It’s time for the 2021 sales predictions! You know, every year I always get asked, “What are your sales predictions?” And you know what? I like giving them and here is why: It gets us all thinking about what is going to happen in the year to come.
Now, we cannot predict the year ahead–who would have thought we’d have the year we did in 2020?
But hey, let’s dive into what I believe will be the 10 predictions on what is changing and what isn’t for this year. Are you ready?
Video – Sales Predictions, What’s Changing and What’s Not
More video. Yes, using video has been a big part of 2020 selling. Need I remind you of how many virtual team meetings, Zoom, WebEx and more we experienced this year? Video is going to become part of every email, every message, every platform… video, more video. Get used to it!
2. Your reputation matters most
This is going to become more and more critical because we are going to be staying in this virtual world here for probably several more months and really – in some element – forever.
What does this mean? People have the ability to check you out, and your reputation matters. And when people “check you out,” they’re going to check you out online. So ask yourself: What does Google have to say about you?
Your reputation matters most.
It’s interesting that really has not changed. It’s always been important, but it’s just going to become even more so.
3. Others will sell you
Now, what does that mean? There’s something significantly changing in the marketplace.
First of all, you as a salesperson have to be responsible for your sales. No ifs, ands or buts about that. I am responsible for my own sales. But it’s vert interesting to note that customers are looking to others to confirm reasons as to why they should do business with you.
Customers are looking to others to get reviews on you. You see, others will sell you just like a restaurant relies on Yelp reviews, just like a hotel or a theme park relies on TripAdvisor and different bulletin boards, so forth.
Every salesperson is going to be relying more and more on others to be selling you. That said, you better make sure you have advocates out there talking positively and sharing comments about you.
People are going to be asking before they’re willing to do a transaction with you. Actually, they’re not going to be asking – they’re going to go find it.
And if they don’t find it, they’re not going to do business with you.
4. Offline conversations
See, this is a little bit of a mix between old world and new world. What exactly does “offline conversations” mean? It means the ability to pick up the phone and have a real conversation with that person.
Yes, we may live in a Zoom and internet-based world. The difference is that online connection you make through social media isn’t the end goal. The end goal is to turn that into an offline conversation.
The offline conversation is the one that now brings more value. There’s just something magical about it.
So what’s changed and what hasn’t changed? The telephone is actually playing a bigger role in higher value deals than ever before.
Note that when I say higher value, that doesn’t necessarily mean higher price. That just means you’re going to be creating more value at whatever price point you happen to sell at when you embrace having offline conversations.
5. Value comparison
This one is huge. The customer knows that they are in control and that they can compare. What does this mean for you?
This means they’re going to be comparing more than ever, and this requires more work on our part than ever before for one reason: The customer doesn’t know what they do not know, and they will wind up comparing things that do not apply.
We have to be careful with the customer’s value comparison because they’re thinking they’re making the wise decision. We have to be prepared to jump in and help them through. This concept really is new, and is only going to become an exponentially huge factor in the year to come.
6. Noise barriers
The Internet has never been noisier. If you look at the amount of video being streamed, the amount of commentary, the amount of podcasting about everything – it is incredibly noisy out there.
Now, there are two things you have to understand to get noise barriers to work for you. One, you have to nail down what is your noise? What is the noise you’re creating, and is it meaningful? It cannot just be noise; it has to be quality noise. I am going to challenge you to up your quality of noise through the posts you make, the comments you share and everything in between. You have to be there for your customers, but make it meaningful and engaging.
At the same token, noise barriers mean your customers are hearing more and more and more. This means it is going to be even more challenging for you to be able to break through, which means you have to be using a multichannel strategy to be able to connect.
Without it, you have no chance because we are truly all competing in a global marketplace.
7. Personal relationships matter
I’ll continue by saying they matter more than ever right now. In the old world – pre-COVID – we could go out and create personal relationships one-on-one with people.
But today, things are moving much faster. This means we have to foster more relationships with more people, because chances are, (Go back to some of the things that we’re talking about here) people are going to be talking to other people and say, “Hey, what’s this Mark Hunter guy like?” or “What’s this guy like?”
Personal relationships matter because it’s a way we break through the noise. It is the way we can really convey our reputation. It’s the way we really accomplish everything we’ve been discussing up to this point.
More than ever, authenticity is key. I always talk about how important authenticity is, because people have to see the real you. The world is so noisy, which means it’s easy for things to get distorted quickly. We have to be careful and intentionally authentic in all our messages.
We have to be real human beings. People want to do business with people who are genuine, not fakes.
Simply keep things simple.
It’s easy for us to screw up a two-car funeral. It’s easy for us to make things incredibly complex. We have to simplify things, especially because people are exhausted after such a grueling year. The easier we can make it for our customers to make a decision and determine what is best for them, the higher they will view us.
10. Face-to-face meetings
Face-to-face is coming back.
Face-to-face is going to be coming at us in a number of different ways. Have you ever noticed how the Zoom meeting you had when we first went into the pandemic was kind of all over the place? You may have been doing a Zoom call with a customer.
Now, you have Zoom meetings all the time – maybe even multiple times a day – and it feels a whole lot more engaging, doesn’t it? In a short time, we have really vaulted.
Aside from that, I believe face-to-face meetings are coming back in various levels. What does this mean for you? We have to be prepared.
We will get back to business travel. The degree with which we get back? That of course is going to be suspect for a long time to come. I don’t know. We don’t know. Nobody knows. But you better be prepared for it.
Those are what I see as my 2021 sales predictions. I’d love to hear what yours are. Great selling!
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Copyright 2021, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.
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