I happened to have been one of those kids that couldn’t keep my hands to myself. In fact, truth be told is that if way back then they were diagnosing kids with ADHD, I would likely have been the classic case. This revealed itself when as a child I was in a store. Mom would always be reminding me to “don’t touch that!” I don’t know why I was ever allowed in a store with breakables, but of course those shiny, glass, expensive trinkets were the ones I wanted to touch most. “Break it and you’ll pay for it” is what I heard many a time.
Touch is one of the 5 senses
The tactile sense is important, and I really believe when people touch something there is a different type of connection. I personally am much more likely to buy something that I can touch and feel. If you’re ever buying something used from a private seller like a vehicle or even just a small household item you found on Craigslist, watch what happens if the seller touches the cash. Even if I’m going to offer less than the asking price, and enter a negotiation, I notice that if I hand the wad of cash to the seller and they touch it while I’m giving my price, it is hard for them to let go and pass the cash back. Try it, I believe it makes a big difference. I think the seller is much more likely to take the lower offer if they “touch” and especially grab hold of the cash.
Ever heard of someone having a sales touch and being an amazing salesperson? Ever wonder what the sales touch actually is? Before I tell you, I will admit that of course people vary in their abilities to sell. Notwithstanding, I actually believe everyone can sell and everyone has some necessary skills to sell. Why? Because sales qualities all come from personality. Yes, you can train, and you can improve various sales skills throughout the sales and the corresponding buyer’s cycles. However, I believe every person can sell and does sell – even if not in the traditional way. We have these classic images in our minds of what a salesperson actually is.
To be honest, one of my favourite things to do in coaching is to address insecurities that many individuals have that cause them to state and believe they can not sell. I often hear it, “I can not sell…or, I need to hire a salesperson.” Nothing wrong with having a sales department in your firm – in fact, of course, you should. However, everyone needs to be part of selling. Everyone sells.
The sales touch
Here’s the sales touch. It’s just that, it is to touch. You want to sell, then touch. If you can touch, you can sell. So, what do I mean by touch? I don’t mean a physical touch, although it may include that. What I mean is that you need to touch people. I have had realtors, consultants, contractors, even fundraisers whine and complain about not getting any new sales. Yet, they are not making touch points. I ask, “how many people have you touched this week?” Undoubtedly the response is, “Huh?” Some might call this networking. I often refer to it as building relationships. More often than not we need several touches with a business or a consumer (depending on who the buyer is) in order to make the sale. Touch, touch, touch and touch more.
Naturally, there are more and less skilful touches. Cold calling may work, but there are much better ways to touch. However, if you have nobody to touch, then cold call if you must. It drives me crazy when people whine about this, about not selling and yet they sit in their office and wait for buyers to magically land in their lap. If you want to sell, you need to use use your sales touch. Regardless of your role, you need to be part of sales. Every time you use your sales touch and reach out to a stakeholder, a community partner, an existing and even long time client, you are making a touch.
Cameron’s Call to Action
- Regardless of whether you are “officially” in the sales department or the main person accountable for hitting the company’s sales targets, evaluate how you are doing with your touches. Are you using your sales touch? Even if you are an accounts payable clerk, consider how many touches this week and how you are touching your corresponding accounts receivable department that you owe money to.
- Count your touches. Depending on your role, your target number of meaningful touches in a week may be low, even under 5. That is okay. However, for many roles including many professional services roles, you better have 20 plus touches per week. Based on your role, set a target and hit it.
- If your sales numbers are down, or you are needing more revenue, do more touching. Put a plan together to touch. You have a unique sales touch – it is your touch – use it!!
- If you’re really struggling, get some coaching or take a bit of sales training. You’ll learn more fully about what skills you have and what skills to work on. You’ll learn about identifying buyer needs, talking ROI and value, building and maintaining relationships and how to close better. The thing that is common to all though, is it all involves the seller’s touch. Touch, touch, touch…people, teams, and whatever and whoever you can to raise awareness of your value, your products and services.
- When in doubt – touch. Touch again and again. How many touches do you have planned for this week?