We are often asked what the most important part of the sales process is. Our response is the first meaningful appointment face to face in a “B” to “B” situation.
If you can connect enough with a prospective client to get a first face to face meeting the sales process is actually in full bloom.
Often in the first meeting the prospect may be holding their cards very close to their vest and certainly don’t want to imply any real urgent need or concern. Even though the client may be less than enthusiastic at the first meeting the mere fact that they are meeting with you is clearly delivering buying signals.
Very few decision makers or even underlings given the responsibility to talk with a potential new vendor will give you the time of day unless there is some need. Virtually nobody has the task to talk to vendors for no reason!
Thus, during the first meeting you need to give the potential customer a compelling reason to talk with you in more depth. Come to the initial meeting prepared to give enough value and as much as possible “real” dollarized savings to generate a subsequent meeting.
The process of uncovering more details about what the customer wants is often revealed only after the customers believes there is some potential that you can solve a problem, add value, or provide savings.
Once a sales professional is over this hurdle they have earned the right to ask the many questions necessary to explore if a business relationship if in the offing.
Copyright © 2014 Dave Neal
I recently read about the heroic activities of some very dedicated soldiers.
During WWII and the dark days of 1941, the British Army activated an elite group of airmen called the Special Air Service (SAS) to engage in very risky special - forces activity.
Their motto was “Who Dares Wins!” and certainly their exploits were bold producing heavy causalities, but their successful missions were instrumental in many broader victories since their inception.
Without being too dramatic, sales professionals are exemplary of our special forces in business terms, they go out every day engage and suffer more defeats than victories, but their efforts are absolutely mission critical to any businesses success.
For owners, entrepreneurs, management teams and sales managers recognition of the extraordinary efforts of their respective sales professionals is often under played. They are the first to get blamed when business is bad and the last to get recognized when business is good.
Yet nothing happens in any business until somebody does the hard work of making a sale!
It can be tedious, lonely, and frustrating. It takes a certain type of person to slug it out day in and day out eking out wins that contribute to an organization’s viability.
These modern day warriors “dare to win!”, they are out front, visible, and vulnerable. We need to encourage and recognize their work and give them the necessary organizational support, tools and processes forthem to be successful.
To learn more about optimizing your sales efforts through our proprietary Total Selling Organization (TSO) suite of products contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org , call 480-229-7800 or visit our web site at www.nealabc.com.
Copyright © 2014 Dave Neal
My wife had a date to shop for furniture, have dinner and go to a movie.
At the furniture store a sales person was very accommodating. She was very passionate about the products she was selling, and indeed sold us a sleeper sofa. Once we agreed to the purchase she immediately moved from the sleeper to selling other supplementary goods, customized mattress, fabric protection etc. She already had one sale she pressed for more.
Next to dinner, we’re greeted by a very knowledgeable and attentive waitress who presented us with an array of options and specials. She pleasantly was selling everything but the kitchen sink! We responded and she got a nice tip.
Finally, off to the movie where a young man suggested we upgrade our popcorn and sodas to larger sizes for $.50 more, as we declined, he than encourage us to buy a T-Shirt that would give us free refills of popcorn for the next year if we wore it to the theater! Although we declined, again he was undeterred and asked if we wanted butter on the popcorn. I loved his tenacity, wanted to hire him on the spot!
All these sales people were relatively young and somewhat unsophisticated by B to B sales professional standards. Yet both my wife and I were very impressed with their professionalism and basic understanding that they were there to sell!
They were schooled in upselling and crossing selling fundamentals, as well as the notion if you can’t sell the “big” item, try for a small sale, thus, if you can’t get a steak get a sandwich.
As I reflected on the evening, I thought how some seasoned sales professionals we work with could benefit from revisiting these very basic concepts, to enhance their sales performance.
Often sales people get very comfortable selling one or two goods or services that they feel comfortable with and are reticent to go outside of their comfort zone.
The morale is look for options, present them enthusiastically, stretch outside your comfort zone, you’ll sell more!
Copyright © 2014 Dave Neal
Our Blogs are Authored by various members of the NEALABC team.