Sales people are generally thought of as greedy people who will stop at nothing to weasel money out of people and lie. Obviously, there are many kinds of people out there in the world, but to lump all sales people into that category would be wrong. You don’t need to be a snake oil salesman or obnoxiously aggressive to get someone to buy. Being aggressive can be an effective sales tool and can take all sorts of forms. My take on being aggressive is this: be prepared. Being prepared and setting goals are the keys to success.
Effective sales preparation involves identifying who needs your product, how to meet their needs, and how to close the deal.
1. Know your client beforehand. In my case, I call on healthcare providers and consider the following: What is their specialty? Who are their patients? What is the workflow in the office? How many providers are in the practice? What role do they have in the office other than seeing patients? What role does their support staff have?
2. Once you identify specific information about your potential client, your first goal is to secure an appointment with a decision-maker. You may not close the deal at your first meeting, but your goal is move them along the continuum.
3. Know your competition. While I believe you aren’t going to get far by bashing your competition, you have to know the similarities and differences between products to formulate a response about why your product would be a better fit for that potential client.
4. Work on a close. Whatever the next step to the end goal is, focus on that. Summarize your discussion, ask if you have addressed the specific concern, and ask for the next step. If they are amenable to moving forward, then have them commit to a specific action.