For anyone that is selling in today’s marketplace you know how difficult it is out there. The pressure is on for all sales organization to deliver. Management doesn’t care about what you will deliver later in the year or even this quarter, they want to know what you are going to sell NOW! Your competition is feeling the same pressures and it seems like all products, technologies, and solutions are basically the same. Clients are bombarded daily by desperate sales people seeking any acknowledgment or an inclination that there might be a sign of interest. If a client does shows any interest it turns into a feeding frenzy. Vendors will come out of nowhere. It’s as if someone posts it on Facebook or sends out a tweet that “XYZ customer is in the buying mode.”
It’s been said that people make an evaluation of a sales person in the first 30 to 60 seconds. In this first 30-60 seconds they are evaluating what I call the 3C’s. Your Confidence, Competence and Creditability. The next 60 to 90 seconds the person is assessing you and asking themselves; “Is this someone I can do business with?” “Is this someone who can understand my business, my issue & concerns?” “Is this someone I should consider spending my valuable time with?” There is an old saying that goes something like, “People by from People they like”. While this might be mostly true; (as I can’t remember buying something of value from someone I thought was a jerk), I believe that the saying should be more like “People buy from people they like and trust”. So yes, your mother was right, first impressions do count! So do it right and Sell yourself first!
Demonstrate to the client that you are confident, competent, and creditable. If you want to be perceived as someone who has integrity, that is customer-focused, and can offer valuable expertise, you have to effectively position yourself right out of the gates. One of the most important aspects of selling yourself first is like the Boy Scouts motto; Be prepared.
What are you doing to make sure that you are prepared for that first impression? .
– Have you research the company?
– Do you understand what there business is all about?
– Do you know what the challenges are in their marketplace?
– Have you researched the person you are meeting with?
– Do you know their reasons for buying?
– Can you reference similar customer successes?
– What value do you have to offer?
With proper preparation, you can effectively position yourself as someone who is different from all the other sales people. You can be someone who can bring value, expertise, and the “trusted advisor”. You have to invest the time to understand their business. To be able to help them, the customer must perceive you as someone they can trust and it all starts with selling yourself first. If you sell yourself first, you will get more out of every call and the sales cycle will actually be shorter and much more productive, for both you and the customer.