So you want to make the sale. You want the plaque, the commission check, the trip, the recognition…you want it all. Great sales people know that winning a sale doesn’t happen by shear force of will. Sure you need to be persistent, tenacious, focused and disciplined. No doubt. But there are 3 things that will make your sales presentations stand out and create a remarkable experience for your buyer. These things that make you remarkable are the exact things that put you in a position to win. While you may think these are basic, I can assure you that I continue to be amazed at just how often these 3 things get overlooked, drowning out any chance of the sales person appearing remarkable.
- Be early. Urban sprawl has created a great excuse for showing up late to a sales appointment. I’ve worked in every major city in the United States over the past 20 years. Whether its Atlanta, Philly, NYC, Boston, LA, Seattle, Phoenix or Dallas, traffic is the perfect excuse for being late. But it shouldn’t be. Plan your day to anticipate traffic. If you’re on time, you’re late. I’ve been on ride-alongs with sales people where we’ve been late to an appointment because of traffic and it throws off the entire cadence of the call right out of the gate. Get there early and it will give you time to focus on the buyer rather than focusing on finding a parking space because you’re already 20 minutes late.
- Be prepared. This is a big one. This speaks to everything from knowing some details about who you are meeting with all the way to having any materials you will be handing out ready, organized and crisp. Do you know if you’re connected to the buyer? Did you check them out on LinkedIn? If what you’re selling requires an online demo? Have you tested it? Will it work over cellular or will you need a WiFi connection? If the latter does the buyer know you’ll need this when you arrive or is the plan to surprise them when you ask for the office password to log in? Do you have an agenda for what you plan to cover? Have you shared it with the buyer in advance? The better prepared you are, the smoother the conversation will go. And, in the event you are late due to some cataclysmic event, you’ll be better able to flex and adjust seamlessly with the buyer.
- Use the buyers name. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on sales calls where the sales person never uses the buyers name after shaking their hand. It could be a 30 minute call or 3 hour call. How can something so basic continue to be such a common miss amongst sales people? Isn’t that one of the first things we’re all taught? Smile, have a firm handshake and use the buyers name. Here’s a quick test. Next time you’re with your family or friends pay attention to the conversation. Listen for how often names are used. It’s actually quite often. Using someones name throughout a conversation builds a bond. It’s a sign of respect as much as it is a sign of caring.
Focus on doing these 3 things on every sales appointment and observe the change in your buyers behavior.