Sales usually take 6 major steps:
- approach and contact
- follow up
- maintain customer relationship
Basically, there are three groups of prospects you can contact. In the first circle, there are people you know. In the second one are people your people know, and in third the people, you don’t know. From all these groups the most promising are friends of your friends, but about that soon.
You can contact people through social media, during the networking events or by simple cold email prospecting. People often use those methods but to be honest this is far from efficient (this group is quite resistant to the first contact because they don’t know you).
So why people your people know are the best? Selling to friends is always tough. They know you well so would be nice to give a discount, but even then many people are disappointed by the service provided by a friend. In the business often not everything goes as we want, that’s why we recommend searching clients in a group of friends only for those people who are sure how friends will react when things go wrong.
From the other hand with friends of friends entry barrier is smaller and if you are professional you can quickly show you experience. And they are not your friends so the relationship is strictly business.
Anyway, you need a script. You can always add something from yourself but the script is a base. It will protect you from basic mistakes such as:
- too much talking
- not enough questions
- no customization
If someone is not interested ask you can follow up in 3-4 months, if yes wish him luck and make a note from your conversation. This is a crucial step because you need to remember what you talked about.
Next, and a very important step is to get the referrals. They keep your business on track so please figure it out how to ask for it. Again some basic script will be a good idea. Many people from the industry agree that the best moment is immediately after you close the deal. You already make business together so usually there are no contraindications.
The last one is business maintenance. Remember to value the time of other people, remember about them and what they like. Everything above sounds very simple but most of the salespeople still do not follow these basic rules.