Simple and Effective Steps to win your customer over a Sales Call
A week back, technical manager of our company was with me for a client meeting. He was there to discuss some technical collaboration with my client and once the meeting started, I was dump by his conversation.
He talked a lot about the company, his team’s capabilities, company’s technical offering for the client etc etc. And the client was yawning. I could clearly understand why. Technical manager’s conversation never mentioned how it will be beneficial for the client. Why client will be interested in the proposal. How it will increase their revenue, market presence, their brand image.
This is a very common mistake made by most of the “Sales Representatives” across the globe. All of us keep telling about the company we represent, the product we deal, technical and functional aspect etc, but never bother to describe how it is going to help the client.
Thus it is very important to prepare yourself before any meeting, be it with a small client or your key account. Here are some of the key steps which are very simple and is very productive any sales call: -
- Explore the client’s business. Try to find out the type of business, their clients, how they operate in the market etc. Also it will not be a bad idea to find the organizational structure of your client’s company. Depending on the purpose of your visit, select the right person to discuss your points.
- Use Internet. Nowadays all the company and business details are available in internet. Find out more regarding the person, the company’s new projects, market initiatives etc. This will be very handy in the “Ice Break” Session with the client.
- Call up and define the purpose. While calling up for the appointments, be polite and clearly define the objective of the meeting. This will help your client to prepare for the meeting as well. And do expect, “It’s not the right time, can you call up later?” from the other end. Be courteous and re-schedule the meeting at a convenient time of your client. There will be time, when you want to meet up your client as a part of relationship building exercise. My suggestion for the same is to meet him/her up at a coffee shop or a restaurant over lunch.
- First Impression. First few minutes of your introduction or meeting are very vital. This can make or break the deal. Hence it is quite a common practice to rehearse the first few lines before arriving at the venue.
- Conversation and not Presentation. I always believed that all sales meetings should be conversation based where both parties get their chance to speak, express their points honestly and openly. But I find lot of sales executives open up their laptops with colorful PowerPoint presentations or other sales kit and start their “speech” immediately after a routine handshake.
- Listen and Understand. Sales person need to listen to their clients and understand their requirement. Then he/she can align the conversation as to how it will be beneficial to them. Cover as much as points as you can. Explain the benefit in terms of money, function, technical feasibility etc. A good homework will help you to point out these features.
- Reference. Present testimonials and references of your service in the area of their business. This will help them to visualize how your product or service can help them. List down genuine reference customers and their appreciation letter if any to the party.
- Close the Meeting. Plan how you would like to close the meeting. The deal is often set after 4-5 meetings and hence it will not be a bad idea to discuss the time and venue of the next meeting.
- Commitments. Commit honestly what you can fulfill. All other requests should be turned down politely. If you have to revert back to the client with some details do commit a date for that as well. And do not forget to stick to the deadline.
- Follow up. It will be a nice idea to send a “Thank You” mail within 24 hrs of your meeting. This will have a very positive effect with your client. He gets a chance to remember you and moreover you are telling him how eager you are to do business with his company.
Sales are definitely an art form and simple steps can lead to great sales over a period of time. Representatives of the company should understand that rather than sales the relationship matters and even if the sale doesn’t happen in near future, you should never ignore your clients. There are instances in sales where a client who never gave a single opportunity with some renowned companies later turns out to be their key accounts. If such thing happens with your firm, do find out the sales person who handled the client. And not to forget, reward him!!!