My Marketing Guy’s guest Blogger this month is Kate Roxburgh. Kate is a freelance sales professional and she gives us her thoughts about preparing for those important sales meetings.
If your sales pitch has gone a little stale have a read of my 10 top tips. We all need to review our sales technique as trends change so having spent many years at the sharp end of the sales process I thought that it might be useful to other sales people to share my thoughts on what makes a successful salesperson.
First impressions count.
There’s an old saying that you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression and how true that is!
A friendly, enthusiastic attitude either on the phone or at the sales meeting is an absolute must!
If you go into a sales pitch feeling, sounding and looking miserable (or even worse, with a hangover!), you are unlikely to make that good first impression.
Enthusiasm and a great attitude will go a long way to engaging positively with the buyer. After all, people by people first and who wants to do business with a misery?!
Be a good researcher and find out who the main decision maker is.
It isn’t always possible, but try to make sure that the decision maker will be present at your sales pitch.
If not, and you are meeting with someone gathering information for the decision maker you are unlikely to make a sale that day and will need at least one more another visit.
Getting around the gatekeeper.
Even the best sales people dislike cold calling! Make the gatekeeper (otherwise known as the receptionist, secretary, personal assistant etc) your friend. Ask them if they ‘wouldn’t mind helping you because you aren’t sure who you should be speaking with’.
Change the hours you prospect new business. Ring early in the morning or later in the afternoon, and you may have more chance of speaking with the main decision maker that has more time to talk.
Give some thought to your sales pitch and begin with your ‘AFTERS’.
Starting with the ‘afters’ has been highlighted by motivational speaker Andy Bounds as being a highly successful sales method.
Potential customers are more likely to listen to your sales presentation if you let them know at the outset what the results of your product / service will do for them. ‘We will find you more customers’ or “how we will save you time and money” or “how we will increase your profit margin” etc etc.
Remember, every potential customer wants to know ‘What’s In It For Me’ and if you tell them early on in your pitch what the result will be then they are far more likely to want to listen to how you will do it and you will have a captive audience.
Know why you are there and how you can help because knowledge is key.
Know your own business and how the products or services will benefit the customer.
Knowledge and understanding of the products or services that you are providing is vital if you are to win customers over.
They are more likely to buy from someone who knows their stuff!
Know who you are visiting and what they do.
Find out as much information as possible about the company through the company website and social media. Your knowledge of the potential customer will impress during the meeting.
Before the meeting, know what you want to achieve – is it awareness, an enquiry or a sale.
This will enable you to move towards an opportunity being closed. By understanding what the customer’s needs are, you can then offer a solution to their problem effectively.
Ask open ended high gain questions.
During the course of your meeting ask open ended, high gain questions in order to find out more about how your products / services can meet the potential clients’ need. Questions starting with Who, What, Why, Where, How, amongst others will give you a wealth of information that you can use.to dictate the course of the sales pitch.
Listen carefully and take notes.
By listening to the customer, you’ll be able to find out their exact needs and offer the most appropriate solution. by talking about the benefits of using your company.
At the end of the meeting, you’ll need to have agreed on who will do what and when to progress things to the next stage.
Remember the saying that ‘the fortune is in the follow up’? Many sales people do not (yes really!) follow up their sales enquiries more than once. Knowing this leaves the field clear for persistent sales people like you to be successful by never giving up.
So there it is, my 10 top sales tips – they are the ones that have worked for me and I am sure that you have others that work for you. If you would like to share them please add them below. Thanks for reading!