1. Know You Client
Your client is the most important part of the sales pitch – not your product. Your product maybe the most brilliant cost-effective scientific innovation that ever hit the high street but if your prospective client has no use for it, your well-thought out pitch is hot air and you are wasting his and your precious time. Spend some time before the pitch researching the sales meeting. The fact that you understand their industry will be a big plus – from the start you are talking their language – but as well, you may be able to highlight specific areas your product can be a solution for.
2. Know Your Product
This goes without saying. You are likely to be bombarded with questions and you need to be able to stand tall in the line of fire and look the complete expert. Trust is fundamental to every sales transaction. If you come over as vague, uncertain or full of waffle you can kiss the sale goodbye.
3. Sell the Solution to The Problem
All too often sales reps can get obsessed with the wonders of the product they are selling to the detriment of relating to the client. Focus the majority of the pitch on the needs of the client. Go into depth about those issues – learn about their business – this alone will nurture a good business relationship. Armed with this knowledge you are more likely to get the prospective client on your side. If you don’t get the sale – they could be a contact for the future.
4. Rehearse and Practice Your Pitch
Don’t see every pitch as the same. Adapt it to the individual or business you are meeting and practice that pitch beforehand. If you can rehearse with a colleague who understands the kind of questions which will be thrown up, even better.
5. Shut Up and Listen
Most sales reps who think they are good at their game, pride themselves on having the gift of the gab. This is in fact nonsense. As much as you need to be able to put yourself and your product over in a positive light, it is essential to be able to shut up and listen. It is only through listening to your client and their needs and wants that you can adapt your pitch to highlight the product benefits which will create a solution.
6. Honesty Breeds Loyalty
You can get as much information about your product, industry, brand and niche area as you like, but you will never know everything. If faced with a question from the client you do not know the answer to, do not bluff or look empty and vague, be honest and tell them you will find out and get back to them. And do it.
7. Take Yourself Out of The Equation
Many sales reps use emotional blackmail to get their prospects on side: “I only need one more sale and I will hit my quota this month”; “If I don’t get a sale this week my boss is going to give me grief”. These tactics are low and could bring you and your company into disrepute. Also sales will probably cancel after the prospect is out of the somewhat nasty situation. The sale has two sides: the brand and the product and the client’s needs. Keep to this concept and you will not only come out with a sale but the beginnings of a good business relationship too.
8. Selling Is A Process
If you are simply focusing on getting that sale, the likelihood is you are going to end up with nothing at all. Selling is a process not just a one-time event. Your client needs to be nurtured, there may need to be a period of time when you are simply building that trust together and learning facts about product and needs. That impatience to rush on in order to get the sale will not only be detrimental to the current transaction, but you are also losing the chance of a robust business relationship that could reap rich rewards in the future. Slow down, learn to play the long game – just because you are leaving the meeting without a sale does not mean the chance of a sale has disappeared.
9. Clear Goals Trigger Motivation
Having clear goals prior to the pitch is as important as practicing, researching and rehearsing beforehand. You should have company sales goals as well as your own personal goals. For instance, how many prospects do you need on average to close a sale? How many leads will create that many connections? How fast must you get those connections? Systematically monitor your performance to determine if you are keeping to your goals. If you are not reaching goals what can you change? What have you learned? How can you make your performance even better?
10. Engage, Engage, Engage
Engagement is the skill of selling. It is the subtle art of keeping the prospect with you up until that point when you close the sale. There are numerous principles to keep to for great engagement which include: working through their problem with them; don’t forget they are never wrong even when they are; focus on what they believe to be true; speak their language – not company or technical jargon.
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