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7 Steps to a Professional Sales Call

  1.  7 Steps to a professional “Sales
  2. Smile!!! Announce your name and company details (If first-time call). Greet (Shake hands, nod head, whatever the situation dictates) Look your customer in the eye.  If seeing an existing customer, use their name. Look them in the eye.  Try to get on first name terms with all of your customers, this breaks down barriers. Customers who like to be called Mr. or Mrs. want to be in control.  Start with compliments straight away – Be genuine! (Compliment your customer on their office, company vibe, dress etc.) Take note of what’s going on in reception. Ask questions to show genuine interest.  Ask if you can sit down, even if they don’t offer. (Take control) At this point sit somewhere, you can change the seating arrangements later.
  3. Research has shown that most people hate the experience of buying something. People hate the experience of dealing with unprofessional salespeople. Think about yourself. When you go into a store to purchase something or when a salesperson comes to see you to sell you something, you want to be well treated, to feel special, and to feel that you are dealing with a professional. Someone who knows what they are talking about. Someone who has your interests at heart. Someone who you believe will sell you “The right thing” You cannot expect a customer to like you or trust you from the word go. It takes effort to create the right mood for the sale.
  4. Build a good base on which to close  Talk about work, hobbies, sport, weather, news etc. Just ask a question.  Always look your customer straight in the eye and smile.  Ask a few questions on each topic, this slows genuine interest.  Listen twice as much as you speak. Listen intently! Listen with empathy.  Get under their skin. Make it difficult for them to say no to you.  Don't be put off if they are not interested or enthusiastic straight away.  Don’t pre - judge at this stage whether they will buy or not, you still have a long way to go.  Concentrate on relaxing them and spending time with them.
  5. Ask questions to find out what your customers needs are.  Don't just sell the same deal to everyone.  Have a specific needs analysis sheet to fill out if necessary. It shows your professionalism when you ask a question and then fill in their response on the form.  REMEMBER – A little bit of showmanship always helps salesmanship!  Brainstorm to set up a needs analysis sheet that is right for your product or service.  What’s important is to ensure that you are selling the right product to your customer.  Don’t oversell and don’t undersell and don’t sell the same deal to everyone.
  6. Take care of the physical arrangements.  Clear a space on the desk, close blinds if necessary, make sure you are sitting in the right place. This is the time to rearrange the seating if necessary.  If there are 3 of you then sit opposite them, not in the middle.  Pack out your presentation materials, samples, price list and order form.  Take control. The customer expects you to take control and respects you for it.  They needs to see that you are setting up for business, not just a social visit.  Once they knows that you are serious, so will they be serious.  Be careful not to pack things out in such a way that you give control to your customer. You don’t want them to start reading through your brochure or looking at your samples at this stage.  Ask for tea by first asking for some water. CONTROL. You are already getting them to do things for you.  Have an idea of the commission or the value of the sale. Know what you are working for.
  7. If there is someone present at this meeting who was not present at the previous meeting, you need to get them on the same level as the others who you have met with previously. - update them. Otherwise you will end up having to answer the same objections that you have previously managed and will end up doing what you have already done all over again.  Do a little groundwork with them - get them to like you and trust you. The chances are now good that they will be on your side and you have an ally.  This also shows courtesy and respect for the other party and confirms your professionalism.  There is nothing worse than spending a lot of time and effort getting your customer to the point where they are ready to buy and then having another party destroy everything.
  8. Your product presentation should be a “Production” a “Masterpiece” Your presentation must have a logical sequence and tell a story. Show photographs of your Head Office, your distribution depot, service department and staff. Paint a picture of professionalism. Show referral letters - have a list of satisfied customers. BE PROUD OF YOUR COMPANY AND BE PROUD OF YOUR PRODUCT! You can’t expect your customer to buy your company and your product if you haven’t done so yourself. Your customer needs to see that you really believe in what you have to offer.
  9. Make sure that you are in control of your product presentation. You don’t want your customer turning the pages or fiddling with your samples while you are speaking.  Check that they can SEE what you are presenting. Make sure there is no glare on the pages or that your laptop screen is at the correct angle.  You must get the customer interested through your energy and enthusiasm.  Create an image of what they will get, sell the benefits and “good feelings” that they will get from owning your product or using your service.  Keep eye contact and smile. This builds trust. It also allows you to monitor their reactions!  Keep your presentation flowing like a story. Opening, body, and close.
  10.  If you use samples then make sure that they are in perfect condition. The customer buys what you are showing him. If your samples are chipped, faded, falling apart etc. the customer won’t be impressed. Don’t use the excuse that “These are just samples”  Use your samples effectively. Use them at the right time. Don’t just leave them lying around.  Try to get as many of the senses involved during your presentation. (Touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell)  Example: Truck hire. Super rent / super smell. Sales Person gets customer to smell bag (smell) and then leave it as a gift. It’s these little things that get the customers emotions working. Remember – A little bit of showmanship always helps salesmanship!
  11. This is the time when you get your customer to confirm that they are as convinced about your product as you are. Divide into 2 parts. Their yes to these questions means that they have bought you, your company and your product or service. All that remains is to close! Part 1. “Mr. Jones, are you happy with what I've just shown you?” If you have done a good presentation it will be very difficult for them not to say yes. (If they say “yes but”, then you can work on overcoming whatever it is that they are not happy with.)
  12. Part 2. “So, if we can work out a price that fits in with your budget, you’d obviously like to go ahead then wouldn’t you?” (The answer to this question will also give you direction) If it’s “Yes” you can start closing. If it’s not “Yes’ then they will provide you with the reason. This will be in the form of an objection so be expecting it, handle it and then continue closing. What you have done now is successfully make the transition from presenting your product or service to making a sale. IT’S TIME TO CLOSE.
  13. Ray Patterson is a Sales Trainer and Keynote Speaker. He believes in Inspiring a Professional Sales Attitude. Ray speaks about Salespeople being proud of who they are and what they do as well as sticking to the simple basics in selling. Ray’s Keynote  Putting the pride and enthusiasm back into selling. Ray’s Sales Training  RAP Selling. Responsible. Accountable. Proud.  1 day Basic Sales Program  1 to 2 hour Modular workshops on selling skills. Should you wish to book Ray for a Keynote Speech, In-House training or should you have any training needs, please contact him at or give him a call on 076 565 2228.