The natural salesperson; clinching the deal in those final moments with his or her exquisite balance between charm and pushiness are needed most, whilst simultaneously recognising the importance of the return customer, are an invaluable asset to any business.
You also have the expert marketer, who gets the business's message to as many eyes as possible, or at least into the eyes and minds of the targeted audience. As well as these there are many other positions working in unison to create an atmosphere that leads to your final sale.
Sales are an important department in any company but can only work if the other departments are working behind them. Otherwise it could be a matter of trying to flog a dead horse, making the sales job incredibly difficult.
There’s an art to negotiation; if all the cards are laid bare immediately then you could be shooting yourself in the foot. Any distinguished business owner or entrepreneur will appreciate the value of having room to manoeuvre; especially when it comes to making a sale.
Don’t make the mistake of getting to the finality of a deal only to be left with an empty space at the bottom of a contract beneath where it requires a signature. Always remember both parties need to benefit from this being signed.
Never underestimate the power of presentation; the way you come across to potential clients is extremely important. Ladies can have many options when it comes to business-wear, from a business dress to a pencil skirt; although the list isn’t endless there tends to be more options available to the female gender. This is not to say the men haven’t got options too, though most gentlemen tend to opt for a suit.
If salespeople are not willing to make the effort at this point then how can they expect to make the sale in the final moments?
Trust is a vital commodity for any organisation but this isn’t all going to be based on financial predictions, successful clients, testimonials and other relevant data. In fact, one of the most important aspects of building trust in a business is through its people.
It’s been said many times before that without customers you don’t have a business but it’s equally true that without the right employees you don’t have a business. Motivated staff will be recognised by clients, but also can be used as an important part of any business pitch.
It’s important to know when there is a lost deal at hand. Integral to any industry is time management, how this is used to get the best results in the shortest possible time in line with any short or long-term goals that the company have.
So, when is right to move on from a deal? As the old sales motto says, "It’s not a no; it’s a not now." However, forcefulness in today’s day and age will not get you anywhere, and with connectivity at our fingertips any negativity can echo furiously online and a possible PR disaster could be on your hands. This goes for knowing when to withdraw from a deal too, you’ve taken clients out for lunch, invested time, money and energy but they’re still unsure. Make sure the business isn’t getting taken for a ride.
Although gaining new clients is a difficult process as it is, it’s also just as important keeping existing clientele happy and not putting them to the bottom of the pile as soon as the sale has become final. If you say that’s what you’ll do in a sales meeting then make sure that you can sell the product or service you’re offering.
What is your benefit to their company? If you can’t answer this, then they’re already not your client. Position yourself well; part of any salesperson's job is actively becoming a relationship expert whilst embracing change.
In conclusion, if you have room to negotiate then the ball is already effectively in your court. If you dress well and present a professional image, then this will be assumed reflective of your company’s professionalism. Show clients that your business is trustworthy and beneficial to their business. Know when the client isn’t right for you, if you’re trying to sell them a product or service that they don’t want or need, and you know it too then the pitch is never going to be as confident as it should be. Invest this time somewhere else where you have a better lead. Don’t forget about existing clients, as these relationships are what keep the cogs turning in any industry; repeat business is a necessity of any successful venture.
Matt Jones is writing on behalf of House of Fraser.
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