There is a lot of buzz about how to sell effectively. Some have just one goal – to close a deal, others say something from the top of their heads and hope their charm, talent, and knowledge of the product or service they are backing will get them the sale. Not to mention, a few even call a prospect repeatedly until they get an answer.
All the approaches mentioned above are wrong.
Here is how it should be done.
Find the appropriate prospect
According to sales coach and author, Wendy Wiess, also popularly known as “the queen of cold calling” –
“Too many salespeople make basic mistakes early on. They need to dedicate more time to the process up front. Being fixated on the end result – closing the sale, they neglect the important initial steps. Focus on finding the fitting client for the product or service you are selling. If you are not talking to the qualified prospect, the chances of anyone turning into a customer, in the end, are very minimal. With the rise of Internet and all the resources the salesperson has now, they are expected to do all their homework before reaching out to a prospect. Look for a prospect whose profile matches that of your top 10 clients – those who buy a lot and do so more often.”
Reach out to the prospect
As stated by Paul Castian, VP of Jedi Mastery at Castian Training Systems –
” A lot of salesperson research a prospect only once during the process. As businesses are moving with a speed of light, things change constantly. When salespeople gather information, they need to review it over and over again before reaching out to the client. You have to understand your audience prior to calling them and continue learning about them as you go along. Once you make that first call, find out their preferred way of communication, and use that throughout the rest of the process. “
What is important is when you reach out to the prospect; not just how you do it.
Adding to what Weiss suggested, she said, “Approach them before they are in the buying mode. Doing this will make you their trusted advisor. When they are ready to buy, you will be the first person to cross their mind.”
Meet the prospect
Salespeople should call and ask for a face-to-face meeting, if possible. Schedule a phone call for in-depth discussion about how your product or service will help the prospect.
This is the part where most of the salesperson make mistake of focusing on making the sales. You can not rush from “Hello” to “Let’s close the deal.” There needs to be a discussion.
Use the time to build up a relationship and understand what a client wants or needs.
Make a Plan
“Get some agreement from the prospect of what will happen next, at the end of the meeting as a lot of salespeople leave things very open,” Weiss says.
You need to ask them about meeting again, when the plan to have a decision with you, and set follow-up call accordingly.
Castian suggests giving yourself and the client some homework between the time you speak again. That will keep you on their mind.
Wait for their decision
Don’t persistently hound your prospects, as they need some time to make the decision.
As per Castian, ” Don’t keep calling if they are not responding. Get creative. For example, send them a cookie saying ‘I want to take a bite out of your business.'”
After numerous failed attempt to get their response in various ways, just leave them a message.The message that you leave is very important. Leave it open. Many a times prospect call you back after you leave that message.
Be prepared for a “No”
Find out why the prospect said No. Ask what went wrong. You need to know, why the sale did not happen, It may be bad timing, in that case, you can reach out again in future. Turn rejection into a learning experience.
Castian says, “The really good ones don’t consider ‘no’ as a door slammed shut for eternity. They view it as a ‘not now,’ and they find out why now isn’t a good time. When you ask, don’t make them feel like they are being put on trial. You don’t want them to shut down and get defensive. Be gentle.”