We haven’t posted any information about the start of a sales day. Let’s change that!
Today’s start is a good model. I work for managers who see starting early as an almost ethical or moral imperative. It doesn’t really matter if business people want to hear from a salesman at 7:30 in the morning, if you’re not trying you’re not cut from the right cloth for sales work.
Well, I couldn’t disagree more. I am working from home this morning and I have accomplished more in my first hour than I would have if I had been dragged to some early meeting. My reports are all in order, I have sifted through the dozens of email that arrive overnight, and I am rested, relaxed, and happy, three qualities that make a huge difference in sales.
Let me tell you a little about my reports. I carry a small laptop for all meetings and it is loaded with information that I can use when meeting clients. However, I worry that we might be tempted to overwhelm business owners with studies, testimonials, and pie charts. So I use these things sparingly and on an as-needed basis. I don’t presume that my audience knows all the facts, but I don’t presume that they don’t either. Fact finding never stops during the sales process. You should always be checking in with your client and making sure they are still with you. A good salesman is attentive and flexible.
You need to present your information clearly and the most important information you present is your product or service. I follow a format I learned from high school debate. I find out what my clients concerns and goals are and then answer each of those concerns and goals with a feature and benefit from my service. Very simple. And for me the most simple way to accomplish this clearly and with good order is to lay out a simple summary on a sheet of paper and just walk through it with the client.
An Example: “You mentioned that you would like to increase revenues at your St. Cloud office by 10% next year. Here I have included this that helps you achieve that next year.”
You do two things with this approach. You show that you have listened to your client and you have answered his concern with a solution. You would be surprised at how impressed people are when they discover that you have listened!
Most of these summaries are two columns. I put the product or service in a column and list the benefit of the feature in the next. I make it clean and casual. Simple.
So my proposal outlines are all good to go along with any supporting information I want to include with it. Even with powerful computers, I insist that it is important to have hard copies of key supporting information ready for your clients.
So I am ready to go and it is 9:00. Of course much of what I did this morning I could have done last night — and some of it I did prepare last night — but I find it beneficial to pull my prep together in the morning. It gives me an opportunity to mentally go through my day and think ahead. It is a good rehearsal.
Personally, starting now rather than at 7:30 is better for me. I am not an early rise-and-shine kind of guy and nothing will change that. I still get up and get started early in the morning, but ramp it up with my preparations. I am in a much better mood, my thoughts are clearer, and I have wisely used my time to set up my day rather than feel pushed and rushed.
In my work I cannot always start my days like this. Early meetings are inevitable. I have made sales as early as 6:00 a.m. (once) and frequently I am starting earlier in order to get to an early meeting. This is the reality of the business world. This suprises no one, does it? If I had my choice, however, today would be the best way to start all of my days. It optimizes what I am.
No time for delays, however! Time to go make something out of this day…
- How to Manage a Sales Force (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- How to Create a 90-Day Sales Plan of Action (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- Basic Sales Techniques (thinkup.waldenu.edu)