Taking the fear out of selling
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They say most people make a decision on somebody within the first few minutes of meeting. This can be extremely frustrating if you are calling or meeting somebody for the first time with the view to becoming a trusted supplier for them. Should you be informal, even drop in the word "mate" occasionally to try and show you are on their wavelength, how about "sir" or "madam" and show a level of respect, do you try and tone down your natural effervescence or be your bubbly self even allowing humour to come in.
It is incredibly difficult but there are ways of doing some homework first, what kind of company are they? Do you know the type of person you are trying to call? In the end of the day how you initially approach a first introduction is going to help decide the rest of the conversation, unfortunately get it wrong and the rest of the call becomes an uphill struggle you are not likely to win.
As examples, to some sectors using the words "sir" or "madam" does not show respect but instead exudes an image of "toadying" for a salesperson to get what they want. However using words like "mate" or "love" shows a false friendliness from someone who has never been in contact before and exudes a level of unprofessionalism.
Sales people have to learn to adapt quickly and have a level of empathy from first contact, if its face to face, how is the person you are meeting dressed? What are their surroundings like? How are they conducting themselves? These are all pointers but of course, may be wrong. If it's on a phone call, how did you get to them? What was their initial greeting like? How do they sound?
In the end this is your call, YOU will get some wrong! How many will depend on how much knowledge has been given to you and ultimately how much experience you have or have been passed on. Remember knowing people is where we earn our pay, however as in every career, knowing what to do in each situation will always give you the confidence to respond correctly.