Identifying Prospective Customers Is The First Step Of The Sales Process

Identifying Prospective Customers Is The First Step Of The Sales Process

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• Prospecting
According to the book, locating prospective customers is the first step in the sales process. Indeed, new prospects are required in order to replace the old customers that leave our company for a broad range of reasons such as plant relocations, turnover, downsizing, etc. However, not all leads represents good prospect. As a matter of fact, a good prospect has a need can be fulfilled by the salesman, has the ability and the authority to pay, can be approached favorably and is eligible to buy.
There are at least nine methods that can be used to find prospects. The best source is the satisfied customers, the endless chain method (which is the fact that a sales representative gets at least one additional lead from a person they interviewed during a sales call) and the use of personal network. A salesperson can also promote his activities through social media, other internet uses such as email, forums, and news groups. Last but not least he can use all kind of databases such as SharePoint or and all kind of promoting activities such as ads and direct mail, shows, fairs or webinars and seminars.
The second step is to overcome reluctance to prospect. This can be achieved through active listening, setting specific goals and focusing on resolving the customer’s needs. But most importantly, the salesperson needs to train a lot, through practical exercises such as role-plays and needs to keep a positive mindset to learn from the feedbacks of his performance.

• Planning for the sales call
Developing a clear plan for the sales call will save time for both the salesman and the customers. Moreover, the stress of the salesman will be reduced and his confidence will improve.
Gathering as much information as possibl...

... middle of paper ...

...s been said before.
The methods of strengthening the presentation are numerous. Word pictures, stories, humors, charts, models, samples, gifts and other kind of illustrations will help to strengthen the presentation.
Demonstrating the product might also be extremely profitable. As a matter of fact, it provides the buyer with a hands-on experience with the product that other communication methods do not offer.
Quantifying the solution to the buyer might help him to create his own cost-benefit analysis. This will consolidate the buyer’s idea of the product and its benefits. The most common methods of quantifying a solution include cost-benefit analysis, return on investment or even profits margins (and a lot of others). The final purpose is to propose to the buyer a crystal clear value proposition that shows how much value the buyer will gain by acquiring the product.

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