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Are You Just Another Sales Call to a Prospect?

The Situation

Gina is the lone salesperson for a printing company. Her firm is highly competitive and offers fast and sophisticated services. The problem is, so do a lot of other companies. Her industry is overcrowded.

To illustrate how this can affect a sales call, here’s a snippet from a phone conversation with one of her prospects:

Gina: Justin, it was nice meeting you the other day. I hope you were able to look over the materials I left with you.
Justin:   Yes, I have your brochure in front of me right now.
Gina: Well, good! If there’s anything —
Justin: — I just wish you could print for larger formats. We have a number of political clients.
Gina: (Confused) But we do handle large formats. What made you think —
Justin: (Confused) You do? Wait. Weren’t you in here Tuesday morning?
Gina: Uh, no, Monday afternoon.
Justin: Oh.

Why Didn’t She Stand Out?

Oops! It’s an awkward moment. Now Gina isn’t sure where she is with this prospect. The fact is, she didn’t stand out from the other reps.

Gina could have brought doughnuts for Justin’s office. She could have left logoed fidget spinners or employed some other memorable gimmick.

However, as a Q4 collaborative salesperson, she might also have employed a Q4 strategy to be memorable in a meaningful, business way. Even if she has only known this prospect for a short time, which Q4 techniques could she have applied?


Just like Gina, many salespeople represent an overcrowded industry. IT services; security and surveillance; bookkeeping; and web design are some other examples.


How to Be Memorable?

We’re sure you have ways to enhance your presentation to be memorable. The tested Q4 way is to tailor your presentation and materials to meet customers’ tangible and intangible needs. Today, in your one-on-ones, you can quite easily customize your presentation. But we don’t mean simply plugging the prospect’s name and logo into a PowerPoint.


Find Out Their Specific Company Needs

Sure, you research the background of the company, or the person you are meeting. But do you look for the specific needs you can satisfy? Does Justin’s company seem to be all about speed and response time? If so, that’s what he’ll be looking for from Gina’s company. She can take a moment to include information that shows she can meet those needs. And he’ll remember her for it.


On the phone, did Justin seem slammed for time? There’s a good chance he may be looking for a reliable, turnkey provider. He wants to work with a printer where he can practically use telepathy to place an order. Gina might highlight a testimonial from a client who mentioned just that strength.


Respond to the Behavior You Witness

A Q4 salesperson also starts sizing up a prospect right away, even if it’s from just a brief initial conversation. You might determine if your prospect has a Q1 tendency to be demanding, and wants to cut to the chase. Or shows Q2 risk-avoidance, looking for safe and secure solutions. Or is seeking a Q3 smooth, pleasant relationship with his/her vendor.


Once you see the signs, you can also tweak your presentation materials to address those intangible needs. Your own demeanor and use of probes can illustrate you are attuned to customizing your solutions. That’s a very meaningful way to separate yourself from competitors.


Put Them in the Spotlight

When meeting with prospects, check your process to be sure you emphasize listening. Put your prospect at the center of the interaction. This will separate you from the standard sales presentation that centers on the seller. Your emphasis on listening and responding will distinguish you from the typical sales approach.


By emphasizing needs-based selling, you give yourself the best opportunity for being remembered. You are the salesperson who is going to help your prospect succeed!