Prepare for possible objections 6. If not, how can you adapt your approach and set goals for your next sales call? Complete a precall planning worksheet for your upcoming call with Lee Crowan at Fine Dining, Inc. Hiring managers are likely to throw away résumés that come in without cover letters because a cover letter is what allows you to personalize your application, sending the message that you care enough to make an effort in your job search. You can learn a lot about a company by paying attention to its reputation with customers. If consumers, what age, education, and income level? In the case of individual consumers, the problem might be very different: Does she want to have the latest in fashion without couture prices? How will you establish the value proposition you have to offer? Following are two roles that are involved in the same selling situation; one role is that of the sales manager and the other is that of the salesperson.
How big is his business? Maybe your prospect is the marketing manager at the company and has recently been given the task of finding a new breakthrough idea for a promotional product to give away at a major upcoming industry trade show. Mentors are your allies: the people who most want to see you succeed—and the ones who often have the resources to help you do so. The third part illustrates the instruments used in this study. For example, if you are selling computer hardware you might find nuggets of information from the person who sells office furniture. A good pre-approach furnishes a salesman a clear idea into the buying motives of the prospects. As you research your prospect, you should be able to identify problems that are specific to that person or organization: Do they need to reduce costs? This is an excellent opportunity for you to present your comprehensive product line. In other words, on the basis of adequate information about the prospects, a salesman is in a position to present the products or services he intends to sell in conformity with the need of the buyers.
What role does this person have in the buying decision? You might also learn that the person you plan on calling on was previously a buyer at two other companies and usually likes to bring in his previous vendors. So your sales call objective must be clear before doing the actual call. You are never too young nor too old to have a mentor. Noel Capon, Key Account Management and Planning New York: The Free Press, 2001 , 142. The salesman, by means of pre-approach tries to make a successful sales presentation on sound lines. In the Selling U section in , you did your research, identified and qualified your twenty-five target companies, and obtained the contact information for at least two key people at each organization. Once the meeting has been confirmed, inquire briefly about some of the prospects key buying motives 7.
At some point during every brainstorming session, whether group brainstorming or individual, people tend to hit a wall. I have some ideas about how to increase traffic to your Web site. You could bring this idea to your customer or prospect in advance of the McCafé launch and discuss how your idea can help him build his brand prior to the competitive effort. Ideas flow quickly, and then they seem to stop altogether. Furthermore, he is trusting in you above all other people and companies to help him with his challenges.
Setting up Google News Alerts at for your current and potential customers will keep you up-to-date on this. Moreover, many companies post open positions only on their Web sites to avoid the cost of posting on other job boards. It will help you to personalize your communications and will give you a better sense of your business situation. Pre-approach makes the salesman more confident and enthusiastic while meeting the prospects and putting forth the sales proposition before them. Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. Power Wrap-Up Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand the preapproach in selling. However, it is really difficult to point out clearly when the job of prospecting ends and the job of pre-approach begins, since selling is a continuous process.
In , you will learn more about the value of applying for internships and joining professional organizations. Many company employees and executives post regularly about their perceptions and feelings on many topics. For example, Linksys has its Linksys One program, which offers B2B customers high-speed wireless networks combined with an Internet telephone service and several software services. And vice versa missing any detail about the prospect may lead to loss of a contract. Four Ps of Presentation Preparation Preparing your sales presentation can seem like an overwhelming task. As a salesperson, your job is to solve customer problems, not push a product.
The dedicated takes it to the next level, setting up and maintaining a web of friends, co-workers, salespeople from other companies, customers, and former customers, and anyone else he meets. Not only will prioritizing your agenda give you a strategic edge, but it will also help your customer to see that you are organized. Or have a virtual brainstorming session through your professional social network by using the discussion feature on LinkedIn, getting ideas from your followers on Twitter, or creating a A collaborative Web site that allows multiple people to share information, documents, videos, and pictures. Work in teams of two to conduct a brainstorming session using the guidelines covered in this section. Or maybe your prospect owns a grocery chain and needs to increase her sales in the frozen food area with organic products. The Reggio Emilia Approach was founded by Loris Malaguzzi in Reggio Emilia, Italy in the 1960s. However, once the company became more strategic in its precall planning, designing a system of rigorous qualifying questions that its salespeople had to resolve before making a sales pitch, Acumen actually decreased its average sales cycle to somewhere between three and six months.
Keep in mind that hiring managers are busy people, and sometimes letters get lost or forgotten. Your contacts at an organization have inside knowledge and will usually be able to tell you whom to talk to if you want to make something happen. Consequently, the salesman can plan out the sales talk in advance and present the same on scientific lines for assured success. Consider that your company is using personal selling because customers want additional information or customization of the product or service in order to make a decision. Asking detailed questions during early sales calls allowed the company to cut back on the time it wasted brainstorming solutions and making sales pitches for underqualified leads. You can keep this information organized using a A document that details the goals you hope to achieve during a particular sales call.
The relationship salesperson is focused on the customer rather than on the product or service being sold. As a result, serious lapses, vital mistakes by the salesman are automatically avoided. If you can manage both of these feats, your sales will take off like a rocket. It might surprise you to know that competitive salespeople can also be a resource. For instance, some prospects may not like smoking during sales- interview.