Veggies don’t grow in a garden overnight, and if you don’t take the right steps to prepare the crop, you may have nothing to harvest throughout the season. With selling, loyal and deep client connections aren’t formed in the blink of an eye, and if you don’t nurture these connections, they will wilt and wither away. To get a growing sales success rate, you need to tend to your sales garden in three essential steps: environment, planting seeds, nourishment. Continue reading to explore what each step means and what you can do on your journey to building an even more prosperous sales success rate.
What is a Sales Garden?
A sales garden is a creative lens to view your sales strategy and pipeline through. Whether you’re planting flowers or vegetables, think of the seeds and blooms as your ideal clients you’re making connections with.
How to Tend to Your Sales Garden
Environment: Where Your Clients Thrive
Depending on where you live around the world, you have a point in the year that is a prime growing season for flowers and vegetables, or whatever you plant to your heart’s content! In South-Central Ontario, our best growing season is between the months of May-October. However, I usually find that my outdoor gardens grow dormant come September. So, all those squash and potatoes I plant outside don’t last all year, as the fall and winter don’t offer ideal growing conditions.
This was a problem for my peppers, lettuce, and kale, as I wanted a source of these year-round. So, what did I do to solve the issue? I made a greenhouse, giving these veggies an ideal climate to thrive in!
Whether potatoes or kale or what you prefer, you need to go to their ideal environment to harvest them. The same goes for your clients! For example, if you sell home-grown organic veggies at a rib festival, you wouldn’t find ideal prospects. But if you move your booth to a farmer’s market, you’ll have more success.
Call to Action: Find where your ideal client spends most of their time and spend more time within that environment.
Planting Seeds: Networking
The step of planting seeds in your sales garden is the equivalent of meeting new prospects and starting a connection with them. Being in a client’s ideal environment isn’t enough. If you don’t strike up a conversation (plant a seed), then the potential for a veggie sprout or flower blossom is nil. Break out of your comfort zone and start having authentic conversations.
Another part of planting seeds is consistency. Let’s say a lady is intrigued by your strawberries at the farmer’s market. You both bond over your love of strawberry rhubarb pie and how she hasn’t made one in a while because her grocery store doesn’t keep a good batch. She ends the conversation by saying she sees someone she knows, and she’s going to say hi. When she leaves, you slouch in defeat, thinking she was going to buy some of your strawberries. You go to another farmer’s market a town over next month, and the lady returns saying, “I just couldn’t stop thinking about those strawberries and baking that pie.” And she buys three containers.
Sowing that seed paid off. If you never talked with her, she wouldn’t have remembered you or the gleeful feeling strawberry rhubarb pie brings to herself and her family.
Some seeds take more time to bloom than others, just like it may take some prospects longer to buy than others. This often causes sales pipelines to go dry, but the more seeds you plant, and the more consistent you are, the less likely you are to have a bare garden and pipeline.
Call to Action: Identify which seeds you’d like to plant and how you will diversify them.
Nourishment: Deepening Client Relationships
Without sunshine and water, seeds won’t expand, break open, and blossom through the soil. If I don’t give my kale seeds proper light and water, they won’t flourish.
Plant metaphors aside, if you’re at a sales conference and have a great conversation with someone who you relate to and who you believe would be an ideal fit as a client, but you don’t exchange contact information or follow-up with them on LinkedIn afterward, then most likely, nothing will happen.
You need to activate the germination process. You need to continue the conversation, get to know them more, and develop trust between one another. Whether it be through email, LinkedIn messages, or meeting up in person, you need to nurture the prospect so they can bloom into a current client.
Call to Action: Give value to your client and help them solve their problem so they see you as a solution.
Make Your Sales Success Rate Flourish
I know how frustrating it can be to go out and network, put in the work, and still hear crickets. But remember:
- Continue socializing in your ideal client’s environment.
- Plant seeds and form connections! They may not sprout right away, but they might down the line.
- Nourish the seeds into bloom and deepen the relationship with your client even more.
With patience and consistency, these three steps of tending to your sales garden will pay off into long-term success.
Take note that I left you with a Call to Action in each section. Write these down and put them into action and watch your sales pipeline transform.
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