Prepping before making a sale is the difference between success and utter failure. With assistance from, “10 Tips to Improve Your Sales Performance,” by John H. Dean, here are some aspects you should review before your next pitch:
- Do Your Research
If you go to meet a client knowing next to nothing about them, chances are you’ll not only be fairly clueless about what you could sell to them, you’ll also waste a considerable amount of everyone’s time stumbling through a pitch while trying to find out what to sell. Before a pitch, research the person you’ll be meeting with and the company they work for. With the plethora of information social media sites provide, you’ll gain a pretty good idea of how best to communicate with that person, and a company search should provide invaluable insight into the needs of the business. The key to a successful sale is purpose.
- Define Your Purpose
Now it’s time to showcase your hard work. With your knowledge of the potential client and the company they work for, you’ll be able to plan to make your pitch precise and concise, full of questions and product examples that directly apply to them and will likely spark their interest and hold their attention. Your demeanor should exude the fact that you know this company and what it needs and you’re here to tell them why your product or service is the best for the particular job you have in mind.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you should dominate the conversation. Getting the potential client involved is incredibly important, so don’t write out an entire speech. Plan your key points, but also include questions for the client and leave room for questions they will have for you. Listen to those questions fully; don’t cut the person off. This will show you're easy to talk to and will increase the client’s confidence that they’ll be able to work effectively with you, both now and in the future.
- Be Gracious
Part of preparing to make a sale is learning to accept the possibility of the dreaded, “No.” If you have done all you feel you can to sway the potential client without repeating yourself or becoming pushy, you need to be able to thank them for meeting with you and mean it. Just because a client doesn’t have a need for what you’re selling now doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. Do not burn your bridges with the company by being openly frustrated or ungrateful. Thank them for their time, leave open a clear means of contact, and wish them well. Kindness has the potential to go a long way.