All sales conversations with clients follow a 3-part structure. Getting this structure right can mean the difference between satisfying a client need (and making a sale) or being seen as just another target-driven salesperson.
The three parts that you need to focus on are; the beginning, the middle and the end.
- Keep your personal brand intact
- Greet the client correctly and warmly
- Fully utilise the time that the client has set aside for the discussion – at the start of the discussion ask the client how much time she has allowed. Always keep in mind that the client has multiple demands on her time but as she is willing to give you the time to talk about doing business – be genuinely grateful for the opportunity
- There will usually be an opening discussion about non-business topics just to “break the ice” but keep it short and move on to business issues as soon as you can
- If you have prepared well you will be able to drive the discussion by asking open-ended questions about the business and letting the client talk. Direct the discussion in the way you want it to go – remember that you need to get some key information, especially for the credit risk issues. Read the free e-book available on www.businessbankingcoach.com, Assessing Business Risks for some pointers. You may need to ask some closed questions too. Don’t make the conversation an interrogation
- Show genuine interest in the business – the most interesting part of your job is getting to learn about different types of businesses. Make the most of the opportunity by asking lots of questions
- Don’t pretend to know everything – the more questions you ask, the better you will understand the business. You will not lose face with the client if you don’t know something
- Summarise the client’s needs as you understand them and have the client confirm to make sure that you are both talking about the same issues
- Offer a solution that is right for the client but remember that clients cannot absorb too much information about products in one conversation
- Make sure that client’s needs have been met by the solution offered – if not re-visit the need and try to get the client satisfied
- If the client was not interested in certain products or channels at the time of the discussion but indicated that there might be a requirement in the future, diarise appropriately
- The final step in the conversation is to notify the client of the process to follow and to set a realistic expectation in terms of response times – remember, under-promise and over-deliver but remember that when you deliver you are setting a new set of future expectations in the client’s mind