Tips for Success During the Sales Process
Tips for Starting a Career in Sales: Part Three of a Three-Part Series
Are you a college student looking to enter the exciting world of sales? Or maybe you have a few years of experience in the workforce and are looking for something new? Either way, you’re starting down an exciting path in which each interaction you have is an important step for moving your career forward. We’re here to help make the process easier with our three-part series that includes tips for getting a job as a salesperson and excelling in the field.
So far, we’ve discussed making a good first impression with a company through sales recruiters, and some common traits for success to work on. Now, it’s time to take it to the field. Though you can’t prepare for everything, it’s important to have a set of strategies you can use to develop your pitches. For the final part in our series, we’ll be sharing some tips for different parts of the sales process.
Appointments won’t just fall into your lap; you have to get on the phone and go into businesses to try and get them. Your first encounter with a company will often be with a receptionist or administrative staff. Keep these tips in mind:
- Notice what’s around you – This will help you tailor the discussion and home in on what solutions can be of use for that company. Being in the business technology market, we often observe what technology is in the environment (like servers, computers and printers) and how it’s being used.
- Talk to staff – Show interest in the person you’re talking to. Establishing a relationship builds trust with the person who has access to executive contacts and calendars, and you can gain a lot of context clues that will inform your later appointments by learning about their role within the company and the software/hardware they use.
- Be assertive – These people are used to saying no; you need to be direct when talking about why you’re there and why you need a meeting set on the calendar. Ask for specific names, inquire about the best way to reach out to said person and don’t forget to exchange business cards.
- Mirror their appearance – When adrenaline kicks in, it’s harder to be aware of how you’re presenting yourself physically. Look sharp and take a moment to get in a few deep breathes to keep nerves at bay. Do what you can to match the posture and position of the person you’re talking to. If you talk too close or stand over them, it can appear threatening or overly-aggressive.
Don’t relax just yet; a set meeting doesn’t ensure a deal. Take action with the below steps:
- Prepare – Before any client meeting, prepare an agenda that lays out what you’re going to talk about. This provides initial focus for the client to get an idea of the high-level points being discussed and is an opportunity for you to provide some basic information about your brand. Also make sure to bring along something to take notes on.
- Do Your Research – If you’ve received names for who will be involved in the meeting, check on their professional profiles to see if there’s anything you can reference for rapport or in terms of the company. Also take time to learn about the company you’re selling to so you can better lead discussions about growth, goals and pain points.
- Listen – It’s tempting to take control of the conversation, but it’s important to use your questions to guide your potential client into talking more. You want to get as much information from them as possible to provide you with more ammo when it comes time to connect what you’re selling to what they’ve discussed.
- Bring Examples – If your company creates use cases, case studies or write ups of previous client successes, bring these along. When you’re selling to a certain vertical, having examples of how your materials have already worked elsewhere provides concrete evidence as to why they should work with you (and also sparks that competitive edge; everyone else is doing this, so why aren’t you?).
- Identify Pain Points – If you start selling right out of the gate, your client may not understand why they should buy from you. If you give them time to discuss their struggles and areas in which they’re lacking, you’ll be able to make a much more informed recommendation for their needs.
- Keep Executives in the Loop – Oftentimes, the person sitting in on the meeting may pass you along to someone else. Keep any decision makers you encounter aware of each step in the process.
Strategies for Asking Questions
The use of questions can steer your meeting in the right direction or send things completely off course. When you’re thinking of questions to ask, consider the following:
- Direction – If you’re too open-ended, you won’t get enough information. Think about the difference between “tell me more about your company” and “I see your department has grown by 50 people since last year. What problems have you encountered with this growth?”
- Get Feedback – You don’t have to wait until the end of the meeting to get opinions. As you’re providing details, ask your prospect if they see value in what you’re talking about. “Wouldn’t it be nice if…?”
- Layer – After a customer responds to an initial question, keep them talking by asking them to tell you more or clarify what they mean by something they said.
- Use Hypotheticals – Get an idea of how your customer reacts to offerings by leading in with a hypothetical. “If our service gave your employees back 10 hours per week, what would that look like?” Guide them to a conclusion by beginning to paint the picture for them.
A great salesperson can’t be built in a day; it takes years of practice to hone the practical skills and techniques needed to be a long-term success. There’s always something new to try, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to apply what you learn out in the field. Now get out there and start selling!
This is the third and final piece in our series of tips for new and inexperienced salespeople. Be sure to read part one and part two.
Sold on the idea of a career at Impact? Want to learn more about upcoming recruiting events? Contact our Recruiting team at [email protected].