Looking to make a major impact on your selling efforts without ever leaving your desk? Instead of wasting windshield time, cruise the information superhighway.
Rick Davis, president of Building Leaders, Inc. and author of Strategic Sales in the Building Industry offers these tips for strategically researching potential customers without ever putting a gallon of gasoline in your car:
Tip No. 1 – Brainstorm. Abe Lincoln said, “Given eight hours to cut a cord of wood, spend two of them sharpening your axe.” Take time out to think freely. Focus on only positive opportunities and methods to learn. Even in these challenging times, perhaps because of this challenging business environment, it is an opportune time to strategize for the future.
Tip No. 2: Seek Long-Term Opportunities. During these times it is easy to panic and accept any sale that comes your way…which you should! But your proactive focus should target the specific audience that creates long term opportunities. Commercial sales, condo associations and one-time sales are valuable short term opportunities. Concentrating on builders, subcontractors and re-sellers of your product will provide ongoing revenue streams for the future.
Tip No. 3: Use the Internet. This tool brings information to your fingertips. Search web sites of associations such as the NAHB (www.nahb.org), the U.S. Census Bureau (www.census.gov) or www.thebluebook.com to stay updated on industry information. Then, visit company web sites, competitive manufacturer web sites and anything you can Google to gain more information on your target audience, their goals and how you can sell to them.
Tip No. 4: Speak Your Client’s Language. Many prospects are difficult to reach on the phone. Rather than persistently leave messages, try dropping a casual prospecting e-mail to prospects and clients. This affords you the opportunity to be precise with your message and your clients the chance to receive your message and answer at their convenience. In the modern world, you must adapt to a variety of conversation mediums. Strive to figure out which is best for each individual client.
Tip No. 5: Manage Your Field Time Effectively. Don’t drive aimlessly around your territory without appointments. If you don’t have a scheduled meeting in the field, then don’t leave your office. Cold calls and casual visits should be fill-in activity that surrounds productive scheduled appointments.
Based in Chicago since 1998, Building Leaders, Inc. has distinguished itself as the premier sales and sales management education specialists in the building materials industry. For more information, visit www.buildingleaders.com or call 773-769-4409.