When you’re stuck, it never hurts to ask for help
When you’re stuck, when you just can’t make any headway with a customer, when you feel that you have exhausted all of your own resources and ideas and don’t feel that you have another move left in you, it’s time to call for help.
The good thing is that you are not alone. You are not the only salesperson who has hit a roadblock on your way to getting a customer.
Now is the time to reach out to your smart friends. Those people that you trust and respect enough to rely on for some good advice. This is not a time to let your pride get in the way of your success. If you have not turned to others for help, you have not yet used up all of your resources.
Here are four excellent ways that you can call on your network’s resources to get help in nailing that account:
- Check your network to see if you know anyone who has worked with that potential customer before. Someone who might know someone who could help you penetrate the account. They could know someone who works there. They might know the right people, or decision makers that you could reach out to. They might even have worked at the company before. Using your network is by far the very best way to get help when you’re stuck.
- Many times, as in the case of very large companies, you know that they would be a perfect customer for you and your company but you cannot even get a handle on who is the right person to talk to. Use Linked in or some other similar program to find the right people. Sometimes when you don’t even know who to talk to, doing a little research will unlock the code and get you to the right people. If you don’t know how to use LinkedIn to find the right people, reach out to someone who does. These kinds of programs have been around long enough now that someone is in your network, someone who is willing to help you and will show you how to find the right people at the company you are targeting. The other good thing about using LinkedIn is that you can check out your connections and see if there is anyone in your network who is connected with people at your target customers. Once you know that you can ask them for an introduction.
- Reach out to your suppliers. Many times, the companies and the people who are selling their products to your company are also selling to your target account. So reach out to them and see how they are dealing with that account. Ask them how they got into the account in the first place. Find out what their process was. If you don’t have a lot of suppliers in your network, get out there and cultivate some. They can prove extremely valuable when it comes to understanding that market, because their job is to go from customer to customer. They have a wider network than you do and can help you find the right people. As an added bonus, if they are selling their wares to your company they have a vested interest in wanting you to succeed. If you succeed and if your company starts to grow then their sales with your company will grow as well.
- Collect a few of your smartest friends, invite them to lunch and have a brainstorming session. Pick their brains for ideas on what to do next. All of us in sales have been at the point you are at and all of us have tried to use our friends and contacts to help us win an account. It’s the great thing about having a network. It’s a great thing about having friends. The nice thing about sales people is that we all have opinions, we all like to talk and we are always trying to be helpful. It would be smart to extend and formalize this group.
Regardless of the ways you come up with to ask for help, it is important to remember that people never fail, they just stop trying. Don’t ever do that because in the end there is always a way to succeed. You just haven’t found it yet. It’s only common sense.