Be Bold & Stand Out, Or Be Ignored
By Phil Hobden, Head of Growth and Strategy at Know-it
In a world filled with noise (especially the sales industry), it's those who dare to be bold and stand out who can truly make a difference. Mediocrity has never ignited a revolution, but boldness has consistently altered the course of history. As a sales leader, I've come to realise that this principle is equally vital for both me and my team.
Bear in mind, opportunities don't often arrive with a gentle tap on your door; they await those who seize them with unwavering confidence and audacity. Whether it involves proposing groundbreaking ideas, venturing into uncharted territories, or – something incredibly important to me – expressing your authentic self, boldness is the key that unlocks doors others might not even notice.
Moreover, let's be honest, the world is teeming with subpar salespeople. My inbox is flooded with emails and messages from individuals who clearly have no understanding of who I am, my role, or what I do. Discovery calls that fail to discover anything, demos and calls devoid of follow-ups or clear calls to action — they're all too common sadly.
WONDERING HOW YOU CAN TRULY SET YOURSELF APART AS A SALESPERSON?
Here are some invaluable tips to help you along the way:
- Be an expert (product knowledge):
Become an expert in your product or service. The more you know, the more confident you'll become, and the greater trust you'll earn from your customers.
- Build a customer-centric approach:
Shift your focus towards solving your customer's problems rather than simply pushing a product. Actively listen to their needs, ask pertinent questions, and tailor your solutions accordingly.
- Build lasting relationships:
Cultivate and nurture strong relationships with your customers. Display genuine interest in their business and personal lives. Personalised attention can make a substantial difference.
- Be an effective communicator:
Hone your communication skills, including active listening, clear and concise articulation, and the ability to effectively convey value.
- Thought leader? No, but understand your market:
Stay well-informed about industry trends, competitors, and market dynamics. Knowledge about the market empowers you to adapt your sales approach and offer valuable insights to your customers.
- Be the problem solver not the problem maker:
Position yourself as a problem solver. Customers often make purchases to address specific issues or fulfil particular needs. Show how your product or service provides the solution.
- Embrace (and welcome) rejection:
Recognise that sales can be challenging, and rejection is an inherent part of the job. Instead of letting it discourage you, view it as a chance to learn and enhance your skills.
- Feedback. Feedback:
Seek constructive feedback from colleagues, mentors, or supervisors. Their insights can help you pinpoint areas for improvement.
- Continuous learning:
The sales landscape is ever evolving. Stay up-to-date with the latest sales techniques, strategies, and industry knowledge. Attend workshops, webinars, and read relevant books.
- Do it right and be ethical:
Always uphold ethical standards and act with integrity. Trust is a cornerstone of sales, and once it's eroded, it's challenging (if not impossible) to rebuild.
- Follow up is key:
Don't underestimate the power of follow-up. Some of the most valuable opportunities lie here (and are equally lost if done wrong). Regularly check in with prospects and existing customers to maintain and nurture relationships (and especially if they leave or reject you – customers will come back, but only if we treated them right when they left).
So, let's challenge the status quo, push our limits, and stand out. In a sea of conformity, let's choose to be the wave that stands tall and crashes against the norms. It's time to embrace the mantra: "Be Bold or Be Ignored!"
About the author
Phil has spent over 15 years in financial services & the Fintech accountancy sectors, working for some of the most innovative businesses in these industries, including Intuit, Natwest Banking Group and Wolters Kluwer. Phil is now the Head of Strategy & Growth for credit management fintech platform Know-It. Know-it is a platform that enables a business to effectively manage all their credit processes, to mitigate risk and to get a better understanding of their customers.
Phil is a business and strategy contributor for Elite Business Magazine online, a featured writer for Engage Sales, a serial podcast host including his latest project ‘The Story of’, judge for UK Business Tech awards & the Global Tech awards across 2021 to now , a public speaker (having spoken at Elite Business Live x3, Accountex x3, Accountex North, QuickBooks Get Connected, Customer Engagement Transformation Conference and more) and has guested on numerous industry podcasts and industry webinars including with the ACCA, Accounting Influencers, Humanise The Numbers, Advance Track and others.
Phil has worked with partners, practice owners, accountants and bookkeepers in the UK, South Africa and beyond, from Top 5 through to leading niche and boutique firms, helping them implement new technology, change processes and launch new service lines to better support their own practices and as well as their SMB clients.
Connect with him on Linkedin here: www.linkedin.com/in/philhobden/
For more on Know-It visit www.know-it.co.uk