Do you provide customers with the kind of sales and service they expect? It not, they’ll let you know about it – not directly perhaps, but through indirect messages related to each of the sales traits below.
1.Professionalism: If customers keep you waiting in the outer lobby or look at their watches while you’re talking to them, they’re commenting on your professionalism. If they seem hesitant to discuss their needs with you, or don’t return your calls, you probably have not made a businesslike impression. You have two opportunities to establish your professionalism – in the initial contact and in the way you continue to keep in touch.
2.Analyzing needs: If customers seem bored and restless during presentations because what they hear isn’t relevant to them; customers interrupt you with questions that sound impatient or brusque because they see that you don’t know enough about them to propose appropriate solutions; you lose sales to competitors, even when you’re sure your product performs better, because our competition does a better job of finding out what the customer needed.
3.Talking in benefits: If customers are truly interested in what you’re discussing, they will be attentive, and the conversation will continue after the formal meeting is over. If, on the other hand, they’re nice and polite, and ask good questions, but leave with a simple “Good presentation,” watch out! This is a sign that you probably didn’t do that well.
4.Technical Competence: If you avoid talking about the technical aspects or avoid the customer’s technical people because you’re afraid you’ll be tripped up by their questions, or if you had an easy time getting in the door but a difficult time scheduling further appointments, this is usually a sign that you are lacking in technical competence.
5.Asking for the order. If you don’t move customers towards a buying decision, or ask for their business, the dialogue and interest will fade away. Making a lot of calls, but not many sales, the prospect’s interest fading away, or leaving a sales call without feeling accomplished, are all signs that you may not be asking for the order at the right time.
Next week we’ll discuss some additional sales traits that you should already possess, and the signs you may get that signal a need to improve them.