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Practice pays!

3 days back I asked 3 questions: before going into the details let me share some interesting facts – my questions elicited responses from just 3 readers and they didn’t take more than 3 sentences to answers my questions. I had asked:

1. What would you do before you make the first visit to a client?

2. What are some of the ways you can influence this person?

3. What will be the indicators of your own conviction in the product / service you are representing?

If you thought I was joking about the answer received, take a look – here they are; only spell-check has been done:

Madhu Nair:

Take time to prepare yourself, your presentation and learn about your client.
Sales is as much about being able to sell yourself to the customer, convince him!
Every approach for a customer call should be specific and to the point, and more over you should have product knowledge and self confidence!

Jamy Lateef:
Preparation is the key here- knowledge of your product, business is essential to build the confidence inside you before you come face-to-face with the client.

It would be good also to get some background information about the client and customise the presentation; cut the frills and get to the point; be a good ambassador for your company and explain the positives.

Lead the client into asking you about the competition and once you have done your homework, would be a piece of cake to go for the kill and get the client to buy your product or in my case become a loyal repeat guest.

Venkat Mani

Know your product thoroughly know your client and his requirement find where your product fits in what is the salient features you have which can be of advantage in terms of quality and productivity most.

Important find where the person your meeting stands vis-a-vis decision making what is the procedure for taking decisions.

Once you know this you plot your way into the organisation.

–   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –

Yes, they have got it right – but I would have loved to hear much more from these seasoned campaigners; maybe they wished to leave some of it for me. Here is a summation of their inputs with a little bit from my side:

A.1 – The preparation we do prior to meeting a client should focus on our company, its product/service range, how they can be used to solve a need and finally on the customer itself. The details we convey about our company should build trust and confidence and convey loud and clear that we can solve their problems and provide service support whenever needed. While speaking about our product and its applications focus on those aspects that can be used in the context of the client organisation – which means we need to study the customer’s organisation in detail and prepare carefully so that we achieve maximum impact by using just the right amount of firepower.

If you are meeting the person for a non-sales requirement, for example a charity, focus on those elements that can make the strongest impression – create a video, carry testimonials and information on what’s been achieved till date; you can invite the person to the organisation or the place place where the charity work is dbeing done.

It would be good to find out as much as possible in advance about the person you are meeting – their position in the hierarchy, how much is this person contributing towards the final decision, what is the person’s likes or dislikes, what kind of a person is he/she and so on? The more you know, the better your chance of achieving the planned objective.

A.2 – If a picture can create the impact of a 1000 words, a video can do the work of a million of them – a smartly prepared presentation on how our products can be used to solve problems or a presentation on our facilities and our achievements or testimonials from our clients would help to generate interest and prompt action from the client’s side.

Speak with a major client and ask for support to answer specific queries from a prospect, who is seeking confirmation on the utility and benefits of your offering – a favouarable response can strongly swing the deal your way.

Offering a trial run or a demo for a shot period is another method used to get the prospective customer used to your solution – there are times when the customer would tell you not to take back the trial piece and ask for a bill instead.

It is also important to convince the client on the competence, capabilities, enthusiasm and track-record of the team of people working in your organisation.

A.3 – How you present yourself is a major indicator your confidence – being tentative and unsure are clear indication of your lack of confidence. Your body language has to be positive and the words you use should carry conviction. Even lack of preparation can cause hesitancy and nervousness – so be prepared and ready.

If you are going to present a PowerPoint or a video or conducting a demo do a dry run at your office before presenting to the client – have an audience to observe and listen; get them to ask the most uncomfortable questions and prepare answers for those. By going to such details you are increasing the chance of success immensely.

I am stressing once again on Preparation simply because there is a tendency to relax, particularly the more experienced Sales Professionals or Campaigner’s, who believe that they have seen it all and they can handle any situation just as it unfolds – such complacence can lead to loss of face and loss of business; you are never sure when an unexpected or previously unseen situation will have to be confronted – hence it’s important to stay grounded and go through all the steps involved before you start every major campaign.

If what has been done so far is good enough then experienced pilots would stop flying sorties, Army Chiefs wouldn’t lead the troops for War games and top-ranked athletes would not do any practice before a competition!
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Categories: Ideas Tags: ,
  1. May 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Loved this Jay…i have never been into sales but it got me interested….i loved that part about power point presentations because i am a trainer and teacher too…..i like your articles…i guess you should write a book about all this soon…..seriously

    • JayadevM
      May 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Catherine,

      Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

      Yes, a book is in the offing .. I really need to spend time on it now; the murmur heard from afar has now grown into a shout right into the ear. :))

      I can’t ignore it now.

  2. Jamy
    May 11, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Happy to contribute Jay 🙂

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