Karina Collis
Viktoria Fischer-Werth

5 sales insights
TO take your sales tactics
to the next level

Monthly digest, August

How to deliver a B2B sale?
B2B sales are not always straightforward. There are many moving parts you have to pay attention to: how should you present your product? What are the best ways to persuade others? And how do you catch someone's interest in the first place?

When we talk about how people make their decisions there is already an infinite number of aspects we have to consider. Minor things can influence whether people perceive something as positive or negative, as attention-grabbing content or boring non-sense.

Of course, when you are in sales you don't want your prospect to think of you as the latter - so what are these factors and how can you influence them?

We publish our monthly "5 Sales Insights" series to answer these questions and help you navigate through the complexity of B2B sales. We want to share with you a collection of powerful techniques with which you can win your prospects interest and master your sales process. Every month you can learn more about tips to catch people's attention, persuade better and improve your sales.

Sales insight #1. BE AMBIVERT

ambivert /ˈambɪvəːt/
a person who has a balance of extrovert
and introvert features in their personality

There are introverts, extroverts, expressive leaders, analytical thinker - but what is the best personality style in sales?

The answer is a mixture of them all: ambivert. Ambivert? Exactly! Ambivert is the one who has a balance of extroverted and introverted features in their personality. And guess what? The best salespeople are ambiverts.

A study compared salesman earnings ($) per hour, grouped by personality types. The chart below shows: the clear winner is the ambivert!

Two recent HBR studies of sales professionals found that top performers are less social and chatty than below-average ones and that the most sociable salespeople are often the poorest performers of all. Ambiverts are the best salespeople, they know when to push and when to hold back, when to speak up and when to shut up.

Analyse for yourself which personality type you are and depending on the result pay attention to what you should adjust: be a little more outgoing or talk a little less - or if you are an ambivert, just stay the way you are.
Slide with text: "be ambivert - both introvert and extrovert". Graph that compares salespeople earnings ($) per hour, grouped by personality types. Compared to extroverts and introverts, ambiverts sell the most.

Sales insight #2. PERSUADE WITH IMAGES

Slide with text: persuade with analogies and metaphors
Persuasion comes from understanding. And how do you make people understand better what exactly you want to tell them?

It's simple: with analogies and metaphors!

Analogies and metaphors work as logical arguments and are helpful to transfer an important message. They connect something unfamiliar with a familiar framework – leading people to understand a product and its value better and to know what to expect.

With technical and lengthy descriptions you tend to lose a person's attention. However, if you use an easily understandable and familiar comparison, people will be more likely to listen and to understand what exactly you want to tell them. For example: "It works as easy and fast as flipping a switch!", "Our solution is a wheel to your car", "We will transform your business from a caterpillar into a butterfly".

How do analogies and metaphors work?

icon of a star
they break down a complex statement and make it simple
icon of a person with a checkmark
they turn something unfamiliar into something relevant
icon of a light bulb
they are easier to remember

Sales insight #3. ASK FOR ACTION

Slide with text: ask for action, not permission
Do you sometimes find yourself in a situation where your prospects don't take the next step in your sales process? They don't buy something or simply don't request more information? How do you actually encourage someone to act?

It might be easier than you thought – ask for action, not permission!

Just asking for permission won't influence people to act on your content. Instead, you should ask them for what exactly you want.

Asking for action:

tells someone what exactly they should do
gives them the motivation to do so
leads to soft commitment
Asking for action helps to inspire the desired outcome and elicits a response in people. You ask your prospect to commit to the next step, which creates a feeling of obligation within a person. People tend to stick to their commitments because they like to honour them, and it makes them feel better about themselves.

So, next time instead of asking for permission “May I send you some information?" better ask for action: "I will send you some information. Will you look over it and we can talk again tomorrow?" or "Will you be available for a free testing trial next week?"

For more tips on how to create the right call-to-action, read our article about call-to-actions that move.

Sales insight #4. EXPLAIN WITH VISUALS

Our brain processes visual data
6-600 times faster than words
and retains 80% of what we see
(vs. just 20% of what we read)
A picture's worth a thousand words – almost literally.

Did you know that visual data is being processed significantly faster and remembered easier than words? You should use this fact for your advantage: explain your content with visuals!

Slide with text: explain content with visuals
We all know that tiring feeling when we sit through a powerpoint presentation that's loaded with text. The information presented is usually hard to understand and almost impossible to remember. And you are not alone with this: only 10% of people remember what they heard, 20% what they read and 80% remember what they saw and did.

This shows us: visuals can help! Not only processes our brain visual information more effectively than text, but they are also more persuasive and easier to remember. This is an efficient way to easily convey information to your customer and convince them of what you want to tell.


Slide with text: tease with information to create curiosity
Remember this trembling feeling when your favorite TV show ends with a huge cliff-hanger? You just want to start the next episode to know how it continues ...

Humans are in general curious beings. We want to know the ending of an exciting story, what comes next after something unexpected happened.

How can you use this curiosity to improve your sales? Tease with information, and don't give it all away at the beginning - this will create curiosity. Curiosity helps you to get someone's attention and afterwards to keep their interest.

We become curious when there is a gap between what we know and what we want to know. We want to obtain the missing information, so we open the email in our inbox or ask the salesperson what all this is about.

(Learn more about how to write an email subject line that makes your prospects curios here).
Here are 4 easy ways how you can create curiosity in others:
ask a stimulating question
("Have you heard of our 5-step BUILD program?")
end emails with a cliff-hanger
("In my next email I will share a strategy that helped me to double my sales!")
violate expectations
("How to increase sales in just 15 minutes a day")
talk about information others didn't know
("Discover what you are missing to improve your business strategy!")


Sales are not only about telling a person why they should buy your product. If you want to sell successfully, there is so much more behind it: how do you talk to your prospect? What is your purpose in engaging? Can you help them find a solution to their problem?

There are many different aspects you should pay attention to, but also many useful techniques which will help you close a deal more easily.

Stay up to date with our monthly digest of 5 powerful sales insights to learn more techniques that will help you win your prospect and increase your sales. Are you curious to learn more? Then check out our other monthly digests from July and June.

Good luck with applying the techniques we share! The more you practice, the better you will become.

Follow us on Linkedin for more sales insights
Sign up
to join our start-ups community and learn about new sales and marketing insights
By clicking on the button, you consent to the processing of personal data and agree to the Liinea's Privacy Policy
© Liinea, 2019. All Right Reserved.
E-mail us at hello@liinea.com