Many people think of sales calls in the Decorative Surfacing industry as something of pressure or of convincing people to buy product however that is a very short sighted way to think of Sales Calls.
In the Consultative Sales Call approach a person calls their clients in the following manner:
1. QUALIFY: Are you speaking with the right person? Simply asking the reception or the contact you have on file who the correct person is to speak with. People are eager to help to make sure that you get to the right person. In doing this it shows an eagerness to clean up your database, make sure they have adequate samples and know that you are a call away should they need anything. This is the first step to establishing a relationship with that company. In addition, when speaking with the correct person you are able to learn more deeply if they just handle purchasing or if they specify colors for their company or their clients. Simply ask during the conversation to get a better understanding if that person is truly the decision maker or if you are able to assist each other.
2. LEARN: In selling any product or service, knowledge is very important. Companies do provide training however learning never stops. When you call a company ask questions that enable you to get to know their company. This is a key step in understanding their needs and simultaneously learning about their abilities, types of machinery , etc. If much of your day is spent speaking with clients about their businesses the learning is multiplied and you become more and more knowledgeable.
3. DIG DEEPER : In learning about your client's business you will be listening and taking notes by pen or by typing in quietly into your Salesforce or other CRM. By asking "What ifs" you get to know more depth of what they are saying. For example, "What if we stocked that would a different texture, would that solve your problem?" That doesn't mean that you will however it will give you a better understanding. Often the client will say "No , they really are expecting the product to perform more than this type of product can". This type of response will enable both you AND the person you are speaking with to better understand the depth of the issue. Another key is to repeat their comment in another way "So what you're saying is .... ". The client may then confirm what you are saying and then you know you are in completely understanding.
4. SAMPLING: As you are talking to your client you will see opportunities to sample and the samples are something that will be shown to their clients. This is a key point in servicing their needs and providing value. For a company to accept a production sample and then utilize it is a key to showing the actual product in action.
5. FOLLOW UP: Follow up of quotes, samples and maintaining an ongoing relationship is key to building sales. By following up with your clients sales growth is guaranteed.
6. ACTIVITY: For a person to be successful in the material business they need to be active and constantly making calls or visits. Administration is something that people need to streamline or squeeze in however most successful sales people do admin after hours when their clients are not available. Notice from the steps above that you are always growing, making connections, sampling and following up again and again.
CONCLUSION: Imagine a snowball rolling down a mountain and all the snow is knowledge, clients, good-will, experience, and good habits. Such a snowball will thrive and become large and full of snow. On the other hand, imagine a snowball moving down a mountain and knowledge not sticking to it because of a lack of questions and lack of digging deeper or follow up..... will the snow ball pick up clients, good will and a lot of experience? Absolutely not. Good habits not only better serve clients but they are undeniable. If you learn to have good fundamentals your success is guaranteed.
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