By Kelley Robertson, www.fearless-selling.ca
In today’s ultra-competitive business world it is becoming more difficult to stand out from the crowd and impress new prospects. However, there are a few things you can do to achieve this and start increasing your sales.
1 – Do your homework
Before you pick up the telephone and dial for dollars invest a few minutes to research the company or person you are calling. You don’t need to spend hours on this, simply do enough homework that you can speak intelligently about their potential issues.
A friend of mine was cold calling a company and he read through their recent annual report—which was available on their website. During his conversation he referenced a point from the report and his prospect said, “You know more than I do!”
2 – Be punctual
I have heard sales people proclaim, “Why can’t my prospect see me; I’m only 10 minutes late?”
Late is late! You are either on time or you aren’t.
If you say you will call someone at 2:30 make sure you follow through. Allow plenty of time for travel when meeting face-to-face with prospects. Road construction, an accident or other unexpected delays shouldn’t cause you to be late.
Key decision makers are too busy to wait for you so be punctual and on time. It’s a little thing but it makes a big difference.
3 – Get to the point
Don’t waste a lot of time on small talk or social chit-chat—unless your prospect initiates this type of conversation. Instead, get to the reason for the meeting. Your prospect will respect you and you will stand out from your competition.
An effective to open is to verify the time available, “Mrs. Prospect, when we spoke last we allotted 60 minutes for today’s meeting; is that still good?” This ensures that you and your contact are both on the same page with respect to scheduling.
4 – Recap
Just before you launch into your sales presentation, recap your understanding of your prospect’s situation, problems or concerns. This bullet-point summary demonstrates to your prospect that you have a handle on their issues and captures their attention immediately. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to modify the presentation of your offering if your prospect’s situation has changed since your last conversation.
5 – Focus on them
Instead of talking about your company, your client list, your products and services, how long you have been in business or anything else that focuses the attention on you and your company, concentrate on showing your prospect how your offering will help them and/or their organization.
Prospects are not interested in hearing the self-puffery details that your marketing department so desperately wants you to share. They want to know how you can help them solve a potential problem. The more your presentation focuses on this, the longer you will your prospect’s attention and the greater the likelihood you will move the sales process forward.
6 – Don’t overstay your welcome
Unfortunately, many sales calls and meetings go into overtime which disrupts the decision makers’ already jam-packed schedule. I have personally been on the receiving end of sales call that was supposed to take 30 minutes but quickly stretched to 40 and would have gone on longer had I not cut it short.
Just because you have 60 minutes allotted for your meeting does not mean you have to use it all. You can impress a prospect by wrapping up early and giving them a few minutes of “free” time. You will never hear a prospect say, “Wait…we had 60 minutes scheduled for this meeting and we’re only at fifty. Keep talking for another ten minutes.”
These six steps will help you impress your prospects and stand out from the competition.
What others can you think of?
Kelley Robertson is president of the Robertson Training Group. Kelley is the author of two sales books, Stop, Ask & Listen-Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers and The Secrets of Power Selling. Both sales training books provide practical insights to improving your sales results. Visit his website at www.fearless-selling.ca or call him 905 633 7750.