Check please…..

Check please…..

 Just getting your sea-legs in sales? Or perhaps you’ve been in management for a while and are now moving back to the sales team. You could even be a seasoned veteran of the Art of Selling, but whatever your status is; it never hurts to review and examine your approach to a sale; before, during and after the sale.  Are you remembering everything you need to do, say, ask?  As for me, I’m a list-maker, so I like to write checklists for myself to ensure nothing’s been left out during the sales cycle.  It’s easy when you’re juggling several clients in different phases of the cycle to get a little muddled. It then becomes more likely that you may miss subtle nuances with your clients that can make the difference between closing and not closing.  Again- this is why I like lists. 

Here is a helpful checklist for the various phases of the sales cycle to make sure you don’t miss a beat;

 

While prospecting:

  • Do your homework on the company and person you’ll be meeting.
  • Do your homework on which of your competitors the company works with or has worked with in the past
  • Do your homework on finding common interests or shared acquaintances to create rapport when you meet

First meeting:

  • Observe and note the prospect’s office vibe, décor and dress style to make sure you look like ‘one of the gang’ on subsequent meetings
  • Observe and note the prospect’s personal space for photos, mementos, awards and toys or gadgets in order to find common interests
  • Ask questions about the company’s goals and challenges
  • Ask questions about your prospect’s personal goals and challenges
  • Ask if there’s anyone else who is involved in the decision-making process
  • Ask what they like and dislike about their current vendor
  • Ask about funding and timeframe
  • Ask broad, open-ended questions in order to learn what the prospect needs, wants and doesn’t yet know they need
  • Respond positively to all objections
  • Commit to finding more information related to objections or questions you couldn’t answer off the cuff

Formal presentation:

 

  • Do homework on presentation attendees
  • Send agenda to prospect at least a day before the presentation
  • Re-establish rapport; use anecdotal conversation to reaffirm common interests
  • Assume the sale in the language you use;  for example, “This will improve your output” as opposed to “This could improve your output
  • Link each benefit to a stated client need
  • Check for understanding before moving on to next subject
  • When summarizing, draw clear parallels between the client’s needs and how your product meets each of those needs
  • Ask for the sale
  • Ask if they have any unanswered questions
  • Ask what the next step will be
  • Lock down when your next contact will be and if it will be to close or to discuss further

Closing the deal and follow up

 

  • Re-establish rapport
  • Downplay the actual ‘signing’ and play up your customer care program
  • Review the next steps regarding your delivery cycle and contacts
  • Remember this is not the end of your responsibility, it’s the beginning of your relationship
  • Introduce the client to their new contacts at your company; technical support, customer care, account manager, etc.
  • Make formal arrangements to meet with your client again after delivery for a feedback session