Forget about the old-fashioned idea that some people are “born salesmen.” To successfully sell building products, people need to learn the science behind the sale.
Rick Davis, president of Building Leaders, Inc. and author of the book, Strategic Sales in the Building Industry, offers these tips for strategically prospecting leads in any marketplace:
Tip #1 – Schedule Appointments – Planned meetings equal good sales results. If people try the “drop in and hope” approach to prospecting, they’ll be sorely disappointed. Even cold calls should have established appointments. An unscheduled visit, whether with a client or a prospect, is an imposition on the time and assumes that the person has plenty of time to drop everything and meet with the salesperson. For a solid start to prospecting, establish an appointment and confirm it via phone or e-mail beforehand.
Tip #2 – Database Management – Knowledge is power, and the ability to harness knowledge makes someone a powerful sales person. To achieve this, use whatever system works best personally, but write down and save key sales prospect information. Devise a way to include both personal information (i.e.: birth dates, sporting preferences, etc.) and business details (i.e.: competitive products used, company history, etc.). Make sure to update the filing system daily to stay on top of prospects and customers.
Tip #3 – Script It Out – First calls to prospective customers are always the hardest. Make life easier by having a written script or bullet points of information to convey while making the call and come to the point immediately. Don’t forget that the goal is to gain an appointment, so don’t use the phone call to qualify a prospective customer. Use it to get the face-to-face meeting.
Tip #4 - Territory Management – With the rising cost in fuel, it is more important than ever to manage windshield time effectively. In addition to scheduling appointments to ensure productivity in the field, map out the territory to maximize effectiveness during the day. Criss-crossing the marketplace wastes time and gas --- two precious and expensive commodities for any sales person.
Tip #5 – Prospect Rating – To make prospecting efforts more successful, rate customers and prospects on their potential profitability. Asking the right questions will lead the salesperson to determining if a customer has the potential for purchasing 10 or 1,000 widgets from the company in a given year. Once profitability potential is determined, rank the customers and prospects from A to D. Spend the most amount of time with the A accounts and start looking to replacing the C accounts.