Approaching the Prospect

Selling Process - Skills - Knol - Article - Series

The first impression

The first impression a salesperson makes is important. If this impression is favorable, the prospect is more likely to listen to welcome and listen to the salesperson. If it is not favorable, he may not cooperate and may erect communication barriers even though it is a prearranged meeting.

The first impression is centered on the image projected by the salesperson’s appearance and behavior. Following are some suggestions to be followed.

1. Wear appropriate conservative business clothes.

2. Be neat in dress and grooming.

3. Do not smoke, chew gum or drink during approach to the customer

4. Keep an erect posture and project confidence and warmth.

5. Ask permission to sit down if the prospect has not offered the seat.

6. Show enthusiasm.

7. Smile

8. Do not begin with apology for taking the prospect’s time. Believe it, you are there to help him first.

9. Do not imply that you have not planned the call.

10. Maintain eye contact with the prospect.

11. If the prospect offers to shake hands, do so with a firm grip.

12. Remember the prospect’s name - correctly use it in greeting him

Approach techniques

Opening with a statement

Opening with a demonstration

Opening with a question or questions

Opening with a statement

Four types opening statements are mentioned in books.

1. Introductory approach

It opens with the salesperson’s name and business. “Hello, Mr. ………., my name is ………, representing …………….”

When a salesman is meeting a prospect for the first time this approach is appropriate.

2. Complimentary approach

This approach starts with a compliment to the prospect.

Examples: Your office is nicely decorated. It is very kept tidily. Etc.

3. Referral approach

In this approach, the person who referred the salesman to the prospect is mentioned. “Mr. Smith, Brian Young, your colleague suggested that I meet you and discuss the issues involved in portfolio revision with you.”

4. Premium approach

Everyone likes to receive free gifts. The salesman uses a free sample to attract the attention of the prospect for his product and presentation. “Mr. Paul, our guide on mutual funds is free gift for you. Can you share your savings and investment goals? We provide ideal solutions for many.”

Demonstration openings

In these openings some thing of interest to the prospect is demonstrated. IN the product approach, the product is placed on the table or given to the prospect and salesman waits for the conversation to start from the prospect. A textbook representative may give a new text to a professor and wait for the professor to initiate the conversation after he flips a few pages from the book.

Opening with questions

When a person walks into a store and goes to a counter, the counter person says yes sir! How can I help you? This question starts the interaction between the counter person and the prospect.

The questions can be regarding benefits, regarding some information etc. For example, do you know that your neighbor consumes 30% less electricity?

Opening statements, questions and demonstration facilitate the initial contact for further interaction with the prospect.
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