María Alcaraz

How to get ready for your first-time commercial visit?

Are you planning a first-time commercial visit! Go ahead! That’s a great opportunity

If you work as a salesperson, you need to set clear goals and keep a good self-concept, because you will need to face many drawbacks: you don’t get listened to, nobody answers the e-mail you sent or calls you back....

However, you may also encounter many satisfactions. One of such satisfactions arises from scheduling a new visit. Problems to be faced when actually selling will be discussed somewhere else.

I chose to start this post (the first one) with a subject everybody knows something about, though not everyone works as hard on it as necessary: the preparation of a first commercial visit.

How to get ready for your first commercial visit?

Once you have chosen your prospects, you realize a path has been open for you to introduce your product or service in a first commercial visit... you should make the most of this opportunity!

There is something I would like to remind you of: do you remember your first date? I bet you do! To be honest, I’m sure it was a success for some and a failure for others, but there you were, and above all you learned a lesson from both its positive and its negative aspects, which helped you improve in the following one.

A first commercial visit is an opportunity for you to move along and set the grounds for a successful long-term relationship. It’s up to you! It could be said that a first commercial meeting resembles a job interview, and you should focus on giving off and generating confidence. This is one of the key points for the sale.

Generate confidence

In order to generate confidence, you need to carefully prepare the first meeting with a new client beforehand. Being caught up in all you want to achieve is just too easy, so you need to plan ahead.The first thing you should do before your first visit is taking in as much information as possible from their website. There you will find much information (read any press releases you can find) to be taken into account before your visit.

Above all, your client will feel (remember you should generate confidence) that you devoted some of your time to understanding and finding out what they do and the sector they work in. This will also provide you an outline of where your opportunities may lie. 

Carefully prepare your first commercial visit. This is the key to success @billage_saas

Don't say too much

Have your say, but don’t say too much. Yes, that’s what I said. Don’t go on talking and talking without stop. In order to identify your client’s need, you need to ask the proper questions, that’s for sure. But you need to let your customer do most of the talking, as your goal is to understand what he does and what he wants, and find out how to cater for his needs. The client himself will tell you what his needs are, but he will do this in his own way. 

When you get ready for a first-time meeting with a new client, you may easily get stuck in everything you want to achieve. So move along one step at a time and make a list of questions that may be useful to introduce during the meeting.

In order to write down your list of questions, always consider things from the other person’s point of view... what are his key business concerns? What are the market pressures? Where does the client want to go and how can you move along with him towards that point? You should bring all these subjects up to get him or her TALKING to you.

Create an agenda

Once you have listed all the points you want to focus on, you need to create an agenda. A meeting without an agenda is like an orchestra without its conductor. The agenda needs to include a list with your expectations for the meeting as well as create an orderly flow of information that helps you understand the problems of your prospective clients and how to help him.

Multinational companies usually send an agenda 48/24 h before the meeting, but this may look weird in a SME or a freelance professional, at least with a first-time client. So create the agenda anyway, but don’t send it. Keep it for you only.

Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that the agenda will not develop exactly as you expect it to do. This means you need to consider some alternative subjects will arise and you will need to think quickly about something to say. You will just need to “be charming and shine”.

Listening to him

Let me say that again: the goal of your meeting with a new client is listening to him and letting him speak, so write down your notes only when he finishes saying what he has to say. Don’t even think of grabbing your laptop and writing your notes there. Make sure you write down all the main aspects contained in the information he is giving out to you.

Once the meeting is over, check back all the actions to be taken with your prospective client. This is the thread that runs through your relationship and ensures you may continue to relate and decide on the further steps that need to be taken for a commercial relationship to be established.

As the final step, I would like to suggest something that may be useful to you. Once a meeting is over, I would advise you to send your prospective client an e-mail containing a summary of the meeting: first of all you thank him for devoting some of his time to you, and then you provide a summary of the issues that were discussed at the meeting.

If you do this, you reinforce your credibility and position yourself with a good professional profile. This gives you “wings” to be able to start a new commercial relationship.

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