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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Quick Tips... Just Focus on Offering Solutions...

There are many books and classes on how to sell products and services. Harvey McKay is one of my favorite. I personally don't like the idea of tricks and ways to fool other people, which seems to be a method of selling.

Selling should be around trust and doing what is best for the client. You should look for the best solution for the client, that may or may not be your solution. Don't just try to address a problem if it is not the solution. You will become a real business partner for the client if you solve their issues. How to sell and service can be debated for days and months on end.

But there are some quick tips that I have come up with over the past six months of selling high end analytic services. These tips seem trivial, but they are important to remember, as anything you can do to help close the sale is important.

Here Are My Top 10 (not in order of importance):

10. Bring a pen and paper to take notes, always write down comments based on questions and next steps. Always keep this pad in front of you. You can write a few topical notes to bring up prior to the meeting also.

9. Write down the clients name and all people invited to the meeting. Try to do this before the meeting, but if you can't get the information do it at the introduction section of the meeting.

8. Perform a Google News search on your client and competition the day of the meeting to have topical information on the industry and/or client.

7. Review all email discussions between you and the prospect again the day before and the day of the meeting. This will refresh you on all discussions and ensure you have addressed all questions for the meeting. You will be amazed by what you forget sometimes.

6. Confirm the meeting location and print out directions to the meeting a day in advance. Confirm with the main contact about where they expect you to go when you arrive.

5. Always stand in front of the room when presenting. You want the focus to be at the front and at you at the same time. Use the fact that you are where they are looking to your advantage to read the room.

4. Pull out business cards before you enter the meeting and place them in your jacket pocket. Make sure you have enough to go around. Also sort the business cards you get in order of the placement in the room to help you visualize the person.

3. Turn your cell phone and pager on silent settings. Do this as you are setting up. Your prospect might try to reach you right before the meeting, so don't turn it off too early.

2. Keep your PC in standby when going into the meeting. Booting up can take too much time. Also make sure you have enough battery to cover you if there are no outlets in the room.

1. Print a set of slides before the meeting to have if there are technical issues. Send a copy to the client also right before the meeting or bring a copy on a CD ROM so the client can distribute to remote users.

These trivial items, if done every time will keep things flowing and keep the little things out of the way. This is by no means a cookbook for selling. It includes quick tips that will help you not sweat the small stuff.

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