Home > Approach > Better sales meetings and cold calling for new leads.

Better sales meetings and cold calling for new leads.

Hello Guys,

Great site!

I recently got a job working for an office furniture manufacturer, it is my first sales job so i have no expereince in sales and conducting meetings.

We work alot with architects and interior designers to win projects so they are the main focus, we also approach the end client if we get hold of their details.
The thing is as im inexperienced i struggle with our sales meetings and cold calling for new leads. To me it feels i need to be more structured and clear often potential client get mislead and the meetings become a waste. Hence no new business generated and this frustrates me alot!

i woul like some advice on how i should go about better my skills and become a great sales person. I also need to get more out there i'm slightly quite and somewhat of an introvert ( is there any way to break away from this and become an extrovert )

Please let me know if you need more information

thanks ! - by DrvDude
Consider perhaps a more 'Business Development' approach: Where do the architects and interior designers in your area tend to congregate? (in my area for example, there is a wholesale fabric distributor who hosts periodic seminars for interior designers).

Start getting known and trusted in those places. - by DaveB
Get to know everything about the furniture your company makes. And I mean know everything....from the types of materials, wood, metals, everything. The more you know the more passionate you can be when describing your products. It's hard to be shy about a product you love and know well.

I think once this happens the meetings will be a bit easier. Pass out a lot of business cards. Consider getting a decal made for your car(back window works well).

Learn to be more clear when talking to new people.....this is just something that has to come with time.

Stay organized, save emails, send out notifications evey once in a while but don't over do it. - by Thufir
Thanks for the advice.

Well the thing is i moved to another country and got the job as sales rep. I find it a bit hard to source where the architects and interior designers would hang out let alone places advertising this sort of thing. Maybe i should ask the MD where they would meet up. I'll give it a shot

Thufir -

you're right i should spend that extra hour everyday learning everything about our product! i'm this will boost my confidence and make me wana talk about our products all the time!

What other skills could i learn tpo improve? - by DrvDude
I have a few questions.

1)How would you convince a client to by office furniture, i mean what sort of return could you sell them on?

2) How to answer the question your product is higher than your competitors

3)What sort of telephone approach/script could i say to attract customers?

4) what probing and qualifying questions can i ask in our first telephone call and our first meeting?? - by DrvDude
Drv Dude,

1) Let’s look at this another way, what sort of problems do they have and how could you solve them? You can not convince anyone to do anything really - you need to change your thinking to that of a problem solver. You potential clients have a problem and you can solve them with your product.

Task: - make a list of potential problems clients have with their office furniture, e.g. does the PC take up all the desktop space, ergonomically friendly, cost, space it takes up, storage of items, data points, power points, loose cables from the PC.

You could save them on floor space, increase in staff productivity, less staff turnover, environment to promote sales as it looks more professional.

Quantify it into figures – quote the statistic from a government bureau.

2) If your product is more expensive than your competitor it’s because it solves more problems, than the others. e.g. floor space in commercial offices is very important, its charged at a per square foot (meter) rate. The design of the office needs to take this into consideration - storage often does not go vertical enough, take filing cabinets for example, it would be nice if you could stack 2 on top of each other to use the vertical space, so they often get replaced with shelves.

Yours may come with a warranty.
You may be able to tailor make items to their design requirements.

Delivery Time, learn how long it takes for your firm to deliver, you can win and lose deals out of this, someone will pay more if you can make the delivery date.

Removal of old Furniture when you replace it with the new, swap out the old desk with the new and take the old one away with you. (You can put a value on that $150 - then offer it as FREE)
Find out the cost by calling a removals company. Once again solving problems.

Payment Plan, moving is expensive so let them pay if off over 6 months - 50% now and the remainder of 6 payment.

Find out what the compilation does, make a table and compare what you offer and what they offer, this will help with client objections. If you have to get someone to pose as a client, you have your table that you built with your solutions and get them to call and ask questions to compare e.g. do they take away the old desk.

3) Telephone Approach - you could start with asking them about their office relocation or expansion (more on this below).

4) The purpose of the telephone call is to set up a meeting. Keep the calls short and schedule an appointment, you need to build rapport and this is best done face to face rather than over the phone. You could say that “you can see the current office setup and gather a better understand on what they want to achieve”. The meeting is to find the problems, you could use a fact finding sheet you made with the problems on there, a bit like a survey.

Then ask them “ what is this problem costing them right now” if they go blank for an answer you could prompt them with “is it PC cables cluttering up the desk, do you need to position more staff”. Then in your presentation meeting (few days later after you have done your research) SOLVE the problem.

5) Office Relocation - (ask you colleagues as few questions to confirm this - but don't give it away, this will be your niche – ask them about the big accounts they landed, you may find a theme of relocations and refits), when a business moves or expands - that is the time that they will invest in new equipment, they fix the existing problems at the same time e.g. the photo copies needs to be upgraded to cater for the higher usage, same with the phone system, lets call these TRIGGER EVENTS. So you look for the TRIGGER EVENTS, find publications or the news paper for relocation notices. At this time they may re-do the whole office with furniture, they have a bigger board room and need a bigger table with chairs, you get the idea.

Shopping Centers – where I live the major shopping centers (malls) make the tenants do a refit every 5 years. A clothing store may not be suitable but there are other businesses with long counters and desks. Go and solve their problems, speak to the centre managers as they know who and when a refit is required, find out their problems and solve them. I had a friend that did bank branch refits and they closed Friday and opened Monday and worked all hours over the weekend to meet the deadline.

New Office Buildings – find the list of new tenants, you could even do this for existing buildings.

Get to know the other product providers and build a network, when a business owner is planning a move they will research the new photocopier and phone system. You want those guys calling you when they are working on a quote for a relocation, you do the same. To get this sort of thing going you need to give before you receive, so call the phone system guy and give him the lead.
You will find that you list of people here will always be changing, as you will give and not get anything back from some people, so your always upgrading your list of contacts, don't get upset with this its just the way it works. If you new in town find others that are from out of town as locals like to stick with locals as they went to school together (they have history).

So you need to think of yourself as the office relocation/expansion specialist, you solve the problems because you know what they are, you learn form one client and find that it appears at other clients offices as well.

The important part is to view yourself as a consultant who solves office relocation or expansion problems, so get to that place as quickly as possible. I’d make it a matter of weeks not years, its quick to do if you focus.

A couple of good book to read are:

Go For No – you are going to receive a larger amount of No’s and a smaller amount of Yes’s. This is one of the best books I have read and implement ed in regard to sales. Quick rundown – Say you have a 20% success rate, that’s 2 in 10 say yes, there were 8 No’s. What if you knew that in order to find your 2 Yes’s you have to filter through the 8 No’s, then it’s just a matter of getting through the No’s as fast as possible in order to find the Yes’s. If you wanted to double your business you could look for 16 No’s because there will be 4 Yes’s that go along with it. Have a look at the 16 min video on the website as they explain it very well.

Never Cold Call Again- it’s about setting up your very own mini-marketing system. - by brett olson
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