Outside sales refers to sales that are conducted 'outside' the workplace, via meetings, presentations, etc. If you plan to carve a career in this field, you need to know some essential points before doing so. Here are some outside sales tips that may help you with your career.
“Outside sales reps should have already done considerable research on the prospect they are about to meet. Use the 15 minutes before the meeting to review your notes.”
― Wendy Weiss, President, ColdCallingResults.com
Outside sales encompass sales that are conducted face-to-face. This kind of product selling requires a lot of patience, for you have to convince the customer that your product is the best, and that they would be benefiting a great deal buying your product.
Cold calling is an essential part of the sales process, and generally, making cold calls is considered to be the rite of passage for an outside sales representative.
After gaining some experience under their belt, they can afford to travel and sell products directly. Until then, it would be better to conduct inside sales and understand the whole procedure.
Also, you need to know some good outside sales techniques to get succeed, despite the experience, since there is a stark difference between talking over the phone and directly talking to a potential customer. Here are some good tips for outside sales reps.
- Outside sales involves conducting sales outside the office atmosphere.
- This involves door-to-door selling, meeting clients, and traveling to sell your product/services.
- Unlike inside sales, you will not be sitting in an office and convincing your customers via the phone, you will be interacting with them personally, politely highlighting your product features, answering their questions, etc.
- You need to follow a certain etiquette while conducting outside sales.
- As a rule, opting for outside sales at the threshold of your career may not be a very sound choice, since you have a lot of things to learn about customer behavior and related aspects.
- Irrespective of whether you intend to begin your career with outside sales or enter after gaining experience in inside sales, the following tips may come in handy.
Essential Tips and Techniques
Rehearse the Beginning
- You must have heard of the popular adage, “Well begun is half done”. Well, that is exactly what you need to apply here.
- Your opening lines should be well composed and well rehearsed, they will create the first impression.
- Do not parrot the lines, they should seem natural.
- Also, keep your opening short―you do not want your clients to get bored. Be precise.
- As for the content, you need to first introduce yourself, your company, and then your product.
- Request your customer to view a demo of the product.
Practice Your Role
- You need to rehearse your conversation.
- Of course, you will need to prepare some notes, but the way you present it depends on the circumstances, one of them being your customer’s reaction.
- Revise your notes and practice it in front of a mirror, or simulate an interaction with your friends/colleagues, etc., and work on their feedback and suggestions.
- Please do not stammer or stutter while speaking, this will not work out in your favor.
- This role-playing training is a brilliant technique to improve the way you conduct outside sales.
Try to Read Your Customer’s Mind
- It is important that you understand your customer well―you must be able to identify when he is interested and when not.
- This kind of mind-reading comes with a lot of practice of course, but you can take cues from your seniors in the industry.
- If the customer is interested, he will have a kind of inquiring look on his face, for he will want to know more about your product.
- If your customer is standing with droopy shoulders, indifferent expressions, scratching his head, etc., you may infer that he is not interested.
- This exercise is essential in order to understand when to change the dynamics of the sales pitch.
- If he is not interested, involved him further by getting into the plus points of the product. If he is interested, you can start discussing other aspects that may lead you to sell your product.
Expand Your Network
- This is very crucial tip.
- You need to make new contacts and expand your business network so that you can garner maximum revenue for your firm.
- Talk to prospective clients, get further contacts from them, speak to them about your products and services―this is how you can create a wide network.
- At some point, these people are going to be very useful to you.
- Attend conferences and presentations, make friends, speak and network―that is how you can move ahead in your career.
No Extra Persuasion
- Never attempt to be irritatingly persuasive. This attitude will only lead to your deal falling through.
- You have to persuade your clients gently, without nagging, so that they realize that buying this product is going to be useful for them.
- For a few moments, try and put yourself in the client’s shoes, explain to them that you too can understand their apprehensions, and then move on to the next step.
- Never irritate the customer through repeated cajoling, he will think that you are trying to smooth talk him into buying a product you are probably wanting to get rid of.
- Whether you are a beginner or a cold-calling expert, your first few sales may or may not work out completely well.
- If they don’t work out well, do not lose hope, you need to maintain a positive attitude.
- Successful salespersons have faced many rejections before truly understanding the subtle art of convincing their customers; it will not hurt you to go through the same process, make your own mistakes, and learn from them.
These tips are just a reference for you to understand the process of outside sales. You may add your own techniques as well, the ones you may find convenient to convince your customers. Good luck!