In my long innings in marketing I have often been asked this question, even from seasoned marketers – how to take a client through the sales funnel. Though each situation and product market is different, yet there are certain basics that need to be followed in general. This write up is dedicated towards that Matrix of a Sale.
Step 1: A Formatted Presentation is a Must
It is essential that a proper formal written presentation is formatted and shared among all in the company. It has to be a step by step progression. The main steps being an introduction of the product, about the target market, introduction of the company, specific application of the product for the client (occupation/profession/market/situation/need – being some criteria). Next, some questions to qualify and take away should also be in the presentation and finally leading to a close.
Qualification process ensures that it is tailor made and suits the client needs. Sometimes, a take away is necessary. Like, I don’t know if you will qualify, or you can afford it, or something that indicates that client may not be able to get the product. This drives a desire and urgency in the client to really get it.
Any person soliciting a sale must know this presentation extremely well, as it is said, like the back of one’s hand. So that the mind is not occupied in the presentation while making the presentation.
Step 2: Know Your Products and Their Fit
You must have a thorough knowledge of the quality and application of the product you are attempting to sell. That product knowledge is your strength.
Variations of application and adaptability, suitability to specific client needs, the perfect and near perfect fit will all come from this knowledge.
Coupled with a well drawn and practiced presentation this knowledge will give a clear edge and advantage over one’s competition. It is like standing on a firm ground.
Step 3: Making the Presentation
Presentations may be face to face, over a computer, over a phone call or by mail. Trying to stick to some basics always helps. Make an introduction of self and the company after initial salutation and wishes.
Speak slowly, everyone in this world has an accent and may not understand the other’s diction. Speak slowly, there is no rush.
Step 4: Set Out an Agenda
Tell the client what is to follow. It is like a mutual contract of not to disturb or stop in between. Say things like, I will tell you about our typical client, about my product, my company and we will then find out one that fits your need and ask a few questions to see if you qualify for this product and of course the cost, is that OK?
Now make your presentation, clearly slowly and emphatically. Do not address any objections if raised during this time. Just smile and acknowledge saying, ‘very good question, we will come to it in a few minutes,’ and carry on with the presentation. Remember, if it is a valid objection it will crop up again and can be dealt with at that time.
One’s attention during this presentation should be on client’s body language, voice and facial expression. With this a seasoned sales person can adapt, change, and alter the presentation to an extent to suit the comfort of the client. It comes with practice, but practice is a must. I have known people to practice in front of mirror, with colleagues, friends, family members, just seeking that perfection.
Step 5: Target Closing
The end of presentation should obviously lead to closure of the sale. If a form needs to be filled get into it, saying, let me ask you a few questions to see how you look on paper, or if you qualify or is this something that really matches your profile. Otherwise, just ask, we are ready to move forward, how would you like to pay. Whatever the client says, answer in short firmly respectfully and end your answer with, how would you like to pay. One’s motive is always to get around to close the sale.
Step 6: The Final Details
After the payment has been received, thank the client and inform what next will follow. Give clear details on what the client will receive, what will be delivered by which date, what options are then open to the client and everything else.
Remember this part is also a prepared and practiced script and not a word more should be spoken. Sales are lost when unsolicited and not required talk is done. Be short, clear, firm, professional and courteous.
My best wishes to all who read this and follow. It might seem like a task to make a presentation and all other scripted stuff, but, believe me, it will be a great help and a sales tool for long time to come and for all associates to follow.
Periodic adjustments in expression, content, length and language might be a good idea too.
Like what you’ve been reading? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me direct 001.416.577.8178 for useful and professional advice on what you can do to turn your ecommerce venture, website or digital marketing towards greater sales and higher profits.
About the Author: Peeyush Sharma is VP, Business Development & International Marketing, North America at Wisitech InfoSolutions Pvt Ltd. He spearheads new business development in the area of ecommerce, web solutions and apps. He is also an established corporate speaker and marketing content specialist.