Is your 1st Impression….2nd best?

It could be YOU!

  •   They might not like the look of you!
  •   Perhaps your opening line closed the conversation
  •   Your enthusiasm has overwhelmed them
  •   Your lack of enthusiasm has disappointed them
  •   Your garlic/coffee/curry breath has caused their spectacles to melt!

All these factors can have a negative result when attempting to sell.  Have you noticed a common theme?  They have little or nothing to do with your product or your sales skills.

In fact, many business opportunities are lost even before any attempt has been made to sell.  This is simply because the seller hasn’t considered their own personal presentation.  Such issues can also play a part in business conducted over the telephone or over the internet.  Here the issue is ‘it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it’.  We all know this to be true, but how often do we stop to think how this can apply to us and our business approach?  First impressions are more about how we look, how we act, what we say and what we do.

Emotion has a huge effect on how we regard the people we meet.  The emotion generated can have a positive or negative effect on any business being sought.  Before we have even opened our mouths, the new prospect can have made a subconscious decision not to do business with us!  Are we guilty of self-sabotage without realising it?

It is true; we do business with people we like.  Often, we decide whether we like them or not within just a few seconds of meeting them.  Yes, first impressions are very important.

Next time you want to approach someone whom you think may be a prospective customer, take a moment to consider:

  • Do I look the part?
  • Would a mouth spray help?!
  • Am I prepared to listen before I attempt to sell?
  • Do I have an interesting opening line and elevator pitch?
  • Will my enthusiasm for my business be seen as being keen or aggressive?
  • How can I help them?

……and only then, how can they help me?

Give yourself a chance! Once these questions are answered positively, you stand a good chance of winning their hearts and their business.

ISSM Certificate in Sales & Marketing: find out more

Wanting to sell more?  What’s stopping you?

Do you need to be better at selling?     Institute of Sales and Marketing Management courses provide sales skills and techniques designed to help you sell more, and sell more easily.

Are you good at selling but can’t prove it?   Institute of Sales & Marketing Managers courses will give you that credibility by offering awards, certificates or diplomas in Sales & Marketing.

Salient has teamed up with Green Labyrinth to be able to provide ISMM certificates in Sales & Marketing.  The first course starts on April 20th from 6.00 to 9.00pm and completes on May 15th.shutterstock_143058028 bobble-heads

ISMM courses help you sell more by focussing on the three core aspects of knowledge, skills and attitude

  • Introducing a simple process and a variety of adaptable techniques
  • Providing proven skills and techniques for finding and winning sales
  • Helping you to develop effective sales plans and strategies that enable growth
  • Providing the means to implement and complete plans and gain the rewards
  • Focusing on developing productive relationships and ethical approaches
  • Showing how you can easily overcome barriers and objections and win respect
  • Developing the necessary self-belief and self confidence that allows you to enjoy success in selling

Who would benefit?

  1. Those new to sales
  2. Those needing a ‘refresher’ to maintain, develop and add to existing skills
  3. Sales people needing ‘proof-of-proficiency’ in selling

–          Learning how to sell successfully by relying on field experience can take time and can develop unproductive habits.

–          Learning how to sell using ISMM courses will bring success more quickly, easily, and more frequently.

Courses are flexible; discounts and public funding may be available for eligible delegates.  They are run at Bowman House in Royal Wootton Bassett.

For more details and to book onto the next course starting 20th April, contact: Sarah from Green Labyrinth on 01793 843128 (other dates are available), or email info@greenlabyrinth.co.uk

Alternatively, call Andy at Salient on 01793 843118

Why ‘TECHNICAL’ Sales Training?

WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT ‘TECHNICAL SALES TRAINING’ ?Salient Technical Sales

Good, standard ‘Sales Training’ covers all the bases and offers proven skills and techniques that result in excellent sales conversion in any market.

‘Technical Sales Training’ does all of the above, but also adds in the extra level of skill needed to sell into technical markets, such as:

  • Identifying all decision makers, technical and commercial
  • Building relationships with engineers as well as buyers
  • Understanding and adapting to the different needs of technical and commercial personnel
  • Ensuring all specification and quality needs are addressed as well as price, deliveryand other commercial requirements

General Sales Training can be adapted for individual businesses, but it is Technical Sales Training that covers all the issues that can be experienced when two very diverse mindsets have to be satisfied before a sale can happen.

CASE STUDY (personal experience as a sales novice; from the early part of my sales career!)

A large established customer specialising in car instrumentation needed specialist electronic circuitry to be manufactured in significant quantities.

The Chief Engineer called me in and over 4-5 months our parts were prototyped, quality checked and ‘designed-in’.  The Chief was very pleased and said the order for the first million parts would be with us in a matter of weeks.

Nothing happened and contact attempts were ignored so I made another appointment to see him.  At this meeting I learned that our main rival had won the business!  The Chief was furious as he had not had parts from them and had not met with any of their personnel.  He wanted to give us the business but had been over-ruled by the purchasing department who had approved our competitors using an extensive paperwork exercise(!)

The lessons:  Always involve both technical and commercial personnel in any sales approach, and avoid assumptions, such as who is the decision maker.

I never made that mistake again!

This is a classic example of just one of the issues that can be faced when selling into technical markets.  There are many more as it is rare that technical personnel understand the needs and priorities of the commercial department, and vice versa.

Those skilled in technical sales can overcome all these issues and more.

The courses are ideal for technicians and engineers moving into sales as well as for commercially trained personnel needing to sell into technical markets.

For more information, contact Andy on 01793 843118, or 07941 041364, or email andyentwistle@salientsales.co.uk

CLASSIC SALES CLANGERS

It is all too easy to fall into these traps when selling.  Some of you may well have experienced these already; they will be painfully obvious and clear to you.  However, sometimes you may also be unaware that you have slipped up or missed some opportunities. There are many I could have selected!  Here are five of the most common clangers:

Classic clanger no.1:  can happen at that first contact.  Maybe you have contacted who you think is an ideal prospect, but they turn out to be uninterested or have no need for what you are offering.  This is down to sales & marketing preparation: did you find out enough about them before contacting?  Are you talking to the right person?

Remedy:  If you haven’t already, plan your approach and START asking them questions!

Classic clanger no.2  Perhaps they stop you in mid pitch, to point out that your offer doesn’t match their need.  Did you ask enough questions?  Are you too eager to talk about your product and haven’t taken the time to qualify their need by asking simple questions?

Remedy:  Start asking now!

Classic clanger no.3  Did you make your pitch and then give them time to consider?  If you went back to them over a week later you may find they have gone elsewhere for the product.  Unfortunately, customer memory is very short and someone else can end up benefitting from the sale.

Remedy:  Agree with them the best time for the follow-up.  If you are unsure, call in a couple of days; not necessarily to ask for the business, but to check they are still happy with the offer or if they need more help to decide.

Classic clanger no. 4  You are being pushed on price but you have no more room to manoeuvre.  You’re stuck!  You don’t  have to ‘take a hit or walk away’.

Remedy:  Have a contingency; an extra something you can throw into the mix to move the situation forward.  This could be more product, or a related product, or an extra service; ideally, anything that costs you little, but will be seen as good value by the customer.

Classic clanger no.5  ‘Let me know if and when you are ready to order from us’.  THIS IS NOT A LEGITIMATE CLOSE!  If you leave the deal like this, the most likely outcomes are: they will forget all the good things about doing business with you; they will be persuaded to buy from someone else; they will delay their decision or even the project.

Remedy:  Don’t be afraid to close!  If it’s the wrong time, ask them when. Better still; ask them what more you need to do to win the business, then do it!

These are just some of the classic clangers that are easy to make when selling, and suggestions for how to prevent or remedy them.  As with everything, just a few simple techniques and selling skills can make all the difference when it comes to increasing your success and improving your business ‘conversion rate’.

If you’ve dropped a clanger, or are wondering why you don’t win as much business as you deserve, call Andy at Salient.

ISMM courses now available

Not good at selling? Join our ISMM courses in sales & marketing. 

Good at selling & want to prove it? Join our ISMM courses, starting April.

Salient Sales & Training is proud to announce the opportunity for our clients to join Institute of Sales & Marketing Management courses to achieve an Award, Certificate or Diploma in Sales and Marketing to level 2 or level 3.

Salient has teamed up with Green Labyrinth to provide these courses which will start in April 2015.

For more details please call or email Andy at Salient.

WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

 

‘It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities’,   Dumbledore to Harry;  J.K. Rowling

I talk to many companies and entrepreneurs about their business development.  Their needs and aspirations are quite varied, but common themes do become apparent.

Most common is the need for more business; to find more customers and win more sales.  This is useful as these two aspects happen to be my areas of expertise!  However, a common confession from business owners and managers is the difficulty they have in making decisions.  Some of these decisions are for strategic issues, such as matching products to markets, or where to obtain funding.  Some decisions are less critical, but still important, such as in selecting a supplier, prioritising daily activities or when to follow-up contacts or proposals.

Demands for decisions can be both internal and external.  All sorts of issues come into play, from time management, influencing skills, decision momentum and balance, to deciding priorities, urgencies and consequences.  No wonder we cannot make up our minds!

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”   
Lewis Carroll

There are some simple techniques and processes that can be applied to every decision, that should make them easier to make, quicker to resolve and ultimately much less stressful.

These can include:

  • Knowing yours and your businesses’ true priorities and being true to these
  • Establishing the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’
  • Considering different processes and techniques; choosing the best way forward
  • Developing a personal decision making process that is straightforward and comfortable
  • Establishing background; involving stakeholders and influencers; managing expectations
  • The ‘laser approach’, versus ‘sheepdog focus’, or even ‘option adoption’ techniques
  • Applying time management skills to ensure indecision does not prevent progress
  • Striking the right balance between the ‘head’ and the ‘heart’ approach
  • Considering Transactional Analysis as a possible option for achieving the best personal outcome
  • Being prepared to decide not to decide, but fixing and keeping to a new decision deadline
  • When logic does not suit; using the ‘approach attributed to Einstein’

Some say that there are no such things as ‘wrong decisions’.  They argue that whichever route we choose is the correct one, based on what we know and how we feel at the time.  This approach has merit as much time, energy and stress is wasted in regretting past decisions.  This forward looking approach can make a big difference to your confidence when you are challenged with more decisions to be made.

Decision making is a fascinating art (and science).  Being comfortable with the process is important in order to maintain the quality of, and satisfaction in the result.

If you want to consider this further for you and your business, Salient is holding a workshop in February called ‘Decision Making – made easier’.  For more details and to book, go to the events page here.