Four Ways to Ensure You Make the Right Sales Call
So how does this translate into the printing industry? I’ll tell you 4 steps that you can and should take before you go in to meet with a prospect for the first time, to make sure that you are delivering the right kind of message to the right person.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK.—Know who your target is, what their mission is, their buying style, their competition, and their position in their marketplace. This can be done through researching their Website, and using social media and networking tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
QUALIFY.—Before I take the time to meet with someone face to face, I want to make sure they are the right person with the right authority (or can get me a direct link to the authority), that they have the budget, the need and that there are no barriers to doing work with me. I would clarify all those things over the phone or in an e-mail before I ever agree to go in.
CREATE A THEORY OR HYPOTHESIS about what their needs MIGHT be.—based on your experience with other companies like theirs, you may think you know what some of their business challenges and problems might be, and you know how your products and services can help solve them.
PROVE OR DISPROVE YOUR THEORY/HYPOTHESIS.—When you get to the meeting, after small talk but before you start talking all about your company and your abilities and competitive strengths (which I call spray-and-pray, and will cover in another blog post), state your theory and check it with your audience. Are you on the right track? If you are, proceed, but if not, make sure you get them to articulate their issues and then answer them, ideally with your own solution. If, however, what they need cannot be served by your company, be honest and let them know that today you may not be able to help, but you are willing to help them seek out a solution that can.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.