How to utilize the grueling hours before a sales call Tripura Multinational Singapore
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How to utilize the grueling hours before a sales call

“If I could get a meeting with my list of prospects, I am sure I can close at least 6 deals this month.” How many of you feel the same?

Imagine, you finally fixed the meeting! Now what? While it is a big task to get the customer to say a ‘YES’ for the meeting, success is determined by what happens in that meeting. It is hard to grab someone’s attention and retain it – let alone convince them to make a deal. You need to gain their trust and respect while also settling for an amount both parties are satisfied with.

Every winning sales approach has one thing in common- PREPARATION. But what is it to prepare? Read on to know how you can prepare for a sales call and have powerful discussions with your customers.

How can you impact your customers?

The best way to begin a meeting is to determine how you are going to impact your customers at the end of it. What will they gain 0ut of it and how will their company be benefitted from your meeting? Mr. Venkataraman Subramanyan, the Board Member and Director of Sales Effectiveness and Execution Excellence at Tripura Multinational says –

“You need to focus on customer outcomes. What do they get out of their meeting with you? You need to carefully think about what is valuable to them and what will they personally get out of the meeting? Would they get better recognition from their manager? Would they get a better sense of achievement? Would they look at gaining power through your solutions?”

He further mentions the need to focus on what operational parameters and technology you can offer to win the deal. What are your financials and who are the people concerned in the deal that will be in contact with you? You need to position your brand and services in such a way that it resonates with their needs.

A few ways to improve your sales meetings

Small little changes can go a long way. Here are some ways you can make your sales calls more engaging and prepare well before a grueling meeting:

#1 Avoid using jargon and be friendly

Remember back in school when a teacher would explain a concept in the simplest terms possible without any jargon? Did you not connect with that teacher better and did the concept not resonate with you longer? The same goes for your sales calls as well.

Cut the jargon and communicate in a personalized manner. Even if your prospects understand the meanings of the words you are using, avoid using them to give yourself authority. Try to portray yourself as the customer’s trusted friend and the solution you have will help them immensely.

“While preparing for meetings, I like to have a practice session with someone who knows nothing about sales. If I can explain concepts to them in simple vocabulary without any jargon, then I am all set for the meeting. This helps as sometimes; we don’t understand a certain aspect our company is offering. We tend to parrot what’s in the sales battle cards or whatever notes we have taken without understanding it ourselves. If I can explain and respond in simple terms for follow-up questions, then I feel more confident during meetings,” said a junior sales rep at a reputed agency in Chennai.

#2 Aligning to positivity

Most of us carry forward our negative experiences that we face in the day. Maybe you got late for the customer meeting or maybe you received a call from a client about not going forward with the deal. It is important that you do not carry the negativity of the day into any customer meeting. You should look at every meeting as a chance to win and make the customer happy.

Before walking into any customer meeting, align yourself and be positive. You can do this in simple ways- a) close your eyes and take deep breaths in and out for three times. b) If you are nervous, stand in the power pose to bring down your stress hormones.

Developing mutually beneficial relationships is the goal of any sales meeting. If you stay positive, you will get positive results.

#3 Be open to learning and explore

The best way to prepare for a sales meeting is to accept the fact that you will never be 100% ready. There will surely be hiccups on the way and chances for both parties to learn something new.

With this mindset, you can take the role of a student and learn from your prospects during your discussion. It is a good way to get your prospects to open and feel like their opinions are valued. They will feel heard and acknowledged if you use terms like “I did not catch that”, “That is news to me”, “Can you elaborate on how this will work for you?”, and so on.

You can learn more about the prospect’s expectations and their industry of expertise. It will give you the space to build a rapport with them and make them more inclined to talk to you.

#4 Using the art of storytelling

It is a fact that stories sell. Thoughts and messages conveyed as stories are 10X memorable than mere facts and data alone.

People love to hear stories that have characters who face and overcome challenges. Telling stories about yourself and others humanizes the selling and makes your connections with customers more meaningful.

As much as stories are a powerful tool, using the right stories is the key. Some types of stories that you can begin with are- customer success stories, organization stories, business stories, personal stories and even metaphors.

#4 Research and understand your customer’s organization

As a salesperson it is common for you to enter a meeting and be focused on yourself- “I want this deal”, “I need to achieve my quota for this quarter with this deal.”. But wait, do you think your customer cares about your sales pipeline? The customer only wants to know what value you are bringing to the table. Understanding and focusing on your customer will help you in the long run to be successful.

Taking time to research about your customer’s organization will always be helpful and have bigger positive implications. Maybe a key trusted contact of yours is joined the customer company in a senior role or the customer has lost an important client to their competitor or there are major reshuffling and reorganization of their sales teams. Anyone of these developments can pave a way for a business opportunity for you.

#5 Help them picture your partnership in the future

The best way to ace a job interview is to make your employers feel like you are already part of the team. If your clients can already visualize your partnership together, they are more likely to seal the deal. Before your meeting, try to find out more about your client and if their past collaborations are publicly available.

“I always ask my client to shut their eyes for a few moments and narrate a life with my company collaborating with theirs. I narrate how our software will look in their team and how they can use it. How their routine can turn efficient and how clients will approve of it. Once they have this picture in their head, I almost always get a callback and a sure deal,” said a sales rep at a reputed SaaS marketing agency in Hyderabad.

Things to be kept in mind during the sales call

During the call, try to focus on what the client is saying. Not on what you are going to say next. The best way to have the upper hand is by paying attention to what’s going on and engaging in reflective selling. Add value to the conversation by framing your next question based on what the client previously mentioned.

Try to use your intuition during the meeting as well. If your client seems to be offering very generic responses to all your questions, try to probe deeper by pointing it out. You could use phrases such as “I am sensing…” or “My instincts are telling me…”. These statements will show the client that you are paying attention and can grasp what’s not being said.

It also works to ask coaching questions. It will help you actively listen as well as help your client stay engaged. Make them realize their pain points – the client already knows what they want. Your job is to verbalize it and make them realize how you can help. This will ensure that the meeting flows productively and your client is motivated to keep the conversation going.

Closing thoughts

The hours before a sales call are precious and the research you do during this time will make all the difference. Try to understand your prospect and have the upper hand. At the same time, be open to learning and exploring with the audience. Don’t jump ahead and have a flow of thought planned but not shared with them.

If your prospect feels like you are miles ahead of them, they might hesitate to keep the conversation going. If they feel like you are in it only for the money, they might not trust you and wish to end the meeting quickly. If you are not asking engaging questions, they might not feel intrigued to go on.

It works to make it seem like a journey you and the prospect are taking. And with each stone that is turned, you both find a new way you can collaborate and find mutual benefit. Opting for coaching sessions or personal training can help you identify your shortcomings and improve them.

At the end of the day, it is all a matter of providing customer satisfaction while also having your objectives met. To know more about customer conversations and ace your sales preparation, click here.

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Author:
Meenakshi Girish is a professional Content Writer who has diverse experience in the world of content. She specializes in digital marketing and her versatile writing style encompasses both social media and blogs. She curates a plethora of content ranging from blogs, articles, product descriptions, case studies, press releases, and more. A voracious reader, Meenakshi can always be found immersed in a book or obsessing over Harry Potter.
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Editor:
Kavitha Chandrasekhar works as a Client Delivery and Partner Success Manager and has a passion for interacting with customers and building relationships. She brings teams together to provide lifetime value. When she is not indulging in a ‘customer first’ approach, Kavitha is busy painting and selling her artwork.

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