit 6-figures in their first year, and my favorite, how to be Tim Ferris and enjoy a 4 Hour Work Week.
“Patience grasshopper – patience”.
The money will come, but first we have to create a plan, identify who the heck you are targeting as a potential whale – and before that whale you need to get some guppies in your damn fishbowl. That not only requires patience, but it requires a sticky sales strategy.
12 Month Sticky Sales Strategy for Sticky Clients
- Know who you are and build out your personal brand. This is mission critical because prospects who connect with you on an emotional level and who need the services you provide will not only be quicker closes, they will more often than not be sticky clients. Tell your story over and over again – make it stick in the minds of your target client.
- Know thy Ideal Client. No one can sell to everyone – not even Jeff Bezos. The second mission critical part is understanding your ideal client. Your ideal STICKY client. Map out their demographic – in minute detail.
- Follow the Magic Sales Rule of 3. Your ideal client must have the following three characteristics: you have to like them (and they you), you have to be able to deliver them value (solve their big problem), and they need to be able to afford your services (and be willing to pay you what you are worth). Not one or two – but all three must apply.
- Make your Prospect List. Once you’ve completed 1-3, make your initial prospect list. I say initial, because this is a fluid document that will grow and change over time. Put your hottest prospects at the top. Review weekly – adjust as needed.
- Create your Sticky Message. What is it that you bring to the table that your competitors do not – what will be your message to your potential clients? Why should they buy from you? Mission critical part 3. This goes back to your purpose and that emotional connection. This isn’t about spouting off all your offerings and products – not that they aren’t important, but chances are you have a competitor that offers the same EXACT thing – dig deeper, the answer is there.
- Create your Marketing Strategy. Yes, you need one and it goes hand in hand with your Sales Strategy/Plan. How will you get your message out and in front of your ideal prospect OVER and OVER again. Your message needs to be “sticky” in the mind of your prospect. Remember those Oscar Mayer Hot Dog jingles? Or maybe a song that gets stuck in your head and you mumble it all day long. That’s the impact you want. Use various forms of media – email, press (articles like this), video, social media – whatever works for you and wherever your prospects “live” is where you need to be.
- Network and then network some more. Nothing is stickier than your face, so physically showing up at in person networking events OR virtually to online ones is vital to your success. (Don’t forget to have your headshot and story on your website too!) Your prospects NEED to get to KNOW you, then LIKE you before they will TRUST you enough to buy from you. If you want to be successful in sales, you need to be out there front and center. Over and Over and Over again.
- Don’t be a “salesperson”. There I said it. No one that I have ever met likes to be sold to. 30 second commercials, dialing for dollars, and the now dreaded LinkedIn InMail pitch are not only annoying, they likely will not result in sticky clients. Again – not that they don’t sometimes work, but in my experience, it just isn’t the way to have success in the long term. Build relationships. Get to know people and let them get to know you.
- Know this will take TIME. 3-5 years is the average time it takes to build up a base, get some good clients under your belt, and start making real money from sales. Years, not months or days – years.
- Always be learning. Nothing screams success than an avid learner. Put down the beach read and pick up a business book, join a network/mastermind group, take a class, go to a seminar/workshop, follow a blog, listen to a podcast or book on tape while in the car. Those who constantly enrich their mind and their soul will have long term success in business and in life. Try being a bit more like Bill Gates – as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals he’s doing something right.
Set your expectations and get to work.
The secret to success isn’t rocket science, and neither is the secret to a successful sales life. It comes down to being authentic, knowing your audience, having the patience to ride out the storms and be in it for the long haul, and know that you and your customers are in a constant sea of change and you need to ride the waves one at a time.
Be sticky with your message and only work with clients who will be sticky – and I’m fairly confident we will see your name on a Top Sales roster over the next few years