The ultimate goal in a sales meeting is, of course, to close the deal. Depending on your individual style, there are several paths from which to choose that lead you to a final sale. By focusing on your clients’ perspective, you are giving yourself a better chance at succeeding. Here are some conversations you should be having with customers that will lead to an increased number of sales.
- Discuss how your client perceives the problem. You may have your own ideas about how your product or service would serve as a solution to a problem, but the client may have a completely different perception of the problem itself. Find out what that is, and in your presentation, appeal to that need. Let’s say your client wants to simplify his financial software program. Without discussing why, you could be trying to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist. Does his current program have too many extraneous features? Does he like the features but finds the program hard to use? The more specific you can get, the better equipped you’ll be to provide a real solution.
- Use simple, clear statements that appeal to your client. There really is no need for you to use overly technical language or business jargon in a sales meeting. Clients really only want to figure out if your product will be valuable enough to them to spend their hard-earned money on it. Back to the above example, the customer states that he needs the features of his financial software, but is spending too much time navigating the program. A simple statement like, “The simplicity of our software will cut your usage time in half,” is clear and appeals exactly to the client’s problem.
- Establish credibility. Why should a client take the time to listen to your pitch? Why should someone consider doing business with you instead of a competitor? You need to establish yourself as someone worthy of a client’s time. Make sure you are dressed appropriately and come prepared not just with your pitch, but with smart, client-specific questions. It’s a good idea to research a prospective client so that you can open with some questions that demonstrate your expertise and genuine interest in your client’s specific needs.
- Prepare for objections. Don’t let yourself be caught off guard when a client objects to closing the sale. Anticipate possible reasons for such objections so you can respond quickly and confidently. People often take comfort in knowing that others have already thought of possible issues and have taken steps to prevent them. Listen carefully to the client’s concern, ask follow-up questions if necessary, and then respond appropriately.
- Always leave with a good impression. This is especially true, even if you don’t ultimately make the sale. You never know when you will be doing business with this client in the future or in what capacity. If you’ve left with a positive impression, a client may recommend you to a colleague or friend, or perhaps think of you later on when a different need arises. Even failed sales meetings are opportunities for further networking, so always conduct yourself professionally with a pleasant and sincere demeanor.
Your dialogue with clients forms the basis of your professional relationship. Knowing how to focus those conversations will help you increase your sales.
What conversations work for you? Please share your ideas below!