Personal Selling: Chapter 8

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  • 1.Planning the Sales Calls Chapter 8

2. Important Questions Answered Why should salespeople plan their sales calls? What pre-call information is needed about the individualprospect and the prospects organisation? How can this information be obtained? What is involved in setting call objectives? Should more than one objective be set for each call? How can appointments be made effectively?2 3. Why Plan The Sales Call?1. Advance planning of the sales interview is essential to achievement in selling.2. Salespeople can save their as well as buyers time, through planning.3. This gives time to make more calls.4. In this way they can convince people to buy even if they are not really interested.5. Not to forget that this is not the end.. 3 4. What Is Success Purpose Plan Success4 5. Reasons for planning the sales call Develops atmosphere of goodwill Reflects professionalism Generally increases sales Builds confidence Qualify prospects Budgets your time Enhances your image5 6. Sales Call Planning ImportanceSales call planning increases in importance when The customers decision is a complex, high-involvement, high risk one Future interactions and negotiations with thecustomer are expected The customers needs are unique A range of alternatives is available to the customer The sale is very critical to the salesperson6 7. Obtaining Pre-call Information Important to get enough information about theprospect to be able to save time and achieve more. Not to forget that the cost of collecting informationshould be less than the benefits obtained.7 8. A Flow Diagram Of The PlanningProcessGathering information Selling objectives Making anabout the prospectfor the call appointmentand firm 8 9. The Prospect As An IndividualPersonal.Name (including pronunciation)Family statusEducation Aspirations Interests (e.g., hobbies) and disinterestsAttitudes.Toward salespeopleToward your company Toward your product (Contd.) 9 10. The Prospect As An Individual(Contd.)Relationships Formal reporting relationships Important reference groups and group normsStyles Social style (driver, etc.) Decision-making style2 (entrepreneurial, planning,bureaucraticEvaluation of Products/Services Product attributes that are important Product evaluation process10 11. Information Used in a Profile and for Planning11 12. Customer Profile Provides Insight Review information to create customizedpresentation See what customer has done in the past todetermine future needs If you do not have customer profiles, get one foreach customer12 13. The Prospects/Customers OrganisationSimilarly following information about thecompany of the prospect is vital too: Demographics Prospects Customers Prospects Competitors Historical Buying Patterns Current Buying Situation People Involved in the Purchase Decision Policies and Procedures13 14. Demographics Type of organization (manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing) Size, number of locations Products/services offered Financial position and its future Culture of the organization 14 15. Prospects Customers Types Benefits they seek from the prospectsproducts/services 15 16. Prospects Competitors Who they are How they differ in their business approachesProspects strategic position in the industry(dominant, strong, weak, tenable)16 17. Historical Buying Patterns Amount purchased in the product category Sole supplier or multiple suppliers. Why? Reason for buying from present suppliers. Level of satisfaction with suppliers Reasons for any dissatisfactions with suppliers orproducts currently purchased.17 18. Current Buying Situation Type of buying process (new task, straight re-buy,or modified re-buy )Strengths and weaknesses of potentialcompetitors. 18 19. People Involved in the Purchase Decision How they fit into the formal and informalorganizational structure Their roles in this decision (gatekeeper,influencer, etc.) Who is most influential Any influential adversaries (carry great influencebut are opposed to us)? Current problems the organization faces Stage in the buying cycle.19 20. Policies and Procedures About salespeople About sales visits About purchasing and contracts.20 21. Preparation & Pre approachQuestions aboutWhat business is the prospects company in?theWhat are its products and markets? prospectsWho are its primary customers? company How big is this prospects company? Where does it rank in its industry? Who is the actual decision maker?Questions aboutWho handles the purchase process?theWho else influences the purchase process? prospectsWhat are the backgrounds and personal interests of each person in the buying companys processbuying centerIs the companys staff well informed? Can we help this companys staff develop more expertise? Does any in my company know anyone in this company? How often does this company buy my type of product or service? Who is this companys competitor? Does my company do business with that competitor?Other What plans does the company have that could affect future need for my product? Questions How well is this company satisfied with its present supplier? Does this companys potential volume of business suggest a personal call, a telephone call or a letter? Do we (or can we) use their product or service? If I dont Can I get a referral to another department?make the sale Can I get a second appointment?21 Will they seriously evaluate my proposal? 22. Sources of Information1. AGAIN - not to forget that TIME IS MONEY and that the time spent on gathering information and preparing for the meetings should be less than the benefits.2. Not to fall into the trap of ANALYSIS PARALYSISVarious sources could be used to gather therequired information22 23. Sources of Information Sources within your Company The Internet Secretaries and Receptionists Non-competing Salespeople Traditional Secondary Sources The Prospect Other Sources23 24. Sources within your CompanyOne of the best sources of information can be therecords in your own company, especially if your firmhas developed a sophisticated database. The mostuseful databases include, in addition to standarddemographic information, information on any directinquiries made by the prospect (from direct-mailinquiries, through the telemarketing division of yourfirm, etc.), a sales history on the firm, whetheranyone from your company has called on theprospect, and the results of any sales meetings. 24 25. The InternetThe Internet contains a vast amount of information. "Fifteen years ago, when consultative sellingbecame the buzzword for successful sales, it took agreat deal of time researching and discovering theneeds. Now, a salesperson can learn as much asthere is to know about prospects and customers inpractically no time at all.25 26. Secretaries and ReceptionistsSecretaries and receptionists in the prospects firm usually are a rich source of information. Be courteous, however, because secretaries and receptionists are accustomed to having salespeople pry for all sorts of free information. Prioritize your questions and provide justification for asking them. Above all, treat secretaries and receptionists with genuine respect.26 27. Non-competing SalespeopleAnother source for pre-call information is non-competing salespeople. In fact, one of the bestsources of information is the prospects ownsalespeople. Because They are easy to reach andthey understand your situation. 27 28. Traditional Secondary SourcesTraditional secondary data sources can also be helpful. Firms such as Standard & Poors, Hoovers, Wards, and Moodys publish a number of manuals and directories that are available in many public libraries. These sources can help answer questions about brand names, key contacts, historical information, the current situation and outlook for the firm and the industry, location of plants and distribution centers, market shares, and so on. 28 29. The ProspectMuch information can be received directly from the prospect. However, dont expect prospects to sit down and answer any and all questions you might have, especially for topics where the information is fairly easy to get (e.g., what products the prospect makes or sells). It is also worth mentioning that, just as you are gathering information about the prospect prior to a meeting, the prospect can and often does collect information about you. Even before the sale your prospect can request price quotes. 29 30. Other SourcesMany other sources can provide information. Someinformation may have been gleaned at a tradeshow the prospect attended. Much information willbe in the lists and directories from which theprospects name came. A center of influence willoften be able to provide some information. 30 31. Sources of Pre-approach Information 1. Direct questions: prospect Six 2. Other company salespeopleProven 3. Current customers Sources 4. Local newspaper 5. Personal visit / cold call Mergers Personnel changes Some things Changing product lines to look for Advertising plans TV and magazine ads Sales training31 32. Setting Call Objectives The sales call objective is the main purpose ofcontact with a prospect or customer The pre-call objective have one or more! Focus and flexibility Focus your efforts on the objective when you are with the customer Be prepared to switch to another objective if needed Make the goal specific Move customer conversation toward the objective Set a SMART call objective 32 33. SMART Call Objective Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timed 33 34. Criteria for Effective Objectives Objectives should be Specific, Realistic andMeasurable. Specific to be effective Realistic to be achievable Measurable to be able to objectively evaluate eachsales call and evaluate if the objectives were met?34 35. Setting More Than One ObjectiveOften multiple call objectives are set so that they have aprimary objective, but if the meeting does not go well thenat least the minimum call objectives are met and in case ofideal situation what will be the optimistic call objectives.Better to hav