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Sales Visits

Has anyone reach a point where you don't have anything to say to your customer/client when you are paying your routine visits?

My boss wants us to make frequent visits to "make our presence felt". I really felt that it is meaningless when you just go for the sake of going.

The customers/clients must be wondering in their mind "why are you here everyday when I have nothing for you". And considering that everyone in their office look so busy and I really felt like I'm intruding on their work and disturbing them.

It is still okay if you really have something to follow-up or have an official agenda to justify your presence. Else, sometimes I really feel like why the F am I there when I have nothing concrete.

Please help, I bet this is a dejavu for all salesmen out there. What would you do in such situation? - by Joshua Z
I completely agree with you. To stop in without a purpose or commitment objective is pointless.

If your boss wants your presence felt I guess you could stock shelves for them or something but it won't get you any more sales.

Follow up with cients is important and staying within their peripheral view I think is helpful. There are lots of ways to do that without parking yourself in their office. Make the meeting fruitful so he looks forward to your coming otherwise you're wasting their time.

In my Opinion that is.... :)

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
Hi Rattus...thanks for sharing the same sentiments. I'm really losing focus. I really don't know if there is a problem with me or my pool of clients. I really starting to doubt myself.

Why are they always so "busy"? Seriously, I don't turn up at their door knocking with a "Swivel-Broom2k9" in my hand. In fact, I always put their concerns first rather than my products.

Yes, it is true if it is the other way around. I will shun away MOSTLY on consumer products salesman. Don't get me wrong, it can be the best product on this earth and value for money, but if I don't need it, I will want to be straight forward with him/her and save his/her valuable time for their other potential prospects.

But for my case, I'm dealing with industrial products and services. The clients I'm serving, are in fact using what I'm selling and definitely getting from my competitors. Why? Price objections.

Being a saleman and knowing why I lose the order, naturally I would want to get back into the competition. My greatest agony is that they refused to disclose anything from the start till I lose the order. I tried follow up most of the time, and if there are any price objections, they are most welcome to voice out. And they will (of course most of the time) reply with "still evaluating, will feedback if there is anything". The next thing you know, they had already closed the tender and awarded to someone else.

By the way, my superiors and a whole lot of people are saying value of the products/services rather than fighting price wars. How do I convince my prospects when I jolly well know that my competitors are offering identical products at a lower price, shorter delivery, and with much more services that we don't even have !!! And with all these in my heart and mind, my boss are still repeating the same lines over and over again. WTF ! Value-added? Ya, with what? I think the next best thing I can do is to provide lips service and a bar hostess sitting on the customer's thigh to secure that deal.

How do I go about opening their "inner doors" to me? How often should I "disturb" them? I don't know whether is this a cultural thing with the races or nationality that I'm dealing with.

Call me pessimist, jaded, maladjusted or whatever. Do you think I'm not crafted as a salesman? - by Joshua Z
Hi Rattus...thanks for sharing the same sentiments. I'm really losing focus. I really don't know if there is a problem with me or my pool of clients. I really starting to doubt myself.

Why are they always so "busy"? Seriously, I don't turn up at their door knocking with a "Swivel-Broom2k9" in my hand. In fact, I always put their concerns first rather than my products.

Yes, it is true if it is the other way around. I will shun away MOSTLY on consumer products salesman. Don't get me wrong, it can be the best product on this earth and value for money, but if I don't need it, I will want to be straight forward with him/her and save his/her valuable time for their other potential prospects.

But for my case, I'm dealing with industrial products and services. The clients I'm serving, are in fact using what I'm selling and definitely getting from my competitors. Why? Price objections.

Being a saleman and knowing why I lose the order, naturally I would want to get back into the competition. My greatest agony is that they refused to disclose anything from the start till I lose the order. I tried follow up most of the time, and if there are any price objections, they are most welcome to voice out. And they will (of course most of the time) reply with "still evaluating, will feedback if there is anything". The next thing you know, they had already closed the tender and awarded to someone else.

By the way, my superiors and a whole lot of people are saying value of the products/services rather than fighting price wars. How do I convince my prospects when I jolly well know that my competitors are offering identical products at a lower price, shorter delivery, and with much more services that we don't even have !!! And with all these in my heart and mind, my boss are still repeating the same lines over and over again. WTF ! Value-added? Ya, with what? I think the next best thing I can do is to provide lips service and a bar hostess sitting on the customer's thigh to secure that deal.

How do I go about opening their "inner doors" to me? How often should I "disturb" them? I don't know whether is this a cultural thing with the races or nationality that I'm dealing with.

Call me pessimist, jaded, maladjusted or whatever. Do you think I'm not crafted as a salesman?
Try this.
Explore with your clients. Who are they, what are they, what do they do, who do they do it with, when do they do things, when do they buy, for example. What are they looking for in your or your competitors products.

Value added means many things. There was a post about price versus cost, I think it was, a little while back. Price is what you pay. Cost is what you receive. Term insurance is price, you pay and its gone. Cash Value Life Insurance has cost. There is the price you pay minus the return to you after so many years = the cost. If a gallon of cleaner is 1 oz of concentrate for $1.00 that is the price. If you can do it for 1/2 oz of concentrate for $1 and oz, your cost is $.50 cents. If your product last longer, the extra years is reflected as a reduced cost, regardless of what you pay for it today.

Identify the areas that you can be of service or solution with your products with your client while you are exploring who he is. The who what, when, where, why, how, how much, how many and is there anything else questions you ask while exploring, will generally identify areas that your product or service can benefit your client and you can formulate an approach to him that has him evaluating your product or service as it relates to him.

Recommend to your client products and solutions you've identified together during your explorations. "Don, now that you've had a chance to examine our 1/2 oz solution and its cost savings, would this make sense for your company?"

If any of the recommendations you make, are valuable for your clients, you can then to Agreement on your solution or service.

Much Aloha,

Tom :cool: - by rattus58
Joshua how long have you been in the sales world? I'm just curious. - by DPinger
3 yrs. Is there a problem? - by Joshua Z
3 yrs. Is there a problem?
No problem Joshua. I just remember when I was 3 years into the business I had similar feelings.

Shoot!!!

Sometimes after 25 years I feel the same way LOL.

Hang in there and learn all you can about selling,sales, and marketing. Maybe what you're selling isn't the right product for you maybe it is.


Don - by DPinger
Hey Don and Tom,

Really thanks for the encouragements and pointers! ;sm

I guess the biggest hurdle is overcoming my fear and the clients at large.

Selling something that sells by itself is easy but no sense of accomplishment. Selling something that doesn't sell by itself, will requires alot of hardwork and homework. But I guess that the latter is something most salesman look forward to and at the same time, feared of.

Hope I'm not selling the wrong thing, at the wrong time at the wrong place. Haha... - by Joshua Z
Hi Joshua, so I take it that you have repeat customers and these are the people you are seeing frequently? Do you stop in all the time to companies that haven't ever ordered from you?

Just trying to get a feel for who you're seeing. - by Thufir
Has anyone reach a point where you don't have anything to say to your customer/client when you are paying your routine visits?

My boss wants us to make frequent visits to "make our presence felt". I really felt that it is meaningless when you just go for the sake of going.

The customers/clients must be wondering in their mind "why are you here everyday when I have nothing for you". And considering that everyone in their office look so busy and I really felt like I'm intruding on their work and disturbing them.

It is still okay if you really have something to follow-up or have an official agenda to justify your presence. Else, sometimes I really feel like why the F am I there when I have nothing concrete.

Please help, I bet this is a dejavu for all salesmen out there. What would you do in such situation?
Joshua
I agree to a large extent with you. The exception might be if you are dealing with a major account where you have multiple contacts and a large part of your job is actually "gathering intelligence", by which I mean understanding what's going on there, the key projects, organisation, processes, etc so that you are properly positioned to win future business.
However if your boss is forcing you to beat on the same purchasing manager's door in some small account, when you know there is nothing going down... then that is indeed a waste of time. Perhaps you can negotiate with your manager and suggest that you reduce the frequency of your visits to some accounts and spend the time saved prospecting for new business? Maybe propose doing this on a trail basis... and if you can show this has generated some real business then perhaps she will be willing to let you to structure your own time in future!
--
Cheers
Mark - by markg
My boss wants us to make frequent visits to "make our presence felt". I really felt that it is meaningless when you just go for the sake of going.
Based on only those two statements, both your boss and you are correct.

Solution: Make your presence felt with a Purposeful Call. - by Ace Coldiron
Ace is correct BUT knowing when to be scarce and not around is also part of a sound strategy to keep a good relationship intact and the next purposful call valued on both sides.

The best of success to you.

MitchM - by MitchM
I think you may need to start believing in your products and services. Until this is accomplished I am afraid that the message that is coming across to the clients will provide the same results. Clients can smell fear. Discover if there is a better product that will help them more and cost them less in the long run.

Take the waste of time and try different techniques. Each time you arrive at the same shop is a great opportunity to experiment and enhance your abilities. This is the perfect time to hone your skills. What is the best thing they get with you? I can see one immediately. You are easy to find! This means your client can get you at any time. It will take time. Have fun with what you are doing. This has nothing to do with your product but everything to do with you and how you can service them. Belief in what you do and how you do it. - by rich34232
Ace is correct BUT knowing when to be scarce and not around is also part of a sound strategy to keep a good relationship intact and the next purposeful call valued on both sides.

The best of success to you.

MitchM
I'll expand on that, Mitch.

If there is no purpose for "being there" which could benefit the customer in terms of new information or follow-up, then we shouldn't be there.

One of the absolute voids in the agendae given to so many new salespeople is evident in skipping the part of the process that requires that, in every contact, we must set the stage for the next contact. That requires a purpose and the very best purpose is in keeping the promise we make in the previous call. It is not about technique--it is about momentum.

It is less about honing how we do things and more about knowing what we are supposed to be doing. It is useless to get better at things that will not take us forward. - by Ace Coldiron
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