Part 4: “Start Me Up”
In Part 3 of this series, we discussed the importance of Activity versus Productivity and making sure that you start with a solid sales plan that will help you achieve your goals. Good salespeople understand the importance of having a clear understanding of their “best customer.” Conversely, they also have a deep understanding of their “best competitor!” They are continually aware of where they are to goal and what activities need to be accomplished to ensure they stay on track to meet and exceed those goals.
“If you start me up, if you start me up I’ll never stop!” – Tattoo, 1981
It is a “given” that most salespeople have the gift of gab. We are extroverted, high-energy individuals who can pretty much talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. We are the ones who can spend 15 minutes with someone and tell them our whole life story … give us 30 minutes and they will know our parent’s life story too! We just love to talk!
However, whether it’s the initial call with a potential client or your 10th, understanding the importance of how you approach your clients is vital – i.e., don’t talk their ear off! It is also important (and perhaps even more so) to remember that everyone is busy these days. Most organizations are trying to do more with less, so time in front of a client should be valued at a premium! Here are a few simple things to remember when you are meeting with potential or existing clients:
- What is your goal for the meeting? Before you walk through your client’s front door, spend sufficient time thinking through your desired outcomes for the meeting. Make a list of three things you want to accomplish, and make sure you have addressed them before you leave.
- Be respectful of time. First of all, arrive on time. Better yet, take the Vince Lombardi approach of “if you’re early, you’re on time.” “If you’re on time, you’re late.” Be cognizant of how much time has been allotted for your meeting. Make sure you confirm this at the beginning of your discussion and do a quick check-in midway through. This clearly validates to your client that you respect his or her time.
- Create a client-focused agenda. Clients want to know that you are there to solve their problems. Remember the 80/20 rule. Make sure that 80% of your time is spent listening, not talking. Demonstrate to your clients that they are being heard and understood by repeating back concerns, questions, etc.
- Be an educator. Clients want good partners who can help them on the industry, trends, etc. Do your research and be that person.
- Be authentic. If you genuinely want to help your clients, they will recognize that in your approach and view you as a partner to help them be more successful. If you come across as artificial or insincere, you will be shown the door.
With so much noise in the business marketplace, clients are looking for partners who can help them navigate and make good decisions on products and services. While we all must believe in our products and services, we must put the client first by understanding their needs.
In Part 5 of this blog series, we will be discussing the classic Stones hit “She’s so Cold” and how behavior styles can help influence sales success. Stay tuned for Part 5 …