18/01/2017 - 14:26

Make your first impression count

18/01/2017 - 14:26

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

OPINION: Salespeople must make sure the hard work is done before they get into the CEO’s office.

Make your first impression count
Sales people need to differentiate themselves by demonstrating creativity to go with their professional approach. Photo: Stockphoto

OPINION: Salespeople must make sure the hard work is done before they get into the CEO’s office.

You have the meeting. The CEO has agreed to give you 30 minutes. This is the opportunity you have been hoping, and working, for.

Now is the time to hone your presentation to perfection; or is it?

Do you honestly think the CEO wants to hear you rant for 30 minutes?

First of all, he or she will most likely decide within five minutes if you are someone he/she wants to do business with. And second of all, whatever you’re selling, chances are he/she already knows about it.

Now is the time to prepare a greeting, an opening exchange, and 10 killer questions that separate you from the competition.

And you had better figure out what the brief opening exchange will consist of.

I have asked 500 audiences whether they think my business card or an autographed copy of one of my books is a more powerful way for me to make a first impression. They unanimously answer ‘with your book’.

Then I ask whether they think my brochure or an autographed copy of one of my books is a more powerful way for me to make a first impression. They unanimously answer ‘with your book’.

And then most of those from that same audience go out the next day and introduce themselves with a business card and a brochure.

I don’t get it.

I have given them the answer to a powerful business introduction, and they don’t change a thing.

In their mind they think, ‘I don’t have a book’, or ‘I haven’t written a book,’ or ‘what would I write a book about?’ Or they think ‘this is what my company gave me, and I’ll just wait until they give me something else’, and drop the thought, even though it would make an incredible impact on their first impression and their credibility. In short, they are giving up their edge.

I don’t get it.

Salespeople are looking to differentiate themselves. They are looking to provide some value beyond their product or service to the customer. They are looking for something that will prove to the customer that they are superior to their competition. They moan that their product (whatever it is or isn’t) is becoming a commodity. And they don’t do anything about it.

I don’t get it.

Do you get it?

What are you willing to do?

What are you willing to change, so that when you do get that CEO meeting you are ready to make a great first impression, an impressive first impression, a differentiating first impression, and earn a sale?

Here are a few things you can do that will help.

• Change your title. Make it fun, but serious. ‘Profit producer’, ‘Productivity expert’, ‘Creator of great ideas’.
• Print your own card; it can’t be any worse than the one you’re carrying. Use both cards – one for image and one to prove creativity.
• Bring a fun idea – one that helps the customer.
• Bring a fun book. Seuss-isms, a small book about the big wisdom of Dr Seuss.
• Bring a short classic book – a thought book. One that makes the CEO think about him/herself and thank you.
• Write a white paper on safety, the customer’s industry, productivity, or leadership. This will take time and hard work, that’s why most salespeople won’t do it. But every CEO will appreciate it, and read it. Make sure you autograph it as you present it.

Bring an idea for improving or enhancing the customer’s business. This takes time, research, and creativity, but it will get you in the door, and keep you there.

One of the biggest and most fatal mistakes that salespeople make is waiting for someone else to give you sales tools. That’s not how great sales are made, that’s not how you engage a CEO.

Great impressions are made, great sales are made – and made often – with tools you give to yourself.

Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development. © 2017 All rights reserved. Don’t reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options