January 08, 2019
What Do Client Meetings, Proposals, Presentations, And Closing All Have In Common?
Each of these sales activities is important to any sales campaign. An importance that grows when you don’t have strong brand equity or best in class pricing. And, they all require skill:
- Thinking through how to get a meeting with a specific client individual
- How to create a proposal that quickly conveys the business impact, method of delivery, and credibility of your solution, so that it immediately captures interest and engages the client
- How to breath interactive life into the proposal during a presentation, and
- Knowing when and how to physically ask for an order.
To “profess” these skills is to action them, which is the basis for the word professionalism. Indeed, professionalism, in sales, is doing these and other things very well. Not just to win business and provide value to clients, but also to reduce risk for clients. How does this risk mitigation work? Professionalism reflects an appreciation and attention to detail that drives success. And, what exists with clients is going to exist internally within the Account Executive’s company. That means that things will get done as promised for the client. And, that’s risk mitigation.
So, with professionalism in mind, let’s look at client meetings and where the skill comes in:
- What do you want from the meeting and what will the client want? In other words, what is your sales objective for the call and what will motivate the client to help you achieve it?
- What’s the best way to set up the meeting? Is it going to the client individual directly, working with an assistant, or asking another client contact to set it up for you?
- Be on time, which means 15 minutes early. Allow for traffic, or if you’re like me, getting lost.
- Put care into how you’re dressed. Sure, you want to “fit in” with the client’s culture and dress norms, but also to distinguish yourself as a (professional).
- Set the theme of the call on the business value you believe you can provide, being sensitive to how your solution will impact the job of the person to whom you’re speaking. Will it advance whatever KPIs he or she is measured on, which automatically ties your solution with what’s important to the client’s business.
- Be clear on your ask. What do you need from the client individual?
- Set next steps, before you leave.
In our next article, we’ll look at professionalism in producing compelling proposals. See you then!