Posts Tagged Decision making

IT Expert sales: part II – First contact

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
Bernard Shaw.

I would like to continue topic of Expert Sales. See previous post – “Expert sales: part I – assessment“.

It covered decision making model when launching expert sales. But how to get there? How to retrieve those answers from your client?

Let’s make first very first step – first talk or meeting with your customer. Dealing with front-line requests you never know who is calling you/who is at your door, so need to act prepared in order not to miss your chance.

Let me take an example…

Imagine you have your phone ringing and a nice female (or male, your choice) voice asks for your service. What would you do? What questions would you ask? What and how will you tell/offer? What would be your next steps? What impression will you make?

First of all: make sure person who is speaking with newly called customer is qualified enough to start assessment. If not, leave clear instructions how he/she should act and what to tell/not to tell if such a person is unavailable at the moment.

I usually leave clear instructions if call reaches receptionist and no one from sales guys is available:

  1. Register person’s name, position, contact phone, e-mail;
  2. Ask how he/she learned about us?
  3. Ask to describe what service he/she is looking for?
  4. Ask what company he/she represents?
  5. Agree for suitable callback time of sales person.

Be cautious and NEVER at this point:

  • Give any estimations on time, budjet, etc (even if person insists);
  • Start “selling” yourself or your services/pushing/advertising;
  • Say NO (after a while you may establish clear rules when you allow your front-line guy to say NO to assess already at this step);

Benefit applying such an approach is that that your sales guy will have time to prepare and gather information before the call, that could be:

  1. Surf client’s webpage/Google about company, their services and business;
  2. Analyze initial request and perform first step assessment if possible;
  3. Prepare questions you would ask to assess further;
  4. Obtain information about possible competitors of potential client;
  5. Obtain information about person you prepare to call to;
  6. Call back when ready and as agreed;

And finally, remember: you never get a second chance to make a first impression! 

And whoever plays in your front line he/she makes that impression.

To be continued…

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