Every day of the week I make sales calls. Every day of the week I see people make sales calls.
A large majority of people who a presentation of some kind do it poorly in one way or another.
It’s kind of like a first date. You’re going to be judged very quickly. Someone’s watching you, even when you think they aren’t. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. You know all the cliches.
Here’s some random, wandering thoughts, tips and rules for you. Hopefully they’ll help you do a better job of presenting yourself and representing your company.
Think professional. Before you get there, turn off the rap and think about the customer and what you can do for them. Not what you can do for yourself. It’s all about them, not you and what you’re gonna buy with the commission from the sale. Find the benefits for them, not the features that impress your marketing department.
Don’t chew gum or smoke in the clients office. If you have to smoke, do it well before you arrive. When you get out of your car, use that small bottle of mouthwash that you have and freshen your breath and the parking lot.
Use the restroom someplace else. Make sure to find a place to relieve yourself other than their office. Use that stop to focus, freshen and finalize.
Stand upon greeting the client. I hate it when I go out to the waiting area to get a vendor and they’re sprawled all over our furniture. I hate it even more when they are on their cellphone, emailing from their handheld or worse, asleep and dreaming.
Sit where I tell you, not where you like. I hate it when someone moves something out of a chair in my office and puts the stuff on the floor. I put that there so you wouldn’t sit there. I wanted you to sit in the open chair.
Don’t handle anything on my desk or on my shelves. Yes, I play golf. Yes, I got a hole-in-one with that ball. Yes, Titleist sent that certificate. No, I don’t care that you touched them…I actually hate it.
Please bring your own pen and notepaper. I’m not an office supply store. I have other career aspirations besides supply officer.
Small talk is fine, but move towards the point of your visit. I don’t mind a how’s-the-family question or two, if we’ve met before, but let’s not exchange pictures just yet.
Turn off you cellphone and/or handheld device before you get to our waiting area. ‘Nuff said. If you want to know why, don’t even think about making sales calls.
There’s a lot more advice and info out there about etiquette. I hope this gets you started towards wanting to find it.
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