Selling Skills Part Three

Last time we talked about the six steps in selling. Let’s dig a little deeper into the first one.

  1. Research

Within research there are three more points to cover.

a)      The Customer

b)      The Products of Service

c)       The relationship.

Customer: For researching the customer we need to know everything and anything that might be significant. In the Capital Goods Industries this means specifically the equipment that the customer owns. The make model and serial number of every piece of equipment; the hours of use of each unit and the applications; any special attachments or configurations on each unit. This is what determines the opportunity. The consumption of parts and service is dependent on the hours of use and the application.

Then we need to have a complete customer profile; family circumstances and birthdays and anniversaries, hobbies, etc. A company profile; in what industries they work (SIC codes); type of business, years in business, number of employees, influential, etc.

The Products or Services: This is the full features and benefits area. This has become a lost art for many people in sales. I think this is extremely important. It allows you to separate yourself from the competition. It allows you to sell value if you have this knowledge. I also think it is important knowledge such that you will be able to “position” your offering rather than making a presentation which can become stale and sound canned.

The Relationship: This is the purchase history of the customer with your company. What they buy and what they don’t buy. How the purchases relates to the potential – this for both parts and service.

With these three stages completed in Research we can move onto the second step in the sales process. Good sales people are diligent in their research. It makes a difference in their success. The time is now…..