Things To Do Before You Make Your First Sales Call
Imagine you are making your first sales call with the intention of selling a financial product or service to a potential client. This can be a truly daunting task! You are likely to have conversations with “Gate keepers”, PA’s, EA’s, Switch board operators and other staff who do not have the authority to purchase your product or service in the first place. In addition you may be delaying them from doing their daily work and adding to their stress levels. This may lead to them refusing to take the telephone conversation any further and have the effect of impacting on your self confidence too.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I heard many children’s stories when growing up that have a moral or teaching point embedded in them. One that springs to mind is that of Robert the Bruce, who despite losing many battles with the English, finally won freedom for Scotland. The moral being: try, try and try again until you succeed.
This may seem like a good moral story, however, in the field of business or indeed life, this could be disastrous. The word “try” itself implies failure. If you are “trying” to do something you are not actually doing it! If you are trying to win, this implies you are losing. If you think back to how many times you may have heard the phrase “I will really try to make it…… “. Now compare this with the phrase “I will definitely be there”. They’re worlds apart, aren’t they?
In business, yes you can try things but if they do not work you must try something else until you find one that works. Alternatively, you can learn from others mistakes and utilize techniques that have a higher success rate than others. Simply trying without gauging results is like watching a movie several times and expecting a different result each time.
It is a fact that it is getting harder and harder to talk to the right decision maker/buyer, especially in a larger organization. You have to remember that people are busier than they have ever been at work. The key decision makers are normally the busiest, running from meeting to meeting, so catching them may be extremely difficult.
Below, I have listed some of the main things to do before you even consider making your first sales call to a company:
Research: Before making your first sales call you must research the organization thoroughly. Looking at the company’s website is a good start. It can give you a good idea of the organizational structure however you may still not get the names of individuals you require to make your sale.
Human Resources Department: Most of the larger organizations have a Human Resources department. This is the key department to contact and simply talking to one of the HR team can give you valuable insight into the buying power of key individuals within the organization.
Offer Value:Every time you contact a member of staff regardless of who they may be you should ensure that you enhance that person’s day rather than add to their work pressures. Simply by talking politely to them or using a little humour may be enough. For others a free report that is relevant to the work they do. Become known in the company for being helpful and distinguish yourself from your competitors.
Belief in your products or services: It is important for you to believe in your own product or services. If you can show a client in a totally congruent way that your product or service can solve an actual problem or issue that they have, they are more likely to want to speak to you.
Position yourself in the market place: Be seen as the industry specialist. A potential client is more likely to contact you if you are a perceived expert in solving their problems.
Use different types of communication: There are a number of different mediums you can use: fax, mail, postcards, CD’s/DVD’s, email, invitation for a free coffee at a local coffee house. The idea is to be creative so that you are not considered to be the same as your competitors.AÃ¯Â¿Â½
After you have laid the groundwork by utilizing the above, then it’s time to consider making your first sales call. By this time you should have a real feel for the business and the people working for it. At this stage you may have a few contacts in the company who could recommend your services to the key decision maker, or at the very least you will be aware of who the key decision maker is.
If you work in the financial services arena, whether as an IFA, broker, fund manager, investment specialist the same key areas would apply. You might also be interested in a special report: “8 deadly Mistakes – to ensure your financial services business will fail” which you can download from . This report highlights the areas you must address to ensure the success of your business.