Increase success by putting the customer first. Keep the end goal in mind as you dive into the beginning steps to move through the sales cycle. Doing so becomes the guided path to a negotiated agreement that most will embrace.
Connect with hearts and minds by a desire to serve.
The Online Experience
Take time to review your website from the mindset of prospective clients. Is all of your contact information easily found? Check all links to be certain they each click through as intended. Review the instructions for clarity in all downloadable forms. For example, one document requested a domain name and password for logging in. After wasting almost half an hour, a call was made to the company. The rep admitted that an email and password are required, not the domain.
Researching clients and sellers ahead of meetings is the smart step to take. Review whether everything you wish to present is up to date to include your website, business cards, photo and social media profiles. Also, review your social media activity for consistency in all postings and communicated thought. Are your posts in alignment with what your audience needs and wants, and in a friendly inviting manner?
Fact Check First
Every meeting should begin with a personal note such as interests, family, and holiday plans. While you did research beforehand, it is best to fact check by asking the prospective client the reason for the meeting. Add that you would like to know in their words more about the company regarding the research you did. Letting them know you put some work in ahead of schedule will give you one gold star.
By asking for the client information first quickly lets you know whether there is a potential match for doing business together. Questions, answers, and clarifying statements all move the sales cycle forward.
Once again, prospective clients are watching you. They watch whether you are fully present and actively listening. They determine if you are honest by asking for meanings of jargon they use. They observe if you respectfully treat all of their employees. And they want to see that you are appreciative of their time both upon entering and exiting the office.
All of these acts give an indication of how the client will be treated after the sale, and are among the biggest differentiators from most everyone else. Almost every salesperson is solely focused on making the sale, providing little concern for the client. By taking an active interest in your clientele with interactive conversation, you establish an appreciated personal brand. Your reward is to be shown equal respect and awarded the sale.
- Think about goals before the meeting.
- Focus on client needs and interests first.
- Be fully present in the conversation.
- Ask questions about anything not quite understood.
- Determine common ground and areas requiring further inquiry.
- Inquire about intended timeline to determine the degree of serious consideration.