It's the first meeting with a new prospect. You've prepared a professional presentation and have a list of probing questions to ask the decision-maker.
Will the prospect buy? After all, you've done your homework. According to business consultant Ann Marie Sabath, they may not, if you haven't taken the proper steps to ensure a positive first impression.
Few salespeople are as successful at selling as they could be. That is why there are so many ways for salespeople to improve their selling skills and sharpen their presentation techniques. From seminars to training programs, motivational speakers, industry meetings and selling workshops, the market is flooded with programs created to help sales-people master their craft.
What is equally important, but often overlooked, is a positive first impression in building a successful sales career. Remember, the first impression is a lasting one. Salespeople who are able to present a positive, professional image at their first meeting with a prospect are not only ahead of the competition, but well on their way to making a sale.
We've all heard the expression, "He could sell ice to the Eskimos." Top-performing salespeople share many intrinsic characteristics and possess qualities that set them apart from other members of a sales organization. They also believe that first impressions play a critical role in building relationships as a key element in every successful professional sales career.
Here are ten ways to make a first impression count when making a sales call:
1. Arrive on time. Never be late for a scheduled appointment. If you're unavoidably delayed, be sure to call before your appointment.
2. Treat the receptionist and secretary with respect. If you plan to build a strong and lasting relationship with the prospect, it's wise to make friends with everyone you meet in the workplace.
3. Research the company and the industry. Before you make that important first contact, be sure to arm yourself with background information.
4. Be prepared. Make sure you are organized and can easily locate all of your samples, brochures, pricing information, business cards, etc.