ABC’s and 1 2 3’s – Back to Basics

Although statisticians and politicians seem to think the economy is getting better, many of us aren’t feeling the upswing just yet.  Sales are sluggish at best for all of us.  Sometimes, instead of trying something wild and crazy to stimulate sales, it’s more about preparation, hard work and going back to the basics – ABCs and 123s.

A – Begin by creating a customer call list.  Take some time identifying your target audience.  Add to the list those companies who could best use your expertise.  Which businesses have you seen falter in the market?  Also, don’t forget to consider those businesses that have stopped calling, and call them.

B – Write a short paragraph of what you want the customers to buy from you.  Make sure to include your value to the customer.  How will you solve their problems?  If you can’t explain it, then they can’t buy it.  How have you helped other customers?  Be prepared with specific examples.

C – Create a script of conversation starters.  “Hello Mr. Taylor, I was reading a magazine the other day and noticed that Company XYZ was getting some good ad space and drawing a lot of attention to their new offer.  How would you like to beat them at their own game?” or “Hello Ms. Ross, I drove by your office yesterday and saw that you could do so much more to welcome customers into your building with only a few, inexpensive changes.  How about I stop in the next time I’m in the neighborhood and show you what I mean?

1 – Keep the conversation going with a prepared list of key questions.  But here is the trick.  Have a list of prepared answers as well.   Your question might be, “Are you struggling to get more out of your marketing dollar?”  You could answer, “Many companies are spending less, but getting more for their money by utilising the Internet.  When would be a good time to show you some of the things you can do?”  Be ready for positive answers as well as negative one.

2 – Be prepared to handle any objection they may have.  Don’t argue with them.  Focus on the outcomes.  Don’t attack them and don’t be defensive.   Do lead them to answer their own objections.  Make sure you understand the issue, but summarizing what you think they’ve said and repeat it back to them. “I want to be clear about what you’re saying …”, or, “If I understand what you’re saying, …”

3 – Before you leave the office prepare yourself for the meeting.   Understand that it will be a different conversation with a CFO than a CIO.  Research the company, finding out where they stand financially and compared to their competition.  What marketing are they doing now and how successful does it seem to be.  What is your plan for making it better?

Before customers will sign on with you, they have to trust that you understand them and their business.  Create relationships that will last by returning to the basics of selling and WIN!

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