Before getting into sales, it’s good to re-conceptualize the sales process as a dialogue instead of a pitch. While a pitch implies a one way bombardment of words, a conversation implies connection, rapport, and mutual problem solving.
1. Do Your Homework
The first thing you need to do is research, otherwise you will come to the table with little knowledge of what to ask. Before cold-calling a prospective client, research their business, and even the client. Get acquainted with the industry and the market so that you can understand what the needs of this particular client might be.
2. Have Goals
Set positive goals for yourself, and make an attempt to follow through with them. Don’t just say “whatever will happen, will happen.” Think about tangible outcomes in your mind that you would actually like to see, such as a sale, a follow-up lunch meeting, or an appointment for a demonstration.
3. Build Rapport and Trust
Talking to someone who you know just wants to sell you something is a huge turn-off for most people. As you meet with clients, focus on the relationship rather than the sale, because sales will come automatically when potential clients like interacting with you. Nobody likes to deal with somebody who sells them something and then disappears off the face of the earth.
When you complete a sale, follow up with your clients periodically to see how things are working out, or personalize transitioning them to your implementation team. Know your product and your industry well. Don’t just make up facts and figures, but be a genuine expert on what you’re selling. When you know what you’re talking about, potential clients will trust you, and be more inclined to buy from you.
Ask the right questions to discover as much information as you can about the client, and scope out any potential situations that could be addressed with your solution. Don’t overburden them with information about your product. Instead, glean what you can by engaging them in conversation.
5. Show Value
Believe in the value of your product, and show that value to the client. You need to get the client to recognize that value, so engage them with a scenario or two that will illustrate the product’s value. Show them how productivity or profits will increase with the solution you are offering.
In summary, effective sales conversations are just that: conversations. Avoid making one way pitches, and instead, engage your client by asking questions, listening, and highlighting the value of what you have to offer.
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