Do your homework
As we continue our climb up ‘The thirty –Nine step to success’ We shall look in depth at how a pro-clo actually sells to his customers. Now we are going to look at how he prepares for the encounter.
Nowadays, especially in direct selling, many companies provide their salespeople with qualified leads obtained through various advertising and marketing campaigns. In such situations a great deal of homework can be done before the pro-clo even meets the customer. Apart from the obvious qualifications and information that the customers give the marketing department, there are a number of other telltale signs that the pro-clo searches for and picks up on. We will look at some examples of this in a moment.
A pro-clo always does his homework before making a presentation. Even on a cold call, he doesn’t just knock on doors for the sake of knocking on doors- he does his research and knocks on the right doors. Depending upon the product or service, this homework or groundwork can be very comprehensive and time-consuming, but it is work that must be done. A pro-clo finds out as much as possible about his potential customer, he finds out about his lifestyle, his family, his concerns, interests, hobbies, wants, needs, aspirations, likes, dislikes and whatever else he can find out that is pertinent. Armed with this ammunition, the pro-clo is able to licate the customer’s hot –button, the thing that is going to switch him on. When he moves into his presentation the pro-clo (because he has done his homework) shows the customer that he has a problem, an itch, a want, a need, a hurt, and then offers the customer a solution, a medicine that will cure everything. When a pro-clo does his homework effectively, the customer is so relieved to be offered a solution that he doesn’t need to be closed, he offered a solution that he doesn’t need to be closed, he eagerly buys without any hesitation. These are the best kind of sales, the ones that lie down and roll over for you. They are also the kind of sales that provide excellent testimonials and great referrals.
Here, then, are a few of the telltale signs that a pro-clo will pick up on when he is doing his homework. (Although a pro-clo picks up on this information, he does not prejudge-he is simply aware. Forewarned is forearmed.) Let’s take the customer’s name, address and telephone number as a typical example of how seemingly trivial information can provide the pro-clo with crucial clues about his customer, without ever having met him.
Forenames can give you a clue to age……. If the customer’s forenames are Arthur, Harold, Percival, Wilbur, or Alice, Edith, Gladys, Lilian, etc. the chances are, with these types of old-fashioned name, they are getting on in years. (I know that old-fashioned names have, over recent years, become fashionable again, but it is unlikely that today’s youth are going to be potential customers for at lest another 15-20 years.)
Surnames can reveal things about class and attitude…. If the customer has a double –barrel surname, e.g. Foster –smith, or Freedman –Jones, it might suggest that the customer is a little flamboyant or loud. It could be that he wants to be noticed and stand out from the crowd. These types of customer have a big ego.(take them on a trip.) the same normally applies to a customer who offers his/her middle name or initial without being asked for it.
Title and marital status …... Look carefully at what information titles reveal about marital status. For instance, if a couple have tow surnames and, Say a Mr. Smith is living with a Mis Jones, they are obviously not married don’t have children, and may have two incomes. If on the other hand, Mr. Smith is living with a Mrs Jones, she at least will have been married and there may be more than one set of children. They could be living together and not divorced, so money might be tight and of fering finance could be a problem.
And address can tell you a lot about a prospective customer…….. If someone gives a house name in their address, such as Beabers Lodge or Rose Cottage, etc, then the more often than not very houseproud and have a lovely home. They also like to flaunt it.
If the house number is very high, e.g. No 363 or no. 1247, it normally indicates that the people live in block of flats, a very large busy road, or on a massive estate. Such people tend to be honest and hard-working, they tend to be very down-earth, and are not frightened to spend money. That’s why they are now a lead.
If the address reads Something Road, or Something Street, than the property is usually quite old and normally a terrace, which means it will probably have two or three bedrooms. A little research of the area will give you an idea of property values, so you can get a general idea of their likely income and outgoings.
If the address reads No.3 The Dingle, or Bluebell Close, Bearswood –or how about Avenue. Lane, etc, this gives the impression of a rather big house in a nice area.
Also pay attention to telephone numbers……. If a customer gives his telephone number as Bearswood 1234 instead of giving his area code, he’s being snobbish, he wants to let people know he lives in an affluent area. Easy to sell to!
This is straight forward stuff, yet the average salesperson doesn’t see it and doesn’t think to look, Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg and a pro-clo would gather much more information than name, address and phone number-but the above examples will give you a feel for what I am trying to get across.
Doing your homework is a very necessary step on the staircase and if you try to jump over it, you will almost certainly fall down. It is also, very often, a painful step, but as they saying goes: ‘If there is no pain there’s no gain.’ Remember a pro-clo is AWARE forewarned in forearmed.