September 3, 2012 by Bob Hill
Posted in: closing, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Industry Spotlight - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing
Here are four ways everyday salespeople can connect and communicate with their prospects more effectively, earning their time, respect and, ultimately, their business:
1. Streamline the process, offer convenience. Most people have heard the old adage that time is money, but it’s never seemed more relevant than it does in today’s more-with-less marketplace. Because most prospects are under the gun to accomplish as much as possible with limited resources, they have less time to entertain every offer that comes their way. With that in mind, it’s helpful for salespeople to:
- Ask the prospect up front when and how the best ways for him/her to communicate are
- Provide the prospect with a substantial (but by no means overwhelming) amount of info prior to meeting, so the prospect can come prepared with any pertinent questions or concerns
- Map out a clear agenda and/or goals for every meeting, so the process moves along smoothly, and
- Streamline the process as much as possible to prove you respect the prospect’s busy schedule, and want to accommodate him/her.
2. Offer solutions that satisfy a need. Today’s prospects have access to more competitive offers and pricing than ever before. As a result, it’s become more incumbent upon salespeople to walk into every competitive situation prepared to offer solutions that not only differentiate their offer, but also speak to some specific challenge the prospect is facing.
What can you personally bring to the table that other salespeople can’t? What keeps each prospect up at night? What opportunities can you pinpoint that colleagues may have overlooked?
3. Create an equal sense of give and take. More than 25% of buyers claim the biggest contributing factor to whether or not they agree to do business is the level of rapport they have with a salesperson. That’s according to a recent Reilly Training survey, which also revealed the biggest reason most customers leave a company is poor service after the sale. The message customers are sending is that they prefer to do business with a salesperson they can rely on to be there before, during and after the initial transaction.
One way to create that impression is by over-delivering early on, taking notes to ensure nothing falls between the cracks, and following up ASAP to provide the prospect with any specs or details he or she asked for during the previous meeting.
4. Let customers do the talking. A lot of companies rely on testimonials to bolster their image, but salespeople can have a similar impact by presenting powerful testimonials from existing customers whom a specific prospect may already be familiar with. Offering these types of testimonials may also create the impression a competitor is benefiting from a value-added product or service the prospect isn’t. Either way, it boosts the salesperson’s credibility by establishing a track record for success, as well as a top-notch reputation throughout the industry (or region).