Monday, August 23, 2010

Sales 101

I don't want to sound cynical, but I must admit coming from an agency where I was an AE, now to where I am the client has a huge advantage!!  I promise, I am getting to a point....keep reading!!

I had a meeting with an AE for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  I wasn't looking to be wowed by this person, just informed, but this AE we will call her "Jane" for privacy sake, first of all was 15 minutes late to our first meeting.  As she came in, I could barely keep up with what she was saying.  Not once did she ask me questions about our program or what my goal's were in working with her.  The hour that Jane spent with me was a waste of my time that I will never get back. 

From what I learned in sales, the day before I was to meet with a new prospective client, I would google the company they worked for and the person I was to meet with.  I would then type out a list of questions that would help me get to know this person better.   I was building a relationship with this client and wanted to be inquisitive about their needs.  I guess not all AE's paid attention to that section in Sales 101 because I know for a fact Jane missed that portion.   I found out more about her in that hour than I ever wanted to know!!    

So my point is all you Jane's out their....and you may not even know you are her....the first thing in Sales 101 is to know your client.  Ask questions about them, what motivates them, what interest's do they have, what their goals are, what does their office look like??  In the first five minutes when you enter their office you will know a lot about their personal life.  In asking questions, you can find out a lot about your prospects business goals, wishes, budgets and future events!  In doing so, you can figure out pretty quick if you are a good fit or not.  Once you make that first initial common interest, then you can talk business, usually on your second trip!!  Make sure they know they are important and that you care!!  Don't talk about yourself...keep the focus on your client, their needs and end goals!!  The AE that talks the most usually looses the sale!!!