I’ve been around a while, and as new tech comes, goes, or stays, we’re always looking for effective ways to market and make the sale. While I’ve found that certain means of technology make things significantly easier to track and manage, nothing beats the basics. Yet somehow, we always seem to forget one step or another as time goes on. Here’s what I’ve found works well for most anything you want to sell:
Always be on time – or even a little early - AND be prepared. You have to take the time to be organized before the meeting – not doing so can make you look foolish and disorganized. Companies have a lot of choices when it comes to services and products, so you always want to be as professional as possible.
Protect Everyone’s Most Important Asset – Time
You want to make sure you’re meeting with the decision-maker. If you aren’t talking to the right person, you’re likely wasting everyone’s time, especially your own.
Choose an Appropriate Setting
Schedule to meet for something small, like coffee, a smoothie, or other beverage – lunch is intrusive and makes discussion difficult between bites.
Start with Purposeful Small Talk
Once you’re with your prospective client, don’t dive in headfirst to your material. Small talk is good, but small talk with a purpose is better. Do some digging so you can tailor your presentation to the person you’re speaking with. You are a detective looking for clues. Ask open ended questions like, “How are things going with your business?”, or “What things are working well for you right now?” If the person needs to vent or has concerns, let them go and provide advice if you have any, even if it’s not related to your product or service. That being said, remember that you are looking for trouble areas you can fix and their needs that you can fill. Your job is to problem-solve. Slowly work into your presentation. Explain to your prospect how your product is going to either make them more money, save them money, save them time, or all the above. Create “Yes’s” along the way – this helps build value in what you’re saying and ease tension on their budget.
It’s NOT About You, Your Service, or Your Company
Always remember that your presentation is not about you, it’s about them and how you’re going to help. Work in a bit of data, but don’t overwhelm. When you go to the doctor, they don’t go over every step of the procedure. They give you an overview with you getting better at the end. Ask them about their budget before you go into a detailed proposal, and make sure you answer all their questions or get them an answer quickly, if you don’t have it.
If you don’t get the sale at the table, you must always close on something – the next meeting, a proposal, budget, contract, follow-up, etc. This is how you lay the ground work for future communication. Always, always, always, create a follow-up plan and define the next steps.
Finally, the golden rule of sales: You always want to “under promise and over deliver.”
Record your next presentation, then compare it to these tips. Did you miss anything? If so, make some tweaks and see what happens – I’d love to hear your feedback!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Taylor Watkins is the Advertising Manager at Hockessin Athletic Club who enjoys spreading the word about his community. His goal is to increase awareness of great local brands and businesses. Taylor has been a part of the HAC team for over 9 years working in membership and advertising sales. He has an MBA in Sports Marketing and Management from the University of Delaware and is also a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM. If he’s not at HAC, he’s probably traveling the world with his family or just hanging out!