There’s no such thing as being born to sell. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there are people who are brilliant at being a sales rep and can often make the job look easy (we have a few of those at Blue Diamond STL). However, these salespeople have more than likely taken the time to refine their skills and constantly strive to push themselves further. They are committed to implementing a regimented sales process and are constantly aiming to support customers at every touch point.
We have a 5 point program which includes effective steps to help you improve with selling.
1 – Sales Enquiries/ Leads
Every sales enquiry, regardless of whether it is substantial or small, must be recorded. This makes it easier to follow up on the enquiry as there is evidence of what was spoken about.
For example, a customer may have called up and you decided to tell them about a new product and send them a sample. If you do not record this communication, then you may forget what happened and when they phone up again you may forget to ask their opinion on your new product. This is a missed opportunity to make a sale and acquire valuable customer feedback.
Sales enquiries are regarded as the life-blood of the business, so to avoid situations like the one above you must make sure all enquiries are respected and recorded.
2 – Quotations
When preparing a quotation, you should make sure you are prompt because delays present a negative portrayal of your company to customers. Delays in forwarding a quotation can often tell the customer you are not interested in their business. Instead, I recommend forwarding a quotation as soon as possible as this tells your customer you are keen for their business and want the order to progress. This is particularly important as some prospects will place orders based on the fact that they have received a well-defined quotation promptly.
3 – Follow Up Quotations to Obtain Orders
Quotations must be followed up and a strategy should be devised to secure the order. One strategy may be to use up your prospective customer’s time and give them less time to spend with your competitors. I advise you to ask for help and compare notes if you have difficulty getting the order.
4 – Processing of Order and Follow-up of Production Throughout Lead Time
Ensure the signed Order Schedule is obtained quickly and processed immediately. It would be beneficial to refrain from assuming production will deliver on time. This will ensure you aren’t completely reliant on production but in the case of delays, customers need to be advised as soon as possible. I would recommend following up on production and managing the delivery deadline.
5 – Attention to Production Problems After Installation
Don’t ignore customer complaints. Although it can be difficult to read negative comments about your business, all feedback is highly useful. Negative feedback presents you with the opportunity to make changes and improve. If you improve your service or products you are able to better meet the requirements of our customers. Ultimately, your best future sales prospect is your existing satisfied customer.
I would recommend taking a personal interest in the problem, keep your customer informed and above all keep all your promises.