There are thousands of definitions of what sales is and what makes salespeople effective. Don’t bother googling it because it would take you until the end of time to sort through all the various explanations about sales.
The point I want to make today is that good salespeople do the following:
1. Prepare for the sales call
2. Take control of the face-to-face sales call from the first minute in front of the prospect
3. Ask intelligent and relevant questions
4. Listen and take notes
Using PowerPoint is intellectual quicksand! The more you use it the deeper and faster you will sink. Is there a place for PP? Absolutely! But, in my opinion, not on the first sales call. Why? Because salespeople use PP much like blind people use canes. It is used by many salespeople as a navigation tool to get through the sales call. If you use it a lot it becomes like Valium. PowerPoint should have a warning that reads this software can become addictive.
No, I’m not anti-technology although, yes, I am challenged technologically. (You don’t honestly think that I set this blog up in wordpress by myself do you?) First sales calls are like first dates, visits to the doctor’s office or raising kids. These three have some or all of the following in common:
1. Exploring areas of interest
2. Identifying needs
3. Identifying PAIN
5. Asking a lot of questions
6. Deciding what the next step is in a given situation
7. Dealing with N-O
Not by coincidence all seven of these pertain to the first sales call. Nowhere is a computer in sight.
Try this the next time you go on a first sales call. Take a pen, a business card and something to write on-that’s it. The first time you do this your hands will shake from E.D.W.-Electronic Device Withdrawal but you’ll get over it. My bet is that you will close more business because of it.
The Final Thought: The purpose of learning is growth and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live. Mortimer Adler–American Philospher