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In the minds of many, the sales process is seen as a breeze that does not require much skill. However, sales personnel are professionals. Perhaps it is how they carry out the sales that lead to such perception. As a business owner, I’ve had chance to interact with sales people on countless occasions. They have attempted to sell to me almost every service or product you can imagine. Some of their sales strategies were a complete disaster while others were excellent. The best sales person and those who thrive are those who take time to study the product or service inside out. However, this is not enough; they must study the company and culture so that they can represent the company effectively. The odds of making a sale are higher for those whose sales pitch is directed towards the operations of the company. If you’re looking to make great sales consistently, the following tips will come in handy.
Understand the organization’s structure
Many sales people have the misconstrued notion that approaching the CEO directly is their best shot at making sales. In most cases, this does not work. When as a salesperson you bypass the rest of the people, and go to the top, you are ruling out important people who may influence the decision at the top. Most top managers will not usurp the authority they have entrusted in their employees. If a decision is made that undermines their authority then this infringes on their rights and employee respect. They might also view the product or service negatively even if it is for their benefit. As a salesperson, you should study the chain of command, and find the relevant people who can even pitch the product to the CEO. The top managers will also have more confidence in the product if they hear about it from department heads or junior managers. This is also the best way to get the attention of the CEO.
Understand the organization’s growth curve
When targeting a small or medium sized company, then you can approach the senior executive directly. However, as a company grows, responsibilities change. This same senior executive will now be handling more crucial matters and may not have the time or patience to hear a sales person out. The responsibilities he held will now be transferred to a junior executive. As a sales person, you need to only understand the size of the company but also any changes in place. You cannot rely on the relationship you have with a senior manager as a long-term strategy. If you do so, a competitor may come and use the right channels and get the business instead. People change, and so do roles, and you need to keep up with these changes in order to maintain a particular client.
Become an asset to the business
People value helpful opinion – this is why you must study the organization to know their growth strategy and how you can be helpful. To stand out from the intense competition, you need to be of value to the company. Look for ways you can make contributions or suggestions that are helpful in the company. If they can constantly rely on you for valuable information then they will want to keep you. It is important to emphasize that knowing the company you’re dealing with is the gateway to a good and lasting relationship. If trust is built, then you can suggest other products and services as you go along.
Respect time offered to you
If you get an audience with the company to make a presentation or a meeting about a product or a service, ensure that you do a background search about the company. Do not use this time to inquire about the needs of the company, probing should be done before. The presentation should be about what the company needs. Tailor the product to fit the organization, do not give general industry benefits, custom fit it to fit the unique needs of the company. You need to be prepared, ensure that you network with the relevant people in the organization so that you can know how to pitch the product effectively.
Develop a workable strategy
Most people will tell you that calls can be annoying. The strategy you use to approach a company will speak volumes about your level of professionalism. Ensure that you network widely and seek referrals. This is a better way to approach the organization as opposed to constantly calling them or emailing them. Once you have established a rapport you can use emails and phones to communicate. The best way is always to do a background search on the business and ask yourself how relevant your product is to their line of business.