Updated: Aug 15, 2021
How to book a Visit (Sales Presentation)
Question; How do you get a face-to-face meeting? Answer; Make sure you're valuable and make it easy for them to say “yes.”
Example; If their weekly staff meeting is 9am, ask to visit (pitch) from 9 until 9:05.
The length of the presentation is irrelevant. After your 5 minutes, answer questions.
If there are no questions, keep you promise, thank them and leave with a smile on your face. You will be remembered. Then follow-up, to do a full presentation
Don’t go to extremes
One Extreme. You talk too much about you and your company.
The Other Extreme. You haven't prepared so you wing-it, making it TOO MUCH about the customer.
The Middle Path is all about building trust. To trust you, they must know you Briefly explain…
Who are you. Your personal background (ultra quick) and how it can help them
Where you're located
Overview of what your group does
How what-your-group-does, helps them
Why you do it. Moving beyond-the-transaction. (not essential)
When you do it. Are you Monday-Friday 9-5? What are your 'response times'?
How Much. Can you give prices? Price ranges?
Then Go Deep with the stakeholders.
Answer questions, solve problems and seek objections.
If you ‘fit’, ask for the sale. If they say no, ask why. Always leave with a smile on your face and stay in touch. And eventually – Sold !
There are 2 types of face-to-face selling;
Transactional (e.g. selling shoes) and Complex (e.g. selling software).
Here is an example of Complex Selling using SaaS (Software as a Service).
If you’re selling shoes, the same principles apply.
Preparation (before you meet)
Planning You are not the only solution to their problem. You are one of many providers that can solve their problems. So plan, plan and plan your approach in relation to this groups OPERATIONAL and CULTURAL style. This takes research. Don't be afraid to call-and-quiz
Research The number-one complaint about Service Providers is,“they do not understand us.” So research their company, competitors, Industry and Industry trends. Mentioning your research early in the meeting, shows you have made an effort to understand them.
During the Meeting
One Salesperson visiting is OK. 2 says you’re serious Imagine an older and younger salesperson working together. WOW, 2 modes of thought working as one.
Get the Names (and Job Titles) of all the stakeholders in the room Ask about their Personal Agendas. E.g. The IT Department may have different needs to the Sales Department.
Remove Pressure At the beginning of the meeting explain that…
"This meeting is simply to find out IF we can work together. It’s possible we may not be a good fit. And that’s OK".
Rapport Banter and be curious. Rapport building is a dance. They lead and you follow. 5 seconds, 5 minutes or 15 minutes, they decide when this dance ends. Some people value small-talk more than others.
You shouldn’t be servile, but you are in their service. Don't be a Tuff Guy / Gal
Share the Agenda Say it. Then say it again
Don’t go too Micro.
Don’t overload them with ALL your products functionality.
They should do most of the talking,
while you ask about their past and current problems.
Be prepared to answer their concerns, such as...
Will you train our staff? When, how, how much, where?
Data Integration. Will we loose data?
Will you support us? When, how, how much, where?
Address concerns with Deep Guarantees If their last provider ‘guaranteed’ phone support and failed to deliver. Then, they will not trust your guarantee either. In this case, explain their contract will include a 20% discount if you fail to deliver. Put your money where your mouth is and Win the Sale.
Explain Hidden Benefits E.g. Our software is Australian made – needed for government tenders.
If you are selling a Product. Give it to them. Let them play with it. Allow them to ‘own’ it.
Do not ignore questions / issues This is a common problem with Salespeople. When a client raises an issue, address it. They are softly testing you to see if you can listen, understand and reply. If you won't listen before the sales, you sure ain't going to do it after the sale
If you don’t understand a question Rephrase it and repeat it back to them, to clarify. Don’t guess. CLARIFYING is not a sign of weakness. Too many salespeople think it is. It is a sign of strength because you are risking vulnerability to better serve them.
If they want something you cannot supply. Tell them who does and you will become their Trusted Adviser.
Don’t get Hung Up on Qualifying
B.A.N.T. is a method used to 'qualify' prospects (find out if strangers can buy from you).
· Budget - Can they afford it?
· Authority - Can this person ‘sign the contract’?
· Need - Do they need it or are they a student / professor / competitor just ‘fishing’ for information?
· Timing - Are they ready to buy?
Tread carefully. Some people don’t like to be ‘Qualified’.
Imagine you're at a party and someone talks to you for a few minutes then leaves. Later you realise they were only chatting, to see if you were 'useful' to them - how would you feel?
So let’s look at Qualifying form a different perspective…
Examples of why Qualifying is not as important as you may think.
Budget…They can't afford it
But maybe next month/year their budget increases.
Next year your price decreases.
Your large 'upfront fees' could drop to cheap monthly subscriptions .
Reducing your price is a good strategy to get your ‘foot in the door’ of an industry you are trying to break into.
Authority - You will only talk to the 'boss'
To Pitch to the Boss, it may be essential to Pitch to the 'assistant' first.
You don’t know how much influence the assistant has.
Asking “is there anyone else you work with to purchase?” is better than a confronting question like “Are you the decision maker?”
Saying you will only Pitch if the Decision Maker is there could be seen as ‘talking down’ to the assistant. Be careful. Be respectful.
There may be many 'bosses' See Procurement below.
Timing. Funny thing about time - it's always changing
If you offer a solution and constantly follow-up, then you’re always Top of Mind. So timing becomes less important.
This is the most important aspect of Qualifying. How badly do they need it? Have they budgeted for it? Are other departments / people involved in the decision process? Can you Present to them too?
And sometimes they will never tell you of their need. Continuous follow-up solves this problem.
Can you RE-FRAME their need?
At the End of the Session ask…
“Do I have a have an understanding of your Business?” If they don’t say “yes”, keep questioning until they do.
“What weaknesses do you see in our product?” Then discuss them.
“What’s holding you back?”
Ask for the Sale…
“Do you think we fit?”
“When can we start?”
Sometimes you will never get direct answers. And that’s OK. At the end of the session ask for a follow-up session. Failing that, say you will email “what our relationship would look like if we worked together”, (a Contract). Just don’t say “Contract” because it’s a scary word And Okay the Paperwork sounds better that Sign the Contract.
Phone every 3 months (as a minimum).