may have a knack for getting around Shirley the Gatekeeper and giving Bill the
Decision Maker the pitch of your life, but what happens when you enter that
all-important post-pitch dialogue phase, when Bill’s asking you 101 questions
about your product and your company?
Can you answer his questions in a confident, intelligent manner?
knowledge—yours and the competition—can never be taken for granted. Time is valuable. Prospects do not have a minute to spare
with a salesperson that doesn’t thoroughly understand his (the salesperson’s)
product or the business (the prospect’s and the salesperson’s).
never want to hear this from the salesperson: “Well, I’m new on the job, let me ask my manager and get
back to you.” A better reply is,
“That’s an excellent question, Bill, let me find out and get right back to
you.” Of course, in a perfect
world the salesperson would have the answer to every question, and this is far
from a perfect world.
company’s products, services, and procedures can change quickly and frequently,
and it’s difficult sometimes for the employees, especially a new employee, to
adapt to these changes. But at the
end of the day the buck stops with the salesperson. He is the one selling the product or service. He must be confident and have
conviction, otherwise just the slightest hesitation in his post-pitch dialogue can be a deal killer.
need to be immediately aware of any changes in company policy or
procedures. This should be a
manager’s responsibility but a proactive salesperson is the best
salesperson. Ask your manager
about any changes in the product or services you’re selling. Bring this up at the weekly meeting.
there anything on the horizon that we should know about? Price changes, product updates?”
sales folks keep the communication open—wide open—with their managers. They let their manager know that surprises of any kind are not a good thing. The job is difficult enough without constantly having to play product knowledge
Taking the time to learn about your industry is another way of keeping your edge and staying armed. You need to know about your
competitors because you’re going to
hear their name come up a lot when talking to prospects. Be assured, dear salesperson, that
the prospect knows all about your company and all about your competition. Always assume that he is smarter than you are.
assistants are an invaluable resource.
They provide the salesperson with crucial information that can help
close deals as well as retain business.
Unfortunately, there are many companies that have very little, if any,
sales assistance. If that’s the case and the salesperson is truly sole then he needs to spend part of the day learning
about his company, the industry, and the competition.
press releases are a great source of information. Read up on the competition on their website before you place
that first call. If they’re
announcing a new product or service, find out what they’re charging. Discuss strategy with your manager
prior to making calls.
important thing is to keep your head up, you don’t want to get blindsided by
new information of any kind. You
don’t need to know everything about your company or your competitors, but you
need to know what to know. And how will you know this? When you can intelligently
answer most (if not all) of the prospect’s questions. Knowledge helps make a great post-pitch.