It is the third Tuesday of the month and as usual, this outside salesperson will be visiting account ABC at 9am, DEF at noon for lunch, LMN at 2:30 and finish the day at XYZ at 4:00.
This looks great. During a full day of outside calls, you have the chance to tell your brand stories to your targeted customers. That’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s hit the road. One question: are you prepared?
Some interesting questions to ask before you schedule any and all outside calls:
- Do they know you are coming?
- What do you want to accomplish at each call?
- Do you have plenty of samples to share?
- Have you checked the companies’ websites and social media posts to know what they are working on and promoting?
- What happened on your last call there? Did you review your notes?
- What have been your company’s interactions with each customer since that last call? Do you need to bring any parts or soothe any ruffled feathers?
- DO THEY KNOW YOU ARE COMING?
This call routine was the first thing that was drilled into my head by my mentor, Al Dubin. If I couldn’t answer all of these questions, Al told me to get back in that chair! Unprepared salespeople were his number one pet peeve. R-E-S-P-E-C-T your customer and do your homework. You have to give to get.
|I am still amazed at how often salespeople, sales managers and local representatives would stop by with no plan, no product samples and no idea of what was going on with our shared interests. |
They would show up when staff was busy selling, purchasing agents purchasing, designers pitching, plumbers fighting inspectors and builders trying to find subcontractors. They would drop in at 11ish just to say hello and see if there were any issues or questions. People, time is incredibly valuable for all involved and must be used effectively. Put simply, no one should call on anyone if they do not have an appointment and a beneficial agenda for all parties involved.
Management has to be on top of this. Every sales call made should align with your company’s focus and what your marketing team is promoting. It is amazing what a company can accomplish when all the teams have the same game plan.
Let’s stop unprepared calls; take that time and generate the quality and additional sales from your showroom visits that you and your clients expect and deserve.
|A version of this article appeared in the December 6, 2019 issue of DPHA’s Connections|