THE BASIC TOOLS

Prospecting

This tool helps us identify who or what our target market is. Who should we approach with our product? Market segregation is easy because each market segment identifies itself. The medical segment has its hospitals and clinics, doctors and nurses, drugstores and medical offices. The academe has its bulk of educators from the highest officials down to the teaching line, and extending further down to the student populace. The business segment has its established organization, and the businesspeople in general are divided into varying income brackets, such as the ruling class, the lower-upper class, the upper-middle class, the middle-middle class, the lower-middle class, etc. So you see, the income ladder of possible clients can be conveniently identified. It is so easy to identify that Don So-and-so or Mr. So-and-so has this much money and that he can possibly be your client. but how do you get to know them in person? What are the various ways available in order for you to get to know them better? What is the next move?

Contact

It is the next most appropriate thing to do after market identification. Some people use the mail; some give out brochures; some utilize the telephone or the fax; some use the referral system. But there is no substitute for direct selling-face-to-face, so they say. Letters can be easily filed. The telephone can be easily put down. But your physical presence in your client’s place is another thing. He cannot make you leave just like that. Always remember: THERE IS NO IMPACT WITHOUT CONTACT.

Urgency should always be observed amid these situations when your prospective client is definitely identified. You need to contact him. Consider the possibility that your client is already willing to buy your product NOW. TODAY. Imagine that he is holding in his hands the cash or the check to pay you and that he is only waiting for you to go to him. Countless cases of disappointment and frustration have occurred because the salesperson, after identifying his prospective client, took his own sweet time calling on him. What happens is that, when he calls on the client the following day, he finds an entire encyclopedia set sitting on his shelf. Another sales agent visited his prospect on the day he decided to postpone his visit.

The same case happened to a cellular-phone salesperson. Just because his prospective client was his next-door neighbor, he called off his appointment with him twice. Imagine his remonstration when he approached the said prospect. He told him that he bought two cell phones two days ago, on a cash basis to boot.

Sales champions do not sit or sleep on opportunities. When they have prospects, they rush to them immediately! If the client is a total stranger, one of the most effective ways is through referrals.

“My name’s Jun Garing, Mr. Gerald Limsuan. You may not know me, sir, but we have a mutual friend, Mr. Pestaño.”

“Ah, yes. Please come in, Mr. Garing. I haven’t heard from him for sometime. How’s Danny?”

See? You are a complete stranger, but he allowed you into his house. The next move will be yours. You need to be sensitive in order to do it right.

Qualification

Once inside the house of your client, it is easier for you to make an assessment. Through your conversation, you will know if he is qualified or not. He may belong to the middle-upper class income group, but his overhead expenses are significantly too much and almost nothing is left in his pocket. You know that he will not qualify. But you can devise a scheme for him so that he can qualify in a certain bracket. Do you agree?

While you are at it, take advantage of the situation. In the course of your conversation with him, get to know his friends. Who knows, they can be the next prospective clients for your product?

Presentation of Sales Demonstration

This follows after thoroughly qualifying your client. But how do you make your presentation? Make it simple. Make it brief and clear. It must also be responsive to your client’s questions and line of interest. Satisfy his sense of sight through carefully chosen colorful brochures, photographs or other visual aids. Appeal to his sense of hearing. The tone of your voice should be light and easy on the ears. You do not need a beautiful voice, although sometimes it really helps. Any voice pitch will do as long as it is sincere and pleasant to hear.

According to Zig Ziglar, “No kind of technique [in selling] will work unless your clients know how much you care.”

If your product comes with sound or music tracks, let him hear them. It is different if he actually listens to it. Let his own ears be the judge. Exploit his sense of touch. This is an effective part of a sales presentation. Let your client touch a sample or prototype of the product he is selling.

From here, you can feel and conclude where your client has a cooperative response. Then, give the response more emphasis until you close the sale. You need expertise on how to choose which of the three your client is most responsive to. From there, you can proceed and close the sale after that. That is, if no objection surfaces. If something comes up, handling it is the next thing worth your time, expertise and attention.

Handling Objections

What are the usual objections of prospective clients? It is too expensive! I will buy later. Please leave your calling card. Please include a brochure. I will think about it. I need to ask my husband, my wife, my mother, my boss, etc.

The list objections of different people can be a mile long, but the bottom line of it all is simply the resistance to buy. It does not matter if the objections are valid or not. Even if your presentation is appealing and convincing, why does your client not commit? Maybe he does not have available cash, or he cannot decide for himself. So, he asks you to leave your calling card and the brochures.

But the card and the brochures cannot answer all the objections. In a situation like this one, it will be helpful for you to try ALTERNATE OF CHOICE METHOD to make your chances of coming back a hopeful one.

“Please lave your card, Mr. Gaba. I’ll consider your offer very well.”

“Thank you. I know you won’t ask for my card if you’re not interested.”

“I’m interested.”

“I’ll come back for it next week then?’

“Okay.”

“What day will it be? Monday? Tuesday?”

“Wednesday will be fine.”

“What’s a convenient time? Morning or afternoon?

“Why not in the afternoon?”

“Is three o’clock okay? Or, is it too early?”

“I think so. Five o’clock will be perfect.”

Perfect, indeed! You have come to an agreement to meet with each other again. Had you left earlier, what would have happened? Nothing. Matters would be indefinite. But now, you have a specific date and time when to return. It worked! Narrowing down the uncertainties by using the alternate of Choice Method eventually led you to a point where things have become clear and predictable. In the process, you subliminally stressed into your client’s subconscious that next week, on the specified date and time, he is obligated to let you inside his house and entertain you. That is. if he does not hide from you. Things of that sort happen once in a while

But watch out. Do not overdo or overuse this method. You might get a dose of your own medicine if you do not take care. Customers are shrewder these days. If  you do not get ahead of them, chances are, your method will boomerang on you.

This is my story. When my eldest was still a little girl, she did not enjoy taking a bath. So, I tried to utilize the Alternate of Choice Method on her.

“Olga, who will bathe you? Daddy or Mommy?

“I’ll settle with Daddy.”

“Will you take off your clothes or will Daddy?”

“I’ll do it.”

” Who will turn on the shower-Daddy or Olga?”

End of story? The bath was in progress, why should it not be? Well, the little girl grew up. As she did, she also grew up in various ways. She imbibed a lot of things, and she thought of trying out some of them. Take this one, for instance.

“Daddy, where will we have our snacks after school? Jollibee or McDo?”

“Daddy, it’s my birthday next week. How many gifts will you give me? Two or three?

It is not surprising that come things are that easy to learn. Sa mata ng bata, ang ginagawa ng matanda ay nagiging tama (In the eyes of a child, the ways of an adult are made right).

So, be careful lest your client, instead of you closing a deal with him, closes his door on you.

Closing

This is the most wonderful term in selling. It brings about the sound of gold, so to speak. It initially suggests that an understanding has been sealed between you and the client and that both of you have agreed on the merits and benefits of the product you are selling. Secondly, the fact that a friendship has also been established between you and the client renders the closing much warmer than a simple selling incident. But, until the order form has actually been signed, the deal is still a deal and the client has the option to change his mind about buying. There are last-minute factors that could alter every good intention.

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