By Jeff Bowman
Last blog I looked at the reasons why some salesforces are successful, while others have difficulty not only closing the sale, but even getting an appointment.
A knowledgeable consultative salesperson will usually make a very good first impression on a client, but what happens as soon as they leave and the door closes behind him? If your company depends solely on the face to face aspect of sales, it is understandable why some sales are being missed. If the next salesperson that walks through the door is as knowledgeable and professional as you, but leaves behind some form of company literature, brochure ware, flyer or promotional gizmo, the impression will linger long after they leave (and you are forgotten).
In a competitive sales environment, purchasers today use the many resources at hand to qualify their suppliers, and assess the value that they will be deriving from each.
The first stop is your company website. If it doesn’t accurately reflect your sales effort or your depiction of goods and services, it does not bode well for the close. I’m not saying you require a huge elaborate web presence with all the bells and whistles, but you do need a professional looking informative and updated site. Ask yourself this question when viewing your own site. “Would I send out ill-informed, shoddy looking traditional style salespeople to meet an important client and represent our company?” You may be doing exactly that with your website. If a potential client views your website (you know the one the neighbor’s son or daughter did, or the one you paid $250.00 for online) it may leave an exceedingly bad impression of your company.
The salesperson’s toolbox also needs to contain some sort of folder that looks good and is functional. Single page inserts, which can be changed and updated as required is a practical and inexpensive alternative to a flashy full colour tri-fold or multi-page brochure. There is no question that a unique brochure will stay with a customer far longer, but at least you have left something which can be passed along to others in the prospect’s company. Add to this a nice looking creative business card that contains all your contact info, a line about what you or your company does and maybe your logo or slogan, and you have the basic necessities required.
I suggest, no, strongly recommend, that you engage a professional to assist with everything mentioned above. The reason is simple, a marketing firm is experienced and specialized. I can create a design, brand and website that will leave a lasting impression on your potential clients.
If I need dental work for instance, I wouldn’t do it myself, the same thing for a brake job, or catering an event. It seems that when it comes to marketing, everyone is an expert! It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but it does have to be effective. A mechanic needs to have the proper tools in his toolbox, a plumber has to have a wide assortment of joints and clamps, and we should expect nothing less of any salesperson. They have to be fully prepared when they walk through the prospect’s door. If the tools aren’t in the box, the job can’t get done properly.
What have you given your salepeople to work with?