Turning a Prospective Customer into an Active Customer takes a lot of planning, follow-up and follow-through. From the first sales call it takes anywhere from 1-3 months to get a business to buy from you. Sometimes you get lucky and find someone who is burnt out on their current supplier and just wants to give you orders for showing up. Others make you work for the business and won't spend a dime until they see your dedication and work ethic.
You shouldn't even think of leaving the house unless you've planned who you're going to call, how the conversation is going go and the product to sell. Use the prospective customer's website, company bulletin or follow them on social media just to know how they're like, what he likely to buy or what he has bought in the past. Hopefully you know their industry well and have basic idea of what to sell to this person or persons.
You can never over prepare before any sales call. I have friends who wants to approach prospective customers that neglect the preparation step and as a result don't get the result they've envisioned.Once you know what you are going to sell, the next step is to come up with some Value Added Services that relates with your product. Fact finding should be the one thing in your mind when approaching a prospective customer. Chances are you will be only be able to schedule a meeting in your first call with those who are responsible for such thing, the chances of meeting the decision maker is very slim.
Make sure to have an impressive PowerPoint presentation, it will help during the scheduled meeting, it will add more dept to your presentation. PowerPoint presentation is a must when making sales call, if you don’t know how to use it, find someone to help you out or go to YouTube where you will be taught how to use it. You can always have a template to use but if you can tailor it to the customer, the better. You can even email it to them before the day of the meeting. Having something to handout to individual at the meeting is also a requirement, if you don’t know how many people are going to be there, make extra copies. Things to have handy to share includes: catalogs, line cards, business cards, company info, a hard copy of your PowerPoint etc. They should be light but informative. This preparations will make you approach prospective customers better.
Make sure to be on time, preferable 30minutes before the schedule time. This is the time you use to gather your thoughts and review your presentations. Make sure to engage everyone during the meeting. Good listening skills and asking of good fact finding question will help you get along during the presentation. You will scale very well when you allow others ask you question or concerns they may have.
In some meetings, it may not look appropriate to bring out the laptop to make your PowerPoint presentation. This was why i ask you to make hard copies of some materials of which your PowerPoint presentation is among. The PowerPoint presentation should be printed in colors and put in three ring binder using clear page inserts. The key is to be prepared for any situation.
Approaching prospective customers is usually about doing proper planning and having a well thought out presentation at hand, also if you know your product very well, its an added advantage.