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These notes are intended as a guideline for the first sales meeting with a buyer.
It is not expected that all sales meetings will go this way, but we believe that
our salespeople will find it useful, in many cases, to use parts or all of these
guidelines. They are based on
The Everything Selling Book.
The objective of the first sales meeting is to build rapport with the buyer and understand his needs.
The aim is to get the buyer to feel like he is our partner and to feel invested in helping us work together to come up with a solution to his problems. We need to keep the door open so that we can come back to the buyer with a proposal to solve his problems.
Here are the basic steps:
Selling -- Precall planningRead the notes in the intranet. Read all your research about the company. Study the buyer's web site and search the internet for articles about the company.
ArrivalAim to arrive in good time, but enter the office 5 minutes early. Bring business cards, notebook and pen, something to read while you wait. Dress the same as the customer, but take care of your appearance.
Icebreaking and the SaleWhen you introduce yourself to the buyer, look for smalltalk that can help establish a rapport. Some tips: common interest; something in the office that catches your eye; something that you can ask about the buyer's business. Aim to transition to business quickly.
Outline the Selling agenda
Big PictureSome ideas for questions to get an overall sense of a buyer's business.
Also, try to identify the psychological reasons that a propect will use in the purchase decision. We have found that there is often the temptation to bullshit a customer when they express need for a feature that is unavailable -- you ca\ n avoid this tempation. Basically, it's common sense. Honesty is the best policy. By being honest about a short comming of our product, the prospect learns t\ o trust us. Almost every time in a sale, when I have indicated that our product may not be right for the prospect, the prospect becomes more interested. Try \ it sometime or even, everytime.
Understanding a buyer's specific needsGood questions get a buyer talking about his needs, so we can sell what they want. Plus, questions help get a customer emotionally committed to a sale, but getting them to invest their precious time in working with us to come up with a solution.
No matter how insistent buyers are, don't start explaining your product or service until you've explored their needs in detail.
Present our solutionTowards the end of the process of understanding a buyer's needs, we should paraphrase the buyer's concerns to indicate we've understood, and clarify the problem that needs to be resolved.
PostcallWrite up notes in the intranet. Follow up communications (eg. thank you email).
About This Page
I keep this page so that I can remember the books I read before an important meeting. It's really for my own maximum effectiveness. You can use them of course, and please let me know if anything on this page is misleading, needs updating or additions.
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