‘Yes’ is Just the Beginning
Your prospect agreed to buy — great, now the work begins
You spent months, maybe years calling on this prospect. You did all the right things and the customer said the magic word, “Yes” or “Ok” or “Sure” or “Why not” or maybe just nodded. Either way, you now have your first order from them. Many salespeople make the mistake of thinking this is the end of their role in the sale.
You have only just begun. Keep reading if you ever want a second order from them.
In your administration department, there’s account set up paperwork, credit applications and order entry information. In your production department, there’s coordinating any custom manufacturing requirements. In your distribution, we make sure packaging and freight are coordinated, with delivery instructions in place.
Are we done yet? Not yet. This is just your internal coordination. Often, we call on a retail buyer or owner, who aren’t the end user or seller of our products. This is where the real work begins. You need to coordinate all the above-mentioned areas with their store locations and warehouses.
I can hear you now, “I don’t do all that” or “That’s not my job” or “We have people that do all that” Well, maybe, but don’t count on it. Often, new sellers are surprised to discover the internal process of a sale is more difficult than selling the actual customer. If you just spent weeks or months making promises to sign the prospect, make sure it happens just as you promised. If not, it’s unlikely you will get another order.
Ok, now that the nitty gritty is over, are we done? Can I go spend the commission check now? Not yet. That was just the detailed work it takes to get a product from your point A to the customer’s point B. Now you have to make your product perform and get your customer to reorder.
Ensuring our product performs
This includes product training, in-store setup, ensuring inventory is stocked, displayed and priced. If in a retail setting, there’s product training to be done for the store employees. You want the store employees to know how your product performs compared to the competition. Especially if the retailer also carries one of your competitor’s product lines. If your customer is in crop or animal production, your product has an application or feeding program. This needs to be followed to reap the benefits of your product.
Sound like a lot of detail work? Certainly. Feel like celebrating the sale and skipping all these details? Certainly. Are you going to? Not if you want a reorder.
When training and coaching salespeople, they often will say they don’t want to appear “salesy”. We all know what they are referring to. They want to use consultative selling skills and not use high-pressure tactics that seem shady or annoying. Great, I agree. However, these same salespeople will then tell me how poorly they follow up after a sale is made. “Why” I ask them. “Oh, I get so busy” or “I just don’t think I have to do it all!” Sure, we’re all busy but it’s a poor excuse. In addition, making promises to your prospect to get the sale and then not following through is about as “Salesy” as you can get.
Start today and set yourself apart by following through on the sale from the moment you get the “Yes” until you get the next order – and the next!
Now that we understand “Yes” is just the beginning, join us next time in Coach’s Corner when we discover how “No” is just the beginning in our sales process.