To follow up on my last entry, if you are talking to an Executive Vice President of Operations of a retail chain, (or any industry, really) chances are pretty good that if this Vice President ever did have any experience with your products, it was many, many years ago. Over the years, products have changed dramatically since the days when this Vice President used them. The reason that I mention it is because if we were to give a detailed presentation about our products to this level buyer, we may cause them to become embarrassed because they may not know what we’re talking about.
We would be better served if we presented the specifics about our product line, no matter what we sell, at another buying level within the account. However, this is where “selling experience” comes in. We may be in a short introductory meeting with a high-level buyer and find out that this person really does want to talk about our line. I have found that this does not happen very often, but when it does, you can really make a strong connection with this buyer by continuing the conversation. Just remember that it doesn’t happen very often and selecting the right person for this conversation comes with experience and a bit of luck thrown in for good measure!
Products usually have little to do with the day-to-day activities and responsibilities of these high level buyers. They are most likely the responsibility of people lower down on the organizational chart. These other buyers are the people that we will talk to about our products and services because these buyers are dealing with the problems and challenges that our products and services can solve.
I may have left the wrong impression in my last blog when I stated that “our goal is to get in to our accounts at the highest level possible.” That always should be a goal of ours, but one of the things I learned when selling large retail accounts in my Johnson Wax days, was that our goal on a sales call was “to get invited back!” We always need to have a reason to return to the account to meet with our buyer, so before we leave the sales appointment we are on today, we need to schedule a follow-up appointment. Pull out your calendar before you leave and set a date and time to meet again, and provide a short agenda of what you propose to cover during that next meeting.
Next time, we’ll discuss how to end this meeting with our high-level buyer.
Please visit my web site at www.mccannmotivations.com and “like us” on Face Book and Linked In.
Also, if you have another minute or so, please check out the link below. The local cable news station, CN2, did a short video feature based on a recent front-page story that ran in USA Today about us. Our picture was featured on page 2, above the fold, and talked about how we sold our house at slightly below market in order to move into our continuing life community here in Rock Hill.