A great opening statement is essential to driving the sales call to a meaningful and beneficial experience for both the seller and the customer. It should set the direction for the call, gain the customer’s interest, and set them at ease.
It’s important to recognise that every customer is unique. For some, meetings can be a little intimidating while others lap it up. Some customers like to get right to the point, for example a physician who has a waiting room full of people. On the other end of the scale, we have customers who have more time and enjoy a chat about the weather or the football. Either way, you need to understand the situation and quickly adapt to it.
At the appropriate time in the sales call, I like to “engage first gear” in the following way:
- Thank the customer for taking the time to meet with me.
- Explain the reason for my call; even if I told them when I made the appointment, they might have forgotten or didn’t note it down.
- Share the content of the presentation with the customer.
- Ask for approval that this will be okay.
Together, it might go something like this:
Good morning Mr. Smith, thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. The reason for me wanting to meet with you is to introduce a new company that we are now representing and to share with you some very important information regarding changes to current safety legislation for the safe handling of sharps. I would also appreciate your professional advice on how these changes might affect your staff. Would this be okay?
The company is Qlicksmart and……………………………………….
When we share the reason for our call it allows the customer to feel at ease. If we fail to do this, the customer may not know what to expect and is more likely to be anxious or guarded.
Receiving permission to proceed allows us to dictate the pace and direction of the call, or as many sales trainers say, “you are now in control”.
Mel Reynolds is an experienced salesman, especially in the medical industry. While based in Melbourne Australia, Mel is a regular at the airport lounges and hospitals around the world working with distributors and sales teams. He currently holds the position of Qlicksmart’s International Business Consultant.