Sunday, April 05, 2015

How to be an efficient Sales Consultant?

As a sales Consultant you work your ass off to chase and close deals no matter how small or big they are, often that takes months sometimes even years. When the deal you have been chasing finally lands on your desk, you ring the sales “bell” as loudly as a school boy back in primary school. That is the beauty of sales! With that though comes huge responsibilities – to deliver. That does not always go as smoothly as promised and stated on the proposal you have sent. That is why most Sales Consultants feel as if the after-sales staff exists to sabotage their hard earned business forgetting that it takes two to tango and in this kind of a situation even ten.

There are companies that do not value good service. For them the main thing is profit forgetting that it is very difficult to survive as a company when you do not even bother to offer your client the best service across all departments. When the values of the company revolves around profit – there is no repeat business. This is a topic for another day, today it is about the Sales Consultants.

What cause this?

In most companies Sales Consultants are managed and controlled by strict targets they need to achieve irrespective of how bad the month was. This means that should one fail to meet the set targets, they will have to answer to someone superior who is not always the nicest not because they are mean but the job requires a strict approach especially when dealing with an underperforming consultant. I could be wrong but no consultant likes being summoned to “why didn’t you meet your targets? Meeting. Because of this some consultant cook up crazy ways to secure a sale often taking it as far as promising clients things they know very well aren’t included in the sale. This creates major disagreements with after-sales staff – words fly so do resignation letters. Clients sign on the dotted line and expect the results, they are not interested on who’s who in the zoo.

After-sales staff have to provide the service in accordance with what was promised to the client and deliver accordingly, no questions asked. Since they classify clients according to what they have purchased often aren’t interested in checking the proposals, which is understandable. Immediately when clients starts to demand something that is not included in the sale, it appears as if after-sales staff do not know what they are doing. So the client will leave with his money without thinking twice because of a hungry Sales Consultant who didn’t offer what is supposed to be offered.

Is there a way to solve this?

Yes. There is a way and it is called communication. You cannot afford to screw clients hoping they will understand. Not only is this practice unethical and stupid but it can cost you a job and revenue for the company. I know most people in sales do not like honest sells but that is the best way to conduct business. Let’s look at how you can avoid nasty SLA’s terminations;

Step 1: Look at what you sell and study all offerings to a T. You won’t be able to sell something that you do not know and understand.

Step 2: Now that you know what you are selling, next you study your prospects. You look at what you can offer them against what they’re most likely to buy. Some clients may not agree to your products/services packages but willing to buy just a portion of that. You must also prepare for that, if need be meet with them so you can design a package suitable specifically for them.

Step 3: Before sending any proposals discuss with your manager or colleague the contents of your proposal so they can help you draft the best one possible. Also this will give you a chance to rectify those situations where you are offering something that cannot be delivered.

Step 4: Stop going on like you know everything, you do not. If you are not sure, tell the client you will come back to them and actually do. Never tell a lie or over–promise. Building good relationships with clients starts with this small details. Communicate with your clients and always be transparent.

Step 5: Once they sale is in. While sorting out paperwork communicate with the relevant after-sales teams so they can prepare themselves. Give them the full information or a breakdown of what needs to be done and when. A meeting will do, but it’s not really necessary as there are emails.

Obviously companies are not the same, but nothing says, “we know what we are doing like an organized organization”. Clients value good service, just give it to them.

Content sponsored by Tembisa On Record. Regional/Location marketing specialists.
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