You’ve made a list of prospective customers, qualified each of them, and are now preparing to embark on the most intimidating step in the sales cycle: making initial contact. Whether via phone call or in person, it’s kind of like a first date. You’re going to be judged. If you drop in for a personal visit, someone will be watching you…even when you think they aren’t. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. At the same time, there is a tremendous opportunity to front of you. What if this prospect could be your next annual contract client?
There are three things to keep in mind that are crucial to the success of each and every initial sales contact:
1. Have a Pre-Call OBJECTIVE – Ask yourself “What am I trying to accomplish?” Every step of the sales cycle is designed to systematically move towards the point when your prospect says “Yes!” and becomes a customer. Always continue moving towards conquering that objective.
2. Think PROFESSIONAL – Think about the prospect and what you can do for them, not what you can do for yourself. It’s all about them, not you. Also remember that as a representative of your newspaper, everything you say and everything you do will be directly associated with your employer.
3. Don’t be afraid of REJECTION – One of my favorite sayings is “Selling does not start until the customer says no.” Expect rejection…but do not be afraid of it. Prepare for it. Embrace it. Learn from it. And then you’ll know exactly what you need to do in the future to overcome it. Remember, persistence overcomes resistance!
Keep in mind, the initial sales contact is not the time to make a pitch. It’s not the time to try and close a sale. It is simply the first step towards creating a sale. Whether done on the phone or in person, initial contact time should be very short. Your primary focus, as defined by your pre-call objective, is to secure an appointment for a future time where you can conduct a thorough needs analysis.
Have a great week,
If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at (612) 278-0223 or firstname.lastname@example.org