Businesses spend a massive amount of effort and money to determine and qualify sales leads and nurture them to the point where they are prepared to have conversations with a real live salesperson.
by Kevin James Culp
Salespeople then also spend a considerable amount of energy and thought on closing deals, ultimately turning those precious sales leads they are given or that they produce into real paying customers.
While both the beginning and end of the sales process are important, the most vital elements are oftentimes what comprise the space in between.
In that critical middle space lie all the steps needed to cultivate a sales lead to the point where it is possible to close the sale, including multiple and various conversations aimed at understanding the needs of the customer and identifying how you might help.
When having these conversations, we recommend you consider taking these key steps:
Have a goal
If you do not know why you are talking with a client, the conversationwill be a waste of time, both for you and the client. Even if you are calling to do some relationship building, you need to have a reason for calling.
Perform your research
Before calling the client, explore if there are any previous changes in their industry or business. You can check three areas: business news, the customer’s website and inside your own company, if relevant.
For instance, let’s say you are calling on the Vice President of manufacturing for “ABC, Inc.” Here’s what you need to do:
- Make a quick Google search for “ABC, Inc.” news, and read some of their top stories. Pay attention to any announcement of organizational changes or financial results.
- Click for any new products, new press releases and job openings that signal where a company is expanding or requires help.
- Check your consumer support. Has anyone called with a concern? If yes, how was it fixed? Do you have late orders? If yes, what’s their status?
Plan your conversation
Based on your goal and what you have learned from your research, you can now list the questions you will ask throughout the conversation, but you need to keep your list short. Every conversation is a chance to learn. If you bombard the client with a setof questions, you will look desperate or pushy.
The record of your conversation is as vital as the conversation itself. Taking notes allows you to remember what was said and what commitments you and the client made to one another.
Close on next steps
Gain a commitment from the client to move to the next step. For instance, if your goal isto know the buying process of the customer, it might be good to set up a meeting along with a stakeholder.
Document the conversation
Now, use your notes to construct an email to the client finalizing and confirming that you’ve got it right and then repeating any commitments made.
Do you want to know the real secret to boosting your sales? The key is never to giveup. Keep going after those companies over and over again.
Thanks for Reading and Carpe Diem My Friends