Picture this. You find the right contact, get a meeting with the client, and prepare to make the first and final impression.
What exactly does your preparation involve?
Understanding the company’s business model? Check!
Learning about the person you are about to meet? Check!
Knowing more about their industry? Check!
You finally enter the meeting, and the client starts discussing how their product helped ISRO with the latest launch. Rocket science indeed!
How smoothly the deal cracks depends on some critical issues. As a Selector, we need to know more than just pitching right for three significant reasons:
Striking the Perfect Conversation: A successful conversation with the new client can open many pathways to place our product in their system. We are expected to show that we have done our homework, know their business well, and our product is what they truly need. Besides, knowing their industry and competition well enough give us an edge in proving our mettle.
The perfect conversation can revolve around the new law government has recently introduced, how a particular company went down the hill in the industry, or even a familiar friend who happens to switch industries every year. Whatever it may be, you need meat to talk about and show that you know your game.
Creating a Strong Foothold: What comes next is the chase. You meet the client, make them believe they need your product/service and get them to say yes. But you don’t get to drive into the sunset yet.
In B2B sales, unlike B2C, getting a client on board is not just about convincing your prospect. It is never a one-man show. Many other processes, checks-in-the-boxes and nods from other teams are needed for the decision-making process to complete. A salesperson, or a Selector, needs to know the thought-process of other teams like Purchase/Procurement, Ops, Finance or Legal to sail through their procedures. Going under-prepared to meet the other teams can cause unnecessary hurdles. Knowing the checklist of the team we are about to meet helps chart out the plan of action.
Retaining the Client: Understanding the market dynamics and keeping ourselves updated is indispensable. When it is time to renew the engagement, a lot of factors come to play; what’s happening right now in the client’s industry, how the company has fared in the past few quarters, and their plans for the next year decide whether you get to retain the client or not.
We don’t always prepare for every meeting as salespersons, especially if an old client renews quickly or seems to be low-hanging fruit. But keeping ahead of the game ensures we are not caught off guard by any sudden changes jeopardising the deal.
Salestors are supposed to be know-it-all’s, and that’s what makes the job difficult.
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