We all know that, in the business world, sales aren’t always going to come to you. Sometimes, you have to go out and get them yourself. However, prospecting isn’t for everyone. Some people even dread the thought of it. That’s why, here at Route 1 Print, we’ve put together this essential guide to prospecting which will hopefully make it much easier for you…
Have poor etiquette
You want to ensure you make a good impression to potential prospects, both on the phone and in person. When talking, you should avoid eating, having loud background noise, talking to others and mumbling. If you meet face-to-face, we’d also recommend and avoiding distractions from your mobile phone and giving the prospect your full attention.
Ask senseless questions
In sales, it’s encouraged to ask questions. However, you need to make sure you’re actually asking the right ones. Never ask simple questions when the information can be easily found on the company’s website. It’ll make you look unprepared and lose credibility.
The last thing you want when you’ve made a sale is the customer to come back complaining that they’ve been miss-sold. It’s important that you’re open and honest from the start so the prospect knows exactly what product/service they’re purchasing. If everything you’ve said checks out, they’re also more likely to return because they know they can trust you.
Take rejection personally
Even the best salespeople know it’s not realistic to expect something from every call. There will be many occasions where the answer is simply a ‘no’. Remember that this isn’t directly aimed at you, it’s just that your product or service isn’t right for them.
If you want to be successful, it’s critical that you prepare; starting from a quick search on the company’s website to checking out their LinkedIn profile. Whatever you discover will be a good foundation to start a conversation and, ultimately, help you build that important connection.
It can be difficult to get through to the decision maker. So, when you do, you need to make sure you’re concise and straight to the point. If you jump into a lengthy pitch, it’ll make it easy for the prospect to stop listening. We’d suggest skipping the insincere openers and getting down to business.
Target the audience
It’s important you don’t waste your time trying to sell to unsuitable prospects. We wouldn’t advise you to assume but a little bit of research should give you a good idea if they’ll be a good fit or not.
There’s an old rule in the sales world called the 70/30 rule. Essentially, the rule advises that you to get the client to do 70% of the talking. This can be achieved by effective questioning. We’d always recommend asking open questions so the prospect isn’t limited to a one –word answer and can engage as much as possible.
Organise a follow up
As we previously mentioned, it’s not realistic to make a sale on every call. It may take several to get the whole process moving. Therefore, at the end of each call, it’s important to organise with the prospect when would be an appropriate time for a follow up call. We’d also advise a quick email to ensure you’re fresh in the mind.
Of course, there are many more things which can help to improve your prospecting. However, we hope this essential guide will provide you with the foundations to get started. We’ve also put together a more detailed approach on How Printers Can Create a Killer Sales Process if you’d like to do some further reading.