Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sales Meeting: How to Sell your Case

In our previous blogs, we’ve talked a little bit about where sales take place and how to prepare for a sales meeting. This post is going to be about how to conduct yourself in a sales meeting, as well as, best practices. Here is our (brief) list for sales best practices.

1. Show up on time

            Basic enough. However, if you are running late, make sure to call or leave an email with an apology and an expected time of arrival. This makes things a lot easier for the other person if they know how to rearrange their schedule.

2. Dress Appropriately

            Research the other company and get a feel for what their atmosphere is like. If they are a startup or work in an environment where business casual is the norm (almost all of Seattle), jeans and a nice blazer work well. And, you know, if you work from home and do most of your sales over the phone go ahead and wear your PJs. Although, studies show that if you dress the part you will act and sound more professional and achieve better results.

3. Be Honest

            If you are honest about your company, products and services, you will be respected. No person, product, or company is perfect. Give a run down about your product with carefully curated demos and case studies. Don’t bother embellishing. When the time comes, your client will soon find out if you’re full of value or just full of it.

4. You’re Not Smarter than Your Client

            You may be an expert in your field, but coming in acting like a know-it-all is a huge turn off. Letting your client know how you may be of assistance is one thing. Telling them what’s wrong with their business is a sure way to get the door to hit you on the way out.

5. Your Sob Story Doesn't Matter    
            While personally, I will feel empathy for your dog passing away; it’s not going to sway my decision whether or not your product is going to be a good fit. First impressions happen within the first 20 seconds of meeting someone. You have maybe an hour tops to sell yourself. You need to showcase your professionalism first. Strong relationships, and even friendships, develop over years. And while we’re all human, I’m not interested in purchasing a friendship.

6. Don’t Be Pushy

            After your meeting, send over a summary of the conversation, your company and products. After that, it’s their call. If you keep badgering them about making a decision they will feel pressure and most likely will choose to stay safe than sorry. Remember, it’s not in the bag until they have signed the dotted line and forcing someone towards a decision is probably going to do more harm than good.

Again, these are just a few basic principle’s to guide yourself through a productive sales meeting. You've heard it all before. Be on time and dress to impress. Don’t sell yourself short, but don’t exaggerate either. Don’t humiliate your client for not partnering with you and don’t try to have them empathize in order to purchase your product. Lastly, don’t force them to make a decision. Sales can take as little as a few weeks to a few months. Be the trusted advisor they need to make an expert decision. 

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