prepare for sales success

Fempreneurs Prepare for Sales Success

I recently watched a fascinating program on the BBC presented by Dr Kevin Fong. Essentially it asked what the Health Service could learn from other industries to reduce the number of mistakes caused purely by human error, particularly in stressful situations.

By comparing best practices from such sectors as diverse as the fire service, aviation, and the pit teams of Formula One, they concluded that when a systemized approach was used and supported by the use of checklists, human error was reduced.

In one example, where a set of protocols for transferring critically ill patients post-operatively to the intensive care unit was introduced, they reduced potentially fatal outcomes by 40%. All without any advancements in new drugs or technology!

We've all heard of the Scouts motto – ‘Be prepared' – but how much thought do you put into systemically preparing for your sales meetings and customer calls? If you were to adopt a checklist approach to your pre-sales activity, how much could you improve your performance? How much would that deliver in increased revenue across your team and your business?

So often, we take a haphazard, reactive approach to THE most important activity in our businesses. So what if you could introduce a pre-sales checklist for everyone to follow, just as a pilot runs through pre-flight checks?

My suggestions for a pre-sales appointment checklist:

  1. Check client name, company details, contact number and email address.
  2. Check the client record in your CRM (client database) to read the last sales history notes, what was discussed, and what was the last email, proposal, report you sent them.
  3. Confirm what have they responded to. If you can track email opens or other responses to marketing, you will be clear about what you suspect they will be interested in.
  4. Google their business and research related PR, blogs or articles, so you are armed with the latest industry, company and individual client knowledge.
  5. Check the client address and calculate your journey time (then add 15mins). Someone once said to me, "There is no such thing as being on time, you are either early or late!"
  6. Ensure you, your car, your bag, your shoes, your nails and everything about you is in tiptop condition.
  7. Pack your fully charged laptop, iPad, your brochures or samples, your order forms (if you still use them – everything we do now is managed through iPads), and your business cards. How many events do you go to where people don't have business cards on them?
  8. Ensure you have the resources to make your appointment in good time, be that petrol in the car or credit on your Oyster card etc.
  9. Drink a big glass of water on your journey. It sharpens the mind and will prepare you for your client encounter.
  10. And finally, always carry mints. No one wants to do business with someone with bad breath!

And that's just the pre-sales checklist. If you were to carry this thought through to other areas of your business, such as your sales process, what else would benefit from a simple checklist approach?

Nicola Cook  |
Nicola Cook is an award winning entrepreneur and twice published international best-selling author on professional selling and personal & business growth. She is the Founder of Aurora Consulting and a Director of Lara Morgan's Company Shortcuts, two businesses that are devoted to improving business results by injecting skill, passion and strategy to help those entrepreneurs and sales enthusiasts achieve the results they desire.