People call our offices each week and tell us, “We don’t need any help with the Discovery phase or any of that “connecting” stuff, just give us some tips on how to deal with the “I want to think about it,” or the “Let me talk to my Accountant,” or “Let me run it by my Board of Directors.” How do we get past that?
The truth is, the more time you spend preparing upfront, the less time it’ll take to close at the end. Being an informed, confident seller signals your buyer that you care.
The first step of many sales presentations is the Mental Mindset – getting yourself into the proper mental and emotional state prior to the sale. However, in today’s information age, I might recommend a new first step: the Preparation Step.
Gaining a sale requires credibility. Credibility is based on trust. Trust today means many earning their respect as well as rapport. It’s critical that you know more than your customers know about your offering and, more importantly, that you learn everything you can about them.
Are you prepared?
Complete this preparation checklist:
- Do you look the part and or sound the part of someone who can be trusted?
- Are you full of energy and positive thoughts?
- Did you get a good night’s sleep?
- Do you know your product and industry as well as you should?
- Do you have the attitude of “How can I best support and contribute to the customer in front of me?”
- Do you promptly greet your customers without making them wait?
- Do you have all the support materials you need?
- Are you aware of any product changes?
- Do you know the latest trends in your industry? How about in theirs?
- Are you looking for reasons the customer will buy, instead of why they won’t?
I remember answering a Gallup question years ago in a sales interview, “What’s the best way to establish credibility with a client?” A knee jerk response that many salespeople give is to literally share their background and credentials. Back in 1994, one of my teammates, Calvin, used to show his customers his pay stubs in a desperate attempt to gain credibility and win his customers’ affection.
A talented salesperson will think about what’s important to the client, rather than promoting themselves. This is achieved through empathy and preparation!
To dive even deeper to shortening your sales cycle ask yourself these questions:
- Have you checked out your customer’s website to understand everything you need to know about how their company does business?
- Have you researched your contacts on LinkedIn?
- Do you have any mutual connections?
- Have you contacted them to find out more about your prospect?
- Have you read any of their literature specific to them?
- Do you understand their roles and responsibilities and key initiatives?
- Have you looked at their personal photos?
- Do you call the day before to confirm your appointment?
- Have you uncovered any changes or events in their lives or their business that would cause them to act or not act on your product offering?
If you answered “Of course, all the time!” ask yourself, “Would 100% of my customers feel the same way?” If the answer is no, print this checklist out and review daily until preparation is a habit, and increased sales is your result.