As selling and sales approaches evolve and we adopt new practices, we also tend to forget give up or move past practices that when used, still facilitate sales, foster relationships, and help us succeed. I’d like to present three that you can weave back in to your routine and step up your sales.
Ask to meet the team – there two specific reasons you want to do this, especially very early in the sale. First, even though you may be dealing with the decision maker, they are still part of or leading a team, demonstrating your ability to get along with the team can only help with the decision make. In the process you will also learn about how that decision maker views the individuals on his/her team, and gain insight into power and influence distribution. At the same time, many leaders are looking for consensus support for their choice, with many products looking all too similar the team’s input could swing it your way.
The other reason you want to meet the team is to avoid being blocked by implementers. We have all been slowed down if not undermined by someone who can’t alter the decision, but can prevent implementation. By meeting them early you can get ahead of any potential issues, and where there is none, you can build support.
Use an Agenda – I have posted about this in detail in the past, but there are some basic aspects worth repeating. One being able to avoid surprises. The agenda should feature key points/areas to be covered during the meeting, and your proposed next steps as a result of progress on the above items. Send the agenda to the person(s) you are meeting a day or two in advance so they can react. If for whatever reason the prospect is not on board with any of the items or the next step, you have time to adjust or address.
You can also include a request for people, resources or other things that will help the meeting, allowing you to make the most of the meeting. The more buttoned down your sale is, the more professional you will appear.
The third contains two, but since they are closely linked, I’ll combine them.
Always send a Thank You note – even if the meeting doesn’t go your way, you don’t achieve the desired outcome, no next step, send thank them for their time and input. They can always be a prospect in the future, and they certainly are a source for referrals now. I am always surprised by how few sales people send thank you e-mails in general, and especially when things didn’t go their way. How much effort is involved in creating a “thank you” template and firing it off?
To really stand out, and this the second element, make it a hand written note. Write the address by hand, get a stamp, and put it in the mail. While this is great for post meetings, it is also great for getting meeting. Snail mail is so rare, especially hand written and addressed, they practically sail by any admins or EA’s. Recipients have told me they were so curious to see what was inside they opened it right away. I have had people call me before I had scheduled to call them when they read my prospecting greeting card. I have seen thank you cards I mailed sitting in buyer’s offices months after I sent them, every day they thought of me.
Three small things that can make a big difference.