Sales professionals, new to selling or business development, might view the opportunity to make a presentation on the spot as a positive event, especially when they learn how hard it is to set a steady stream of appointments to make their presentation. But this perceived opportunity is far from the best time to make a sales presentation, because they rarely can command a decision-maker's full attention.
Most prospects are busy with other business or personal activities before your representative walks through the door, so the prospect's mind is rarely on what is being discussed in an on the spot sales presentation. When a sales staff member sets an appointment rather than giving a presentation and then effectively softens the prospect with hand written notes, sales literature, emails or faxes before the sales meeting takes place, a positive tone is set with the prospect for the time that will be spent in the presentation. Some top sales professionals believe if they can set an appointment, they are 90 percent of the way to closing the sale. This belief is based in the concept that if a decision-maker sets an appointment with a sales representative, there is a good chance that there is a need for what is being sold.
Rather than encouraging cold call presentations, set a policy for your staff that encourages them to set meeting times for a presentation on cold calls. You're staff members will be much better off in the selling process by setting appointments, even if the prospective customer or client is willing to learn more about your products or services on the spot.
VIRDEN J. THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. a firm specializing in sales, customer relations, and management training and development. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Deloitte & Touché, Bank One, Jefferson Pilot, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and the best selling Building & Closing the Sale, Fifty-Minute series books and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publications, Inc. Menlo Park, California. He has also authored a Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching & team development, telemarketing, and personal productivity training guides.
Check out the listed books and manuals at http://thesellingedge.com/book1.htm Virden teaches for the Center For Professional Development, Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Texas and in the School Of Entrepreneurship, J. Willard And Alice S. Marriott School Of Management at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. You can contact Virden at: Virden@TheSellingEdge.com
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