Whether you're just getting started or you've been selling for years, it's important to remember sales don't just happen. They're the result of pursuing the right activities at the right time. Keep your selling career on track with this handy checklist of essential sales activities. Pre-Call Planning
- Are you talking to qualified prospects?
- Timing: Are you in front of your prospects when they are ready to buy, not when you need to make a sale?
- Prospecting: Do you prospect regularly and consistently?
- Do you define how you want your prospects to perceive you, your organization and your products or services?
- Gather in-depth data about: your prospect's business drivers, purchasing process, decision-makers, challenges, problems, organizational structure, and competition.
- Have you identified key players within your prospect's organization?
- Time: Choose your daily activities wisely and treat time like inventory that's too valuable to waste.
Meeting with Prospects and Establishing Rapport
- Confirm your appointment (don't assume that your prospect will remember your appointment).
- Double-check for materials (business cards, list of satisfied customers, brochures, pens, notebook, calculator, delivery schedules, etc.).
- Pay attention to your prospect's personality/behavior style.
- Pay attention to non-verbal cues.
- Credibility: You have only seconds to convince your prospect that time spent with your will be valuable.
- Don't start your conversation with unsolicited small talk (PDF).
- Trust: Do your prospects believe you and your organization are credible and you will deliver on every promise or commitment?
Presenting and Asking Questions
- Forget about generic product demonstration
- Choose the most appropriate product or service for each prospect
- Tailor your presentation to your prospect's needs and wants
- Focus on benefits, not on features or price.
- Clear up any misunderstandings that your prospect may have
- Don't confuse your prospect or overwhelm them with too many options
- Ask the right questions
- Then listen. Listen actively and take notes.
- Find out: What he/she will buy, how he/she will buy it, why he/she will buy it, and under what conditions he/she will buy it.
- Don't focus on what you want to have happen at the end of your sales call.
- Instead, focus on what your prospect wants to have happen.
- Do you get feedback from your prospect and make sure that your presentation is on-target?
- Don't make price an issue.
- Remember: Success in sales is driven by margin and volume.
- Present price after you create perceived benefits that exceed price and perceived emotional cost.
Closing the Sale
- Never make a claim you can't back up with facts.
- Do you provide testimonials from your customers?
- Try to involve happy customers with your prospect
- Convince prospects that what you say is true and that the benefits of your product/service outweigh its price.
- Handling the details: Try to work out any objections or problems.
- Don't give them canned responses to objections
- After the sale I: Do you tell the prospect they've made a wise decision?
- After the sale II: Do you invite your customer to buy more?
- After the sale III: Do you service your accounts as enthusiastically as you sell them?
- Be responsible and accountable for your own sales results.
Published on July 13, 2007