The ideal selling experience is characterized by appropriate Preparation, Execution and Delivery. These three legs of the sales stool are equally critical and often too much emphasis is placed on one which can jeopardize the whole opportunity. Let’s look at each:
Notwithstanding the obvious in terms of punctuality, appearance and relevant collateral materials, this also has a lot to do with the psychological mindset of the salesperson going into meetings with potential customers. Consider approaching this process in a “coach” like manner. Yes you have to present what you sell but the emphasis needs to switch quickly to seeing this as an opportunity to help your potential client identify and get they want? What do you they need, what are their challenges and what would success look like? The key is to authentically coach a potential client that hopefully results in their purchasing your product or service, because they need it; prepare from the client’s perspective.
By focusing on what the customer wants, it places the emphasis on them and facilitates a discussion around their needs. Present what you have to offer succinctly, keep it simple and should they wish to go deeper, be prepared for that. Watch for body language and tone; these are great emotional cues for what a client might be thinking and feeling. For example, if you notice some restlessness move along quickly or better still, stop and ask what questions might they have or even what they think. Often we execute in a very logical manner but many clients process it emotionally. Execute from both a place of logic and emotion.
The sale is never completed when you sign the contract or even get paid. The ultimate result comes from the product or service delivery when you have a fully satisfied customer. This is what enhances the probability of a repeat purchase and this becomes the selling process for that next buy. There is plenty of research to support that there is far less work involved in maintaining a customer versus acquiring a new one. However there is work nonetheless and failure to deliver can result in a loss forever. Deliver what you promise.