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Know Who You Are Selling To

Pre-sales – secret weapon of the top salesperson

Know Who You Are Selling To

The salesperson arrives in a customer meeting. He is well prepared: the shirt has been ironed in the morning and the beard is freshly shaven. He has even remembered to wipe off the slush marks from his boots. With the name of the prospect and the company’s field of business as a shining beacon in his mind, he strides in through the glass doors, signs in and awaits the arrival of the contact person. Well played? Let’s rethink.

These days almost everyone who wants to “buy” a piece of someone else’s time is faced with the same challenge: the piece for sale is a tiny one, in private life as well as business. When considering how to tackle this challenge from the salesperson’s point of view, we must retrace our steps to the time before the meeting.

Do your homework

You’d do well to start the groundwork days or even weeks before the actual meeting. Why? Because during the first meeting, an ill-prepared salesperson will inevitably make assessments that, if done beforehand, would save considerable time for both parties. When the prospect’s baseline, actual needs and the willingness to change are already known, it’s much easier for the salesperson to accommodate his offer to meet the customer’s needs. By doing so, he is able to offer a solution to the challenge the prospect is facing already during first contact.

Making the assessment is quick and easy when carried out through short open questions. They can be delivered for example per e-mail, and the pre-assessment will be “sold” to the prospect as a way to save time. This makes the salesperson seem truly interested and willing to commit to resolve the existing challenges. Both parties commit and benefit – a real win-win situation!

Making the assessment is quick and easy when carried out through short open questions

An assessment is a key to success especially when it comes to proactive sales. Active saleswork must still be carried out even after buying motive has been created. The assessment enables the salesperson to refer to existing challenges and pain points as well as provide a viable solution through the product or service on offer. This approach reaches deeper layers than run-of-the-mill product pitches ever could.

Yes – now or later

A pre-assessment helps both parties to prepare for the meeting as well as for mapping out the potential purchase need. In B2B sales, the first meeting nevertheless rarely leads to a golden handshake because decision making rests on the shoulders of more than one or two people. Despite of this, a successful first meeting usually determines the development and ultimate success of the deal.

Regardless of whether the purchase is topical now, in the near future or in an indeterminable time, a genuinely committed salesperson makes it much more likely for the prospect to reach a favorable decision. A skillfully carried-out sales meeting leaves the prospect with a positive impression. At the moment of purchase decision, the choice of a service provider becomes much easier when at least one salesperson has already created an imprint by listening to the customer and introducing a solution to their challenges.

A genuinely committed salesperson makes it much more likely for the prospect to reach a favorable decision

Well executed groundwork is the secret weapon of a successful salesperson. Sounds like an exaggeration, but this one actually holds true. Following these tips will inevitably lead to success because:

  • By doing presales, the salesperson will get further into the actual deal process already on first contact
  • The customer experiences solution oriented high-quality sales work instead of a general product pitch
  • The salesperson leaves a positive imprint even if the deal isn’t sealed in the first meeting.

Will you be satisfied with just ironing your shirt the next time? It’s your call.