Oh too often people get a sales job and think all they have to do is learn the product or services they are representing and then they can run out the door and sell it. Guess again. You must first know the 6 P’s of selling. They are: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. That alone says it all. To be a good sales person you must first know:
• What you are selling.
• Who you are selling it too (target customer).
• Why they would want to buy it.
• What the buzz words will be so that you can trigger a conversation which leads to the sale.
Selling is more than just talking to people. One must first have all the previous questions answered, then you must make a list of your prospects, and lastly you must create or find online a way to track your progress. The next step is the most important one. You need the following spread sheets or something similar to keep you organized:
• Your ABC list. A is for HOT prospects, B is for maybe but just not now, and C is for ice cold, don’t bother me again prospects (brrrr). Don’t be fooled, often your B and C prospects turn out to be the most profitable and loyal customers.
• A follow up list which contact names and dates of who to follow up with. I always put this information at the top of my customer contact sheet but some like it on a separate page.
• Your prospect/customer contact sheet so that when you get a prospect willing to talk with you, this will give you a record of what you talked about and what the next step is.
• A Financial tracking form. This is where you will keep track of what you sold so you know whether you got paid for it. One of my personal favorite forms. Don’t kid yourself, accounting departments are great but you will need this form to keep them honest.
Are you ready to start selling yet? (buzzer sounds)…nope! Do you have a script written and memorized yet? Do you know what time of day you need to get started? Do you have a travel itinerary yet? See what I mean….there are lots of questions before you start. Let’s tackle these together, ok?
Why is it important to write a script and read it aloud in front of a mirror before you start? Did you know that with in the first ten seconds the buyer decides if they want to buy or not? If you don’t state the reason you are there guess what? You just became another salesman trying to sell something. Always talk with your sales manager first as they might have a specific script you should follow. For me I always found by stating my name and in these words: “the reason I am calling on you is (fill in the blank with what your goal for this call is). Then stop talking for ten seconds before you continue! Then it is all open ended questions.
The next item is for those who travel; know where you are going and be efficient with your time. Time traveling is time wasted. For those of you who do you’re prospecting by phone find out what time your prospects start arriving and work around their schedule! This is important. Too often people work eight to five not realizing their prospects work seven to three. And don’t forget the time zone change. I have done this…oops! Not much can be worse than calling a prospect at seven in the morning your time and forgetting they are three hours ahead of us for time. I once had a seven in the morning appointment to call a big customer and I was so excited he was going to give me some time I forgot the time zone. Problem number two, he was four hours behind me and the phones were forwarded to his house! Yep, it was three am there.
So remember the 6 P’s…Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
This was a guest post by Charles Bolduc
A little bit about the author:
Charles Bolduc has been in sales for 32 years. He was salesman of the year 6 times. He won awards for most profitable, most constant sales growth, leadership, rookie of the year (2 companies). His career covers 25 years in the food service industry and 7 years of selling B2B. He is finishing his first book which will be published in January 2014 called Selling Angry. He is currently a business consultant specializing in public relations and marketing.